We went hanami cherry blossom viewing in gorgeous Ueno Park with complete strangers

Nothing like making friends and enjoying the fleeting beauty of a Japanese spring together.

Japanese reporter Ikuna Kamezawa breathed deeply as the smells of cherry blossom trees and all things growing wafted to her nose. Spring had arrived in full over here in Japan, bringing with it a sense of new beginnings and adventures.

She had come to view the cherry blossoms of Ueno Park, a spot popular among tourists and locals alike for its stunning nature and spacious compound. It was perfect weather for a Saturday, which meant that there were plenty of people hoping to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous pink and white sakura flowers the park was known for.

▼ It was a little crowded, but that was to be expected on a weekend.

▼ Ikuna surmised she might have had better luck finding an empty spot to sit on a weekday.

Numerous plastic picnic sheets had been placed at the sides of roads and under trees, where friends and family sipped bear and socialized while enjoying nature’s beauty. Not Ikuna, however, as she came alone and was already regretting the decision of not bringing coworkers with her.

▼ She was about to give up finding a nice spot and head back to the office
when something caught her eye.

“Everyone is welcome here. Let’s view cherry blossoms together!”
the message read in Japanese.

▼ Looking up from the sign, she became aware of a group of young people — seemingly of different nationalities — chatting amongst themselves.

▼ Despite looking more like a group of close friends,
it became apparent that everyone had never met before that day.

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