Sakura Brings Us Together
essay, Mar. 2019
It was around ten years ago when I started going to Inokashira Park in Kichijoji, the west side of Tokyo, with my best friend from high school (1).
When we were high school students, we studied hard to go to universities in Tokyo. However, we both failed the entrance exams, and our dream to enjoy college life in Tokyo vanished. Instead, we came to Tokyo and visited Inokashira Park as a graduation trip. We enjoyed beautiful cherry blossoms at the park very much, and since then, we visit there every year.
At Inokashira Park, there was a lake where you could see cherry blossom trees from a boat. I never really learned how to row a boat, but at least the boat still moved forward on the water, over which cherry blossom petals were falling one after another, making random patchy patterns. Our boat broke these patterns by moving through. The petals sunk in the water for a while, but soon floated up again to fill the surface of the water with the color of pale pink.
“Let’s take a break for a while,” I said to my friend, and stopped the boat on the edge of the lake. When I took my hand off of the oar and looked up overhead, the pale color of pink covered the sky. We were so attracted and overwhelmed.
In the past ten years, our relationship has gradually changed, as our lives started new phases: my friend graduated from college, took the architecture qualification exam, and got the job. She then got married in her hometown, and became a mother. On the contrary, I started to work in Tokyo after I graduated from college, and I still work hard and live in Tokyo by myself.
When we first saw cherry blossoms at Inokashira Park, we were both country girls, who longed to live in Tokyo, and had anxiety and excitement in anticipation for our upcoming college life.
However, as our stages of life changed, we didn’t have much to talk about, because we didn’t have as much in common as the years passed.
Still, every spring we see each other at Inokashira Park.
“Let’s see each other again next year.”
As we said goodbye at Inokashira Park, we already makes promises for next year.
Whenever we reunite for the annual sakura time, I always remember the pale pink sky and the beauty and peacefulness of the delicate cherry blossoms gently resting on top of the water as our boat rocked along. It reminds me of simpler times…of pre-college excitement…of a strong bond. It reminds me of happier times, before we both got too busy with work. The innocence of the sakura always makes us smile.
Way to go:
To Inokashira Park from Shinjuku station
Open Google map
1. Kichijyoji is an area, which always ranks in top three of “Areas to live in Tokyo”. At shopping streets near the Kichijyoji train station, you can enjoy street food and local restaurants. Inokashira Park is popular for couples.
Studied psychology at college, then worked as an advertisement director. Now work at public relations in art industry. Lead a simple life in the east side of Tokyo, and often go back to my parents house surrounded by rich nature.