Tokyo – Sumida Park traditional Hanami dances and cherry blossoms plus Tip of the Day on good quality bargains to buy in Japan (a short list!)

Not only do people picnic and photograph the arrival of cherry blossoms but they also enjoy traditional dancing to celebrate the arrival of blossoms. Here are some of the dancers I saw walking along the river in Sumida Park a some cherry blossoms I saw there. Pay attention to the women in white with the pointed headdresses- they are dancing at a rapid pace with their sandals pointed forward the whole time – amazing balance – the guys just wear socks!

Dancers celebrate Hanami in Sumida Park

Ladies dancing on the points of their sandals in Sumida Park

Passers by in the Sumida Park enjoy traditional Hanami dancing

Cherry blossoms in Sumida Park

TIP OF THE DAY – what to buy in Japan that won’t cost an arm and a leg

If you are on a tight budget then the larger cities in Japan may not be your best bet – it is very expensive for virtually anyone visiting from any country (except possibly the Swiss!) so bargains are limited – best to spend your budget on food and sightseeing. However Japanese products are worth taking a look at. I love Onitsuka Tiger trainers and bought two new pairs – well under AUD100 and they have a very wide choice of colours. I would also recommend visiting the local brand drugstores that stock all sorts of cheap and excellent quality make up and skincare – I recommend Heroine mascara (plus their special eye make up remover) – it really does not smudge; the drugstore Shiseido range – much cheaper than department store version especially Miracle Whip make up remover and anything by Kose but especially their beautifully packaged oil reducing mini sheets. And finally a multitude of face masks in individual packets which are excellent and convenient for travel.

My new Onitsuka Tiger trainers

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