The first cherry blossoms opened on the banks of the Sumida river this weekend.
A long the riverside, walking from Asakusa-Station, groups had gathered already underneath the cherry trees. The usual scenery. Further upriver you can cross at the Sakurabashi bridge to the other side, which is part of the Sumida ward.
Bokutei is the original name for the Sumida riverside. And the area across of Asakusa is called Mukojima. The history of Hanami (Cherry Blossoms Viewing) at Mukojima is long. The Edo Shogunate planted sakura trees at many places in Edo (Tokyo) and Mukojima was one of the 33 districts. Today, nearly 1,000 cherry trees are planted along the Sumida River.
During the Edo period, there were many geisha districts in Edo (Tokyo). Today, they are seen only in several areas such as Akasaka, Mukojima, Shimbashi, Asakusa and Kagurazaka. One of the main attractions of the Sakura Festival is a small “tea house” where several “geishas” serve tea and snacks. I would not call the women geishas in a traditional sense, given their limited functions they had here. But nevertheless they served as a nice opportunity for photographers. So here is a selection. Apparently I was carried away with the motives.
For a small fee two geishas posed underneath a cherry tree.
I continued the walk downriver, back to Asakusa.
A couple first from the back.
A group was performing a lion dance. They said that they were only there this very day.
Thank you for watching.