Sunday, 14 April 2013

Spring 2013 : Hanami at Amstelveen

( as always : click on the pictures for a full size view )

Last Sunday, the 14th of April, I met up with other Kimono de Jack NL members for our hanami
 ( cherry blossom viewing ) at Amstelveen, the Netherlands.

Hanami ( cherry blossom viewing party ) has been a tradition in Japan since the beginning of the Heian period ( late 8th century ).
For the Japanese the blossoming of the sakura indicates the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

Because the delicate blossoms don't last much longer than a week and heavy rain or wind can make them drop even sooner, they are often seen as a symbol of our own brief lives.

Winter this year has given us frosty nights all the way up to April causing the trees to blossom quite late.

With only a few trees in blossom out of the four hundred, we had set up strategically near to the largest one.

After a week of quite rainy weather, we were lucky when later in the afternoon the sky cleared up and the sun came out. After such a long cold period, sunny weather puts everyone in a good mood.

Stephanie in a blue kimono.

A little bit of  kitsuke required ( the Japanese art of dressing someone or yourself in kimono ) : some obis had shifted a little after sitting down and getting up.

which gave me a chance to take some close-ups and detail shots.

Riga has changed the front of her afro hairdo : lovely !

Riga's musubi.

Maaike's musubi with sunflower and ladybugs (kawaii !).

Musubi shot of Carolien( left ) and Linda ( right ).

Carolien's musubi .

Carolien's obijime with obidome ( obijime decorations ).

After the fixing of the obis , our party strolled over to the one tree in blossom, to take pictures.

Linda, posing by the sakura tree , for another photographer.

I don't know if talking to the tree that was blossoming ahead of all the others will encourage it to bloom again for us next year, but it never hurts to try :)

 Yes, hugging it may work too, Riga!

Everyone (more or less) busy lining up for the group shot near the sakura tree with Armindo looking on in the background.

From left to right : Ben, Maaike, Carolien, Stephanie, Riga, Linda and Nancy.

Musubi shot by the sakura tree

Showing off of the sleeves.

  The KDJ NL signature tabi shot ( well at least six of them are tabi ).


This little shy fellow came over for a closer look and let himself get petted by Linda , but when everyone moved in closer he ran off :)

Carolien, enjoying the sun.



Later in the afternoon, Dalisha joined us.

Of course, we redid the group shots :)

I can't remember who came up with the idea for this group shot, but it may well become (yet another) tradition.

Linda and Riga taking pictures of Dalisha posing with sakura blossoms

Sakura, sakura ...

See you next year !