April is Sakura (cherry blossom) season, when the cherry blossoms trees are at their best and all of Japan turns a particular shade of pink.
Hanami, or ’flower viewing’, are very popular amoungst the Japanese and parks on the weekends are turned into a sea of blue as people mark out their picnic position with bright blue tarpaulins and mats. Festival food such as Takoyaki (dumpling balls made with octopus) and Okonomiyaki (a kind of Japanese pancake cooked with noodles and vegetables) is provided by market wagons positioned conveniently around the outskirts of the park and people enjoy the warm springs day with a healthy dose of sake mixed in.
These photos were taken on Saturday 16th April, 2011 at Utsunomiya Park, just over 1 hours drive from Nikko. If you are travelling to Nikko by train you will pass through this city.