The Sakura Bazaar: A cherry blossom celebration in Tokyo

If you are in Tokyo in April, go to subway Kudanshita station (Toei Shinjuki line, or Subway Tozai line, Hanzomon line) Exit is No.2 Get out of the exit and walk straight up, till you cross over the famous Nihon Budokan auditorium. You will see the small footpath with rows of cherry trees on both sides. If you turn left here, the building on the right is Indian Embassy. If the cherries are in blossom, you won't be alone. You will find many people walking in the same direction.

In Japanese language a Sakura means cherry. Sakura Bazaar is an event conducted by the Indian Embassy on a Sunday morning in the Spring Season during the Cherry blossom period. Indian Embassy is situated in one of the most beautiful 'Cherry blossom view' spots in Tokyo. During the blossom, many people pass through the famous Chidorigafuchi pathway with rows of cherry trees on both sides, which is just opposite the Embassy campus.

To introduce Indian culture to this crowd, the mission organizes a charity event called as 'Sakura Bazaar' each year. Mrs. Ambassador is the host of this function. She organizes many volunteers from the Indian Community in and around Tokyo and they sell various Indian food and other items. All the income from this event is donated to deserving charitable organisations in various countries in Asia and all over the world. Mrs. Ambassador decides the date based on a report from the local weather department. Since the date of full blossom varies every year, the date of the bazaar also varies. Sakura in Tokyo started blooming from March 29 this year. Since April 2, Sunday will be early for full blossom, the date of bazaar was changed to April 9, Sunday.

The bazaar starts at about 10 AM and ends when all the items are sold. There will be food stalls of samosas, dosas, chana-bhatura, Bengali sweets, etc apart from the stall of batatewada managed by Tokyo Marathi Mandal. The best time to enjoy the bazaar is between 11 AM to Noon. Because, all the items are fresh, there is no rush and no queues!

The current Madam Ambassdor Mrs. Jyotsna Singh, was very cooperative to give detailed information in this context in spite of her busy schedule. I had a dialogue with Madam Ambassador, exclusively for NRIOL.COM - the Non-Resident Indian community on the internet, and I am sure you all will find this to be interesting.

Click here for the exclusive interview with the Indian Ambassador in Japan

In addition to enjoying a variety of great home cooked food, this event is marked as a spring time gathering of Indians around Tokyo.

There is a lot of fun and you can meet old friends or make new ones.

The Indian Embassy is located at following address :

Address : Tokyo, Chiyoda Ku, Kudan Minami 2-2-11 Tel: 03-3262-2391

- Pooja Sardeshmukh in Tokyo, Japan

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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