Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hanami in Washington, D.C.

* The Washington Monument hiding behind the sakura*
No "kanpai" in Washington, D.C.
In 1912, the city of Tokyo presented the people of Washington, D.C. with a gift of 3,000 cherry trees. Most were planted around the Tidal Basing in the National Mall. Washington is at its most beautiful during the few days in which the cherry trees are in bloom, so Brendan and I decided to go for a little Hanami (flower viewing) in the Nation's Capital.

As we were walking and admiring the sakura and the monuments, I remembered something my friend Yoshiko told me when we visited Japan. That in Japan is very common to drink during hanami. The majority of cities in the U.S. prohibit alcohol consumption in public areas, so our hanami in Washington, D.C. was pretty dry.

* The Jefferson Memorial*

It would have been great to enjoy a little bit of sake while walking the Tidal Basin, which brings me to the following observation from our visit to Japan. On our first day in Tokyo, Brendan and I were happily surprised when wen found little "juice" boxes containing sake at most convenient stores. We loved the idea of having single-serving, accessible, transportable alcohol containers (I loved that most of them came with their own little straw! So cute.). We made a point to try as many as we could during our trip.

I will be the first to admit that none of them were the best-tasting sake I ever had, but I am not going to complain (considering that during college I drank some of the most cheap, horrid beers the United States has ever produced). The one that became our staple drink during the trip was "One Cup Ozeki". The big one was for Brendan, the small one was for me.

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