In Japan, "hanami" (花見, "flower watching") cherry blossom viewing is a big thing. In Sapporo the cherry trees usually come into full bloom in the second week of May, but this year they were a week earlier than normal.
During the very short time the cherry trees are in bloom, you go to sit under the trees and barbecue things. You also drink copious amounts of alcohol.
This year I went to the Bottom Cafe hanami-party in Maruyama Koen (the park which draws the most people during the hanami season) and had five hours of unlimited alcohol and unlimited food. Which was too much food, of course. The weather was not great, it kept raining on and off. The people attended where nice, and the food was good, though. The cherry blossoming was pretty much over, and there were not so many petals left on the trees.
|Near the shrine there are booths selling candy and food|
I also took a walk up towards the Hokkaido Jingu shrine, also so located in/next to the park. There is a cherry and plum tree park there that is very beautiful.
|The path leading up to the shrine is also lined with cherry trees|
|The entrance to the shrine|