Episode 23 ニューヨークの花見 ( Sakura Matsuri Festival in New York )

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INTROWelcome to episode number 23 of The New York Breeze podcast.Today’s topic is cherry blossom viewing in New York City. Right now, in mid-April, the city is in full bloom. Listeners in Japan might be happy to hear that both New York and Washington DC are great places for “hanami” — cherry blossom viewing. Here’s what you need to know.


  Mid-April is usually when the city is in full bloom. 4月中旬がニューヨークの桜が満開になる時期

A great  place to see the burst of spring color in New York City is at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Every year, during

1 Manhattan
2 Brooklyn 3 Queens
4 The Bronx 5. Staten Island

the last weekend of April, there’s a cherry blossom viewing celebration inspired by Japanese culture. If you really want to be an expert, you can check out the NYC Parks Department Bloom Guide to find out what blooms when and where in each of *the five boroughs.



 * 5つの区(マンハッタン区、ブルックリン区、クイーンズ区、ブロンクス区、スタテンアイランド区)

 Some History and Perspective

The cherry blossom festival was first hosted at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1982. I’m trying to imagine how it went down back then. Because New York City and its parks were drug-infested and crime-ridden at that time in history. Everybody definitely needed a cause to bring some harmony and tranquility.  I’d say some very wise and cultured people introduced “hanami” to our city. Thank you dear wise people from 1982! I think everyone should offer a toast to you this April.

how it went down = what happened    drug-infested  薬物がまん延した  crime-ridden  犯罪が多発する

tranquility  平静、平穏    cultured people  教養のある人々

桜まつりが最初に行われたのは 1982年、ブルックリン植物園においてです。当時の状況を思い描いてみます。ニューヨークには街全体、そして公園に、麻薬が蔓延し犯罪が多発していました。誰もが心を通わせること、心の平穏の基盤となるものを求めていたのは確かです。 非常に聡明で(思慮深く)教養のある人々が花見を私たちの街にもたらしてくれたのだと言いたい。当時の賢人たちに心から感謝! みんなで祝杯を捧げましょう。

  Words in Focus:   How do you say “hanami” and “ogesa” in English? 「花見」や「大げさ」を英語でどう言うか。

“Hanami” is the Japanese tradition of picnicking under cherry trees. Since there’s no *open-container laws prohibiting alcohol, people are free to enjoy beer, wine and sake outdoors. It’s a great way to ap-preciate the spring colors and welcome the coming of springtime.

花見は桜の木の下でピクニックをするという日本の伝統です。日本では公園などの公共の場で封を開けたアルコール類を持っていてはいけないという *open-container laws がないので人々は自由にビール、ワイン、酒を戸外で飲むのを楽しみます。花々の美しさを享受し、春の訪れを歓迎する素晴らしい方法です。

open-container laws ここをクリック !  
In the United States, open container laws regulate or prohibit the existence of open containers of alcohol in certain areas, as well as the active consumption of alcohol in those areas. “Public places” in this context refers to openly public places such as sidewalks, parks and vehicles. It does not include nominally private spaces which are open to the public, such as bars, restaurants and stadiums. The purpose of these laws is to restrict public intoxication, especially the dangerous act of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Open container laws are state laws, rather than federal laws; thus they vary from state to state. (出典ウィキペディア)

“Ogesa” It’s a great word, and the word for it in English is ‘overstated’ and ‘grandiose.’ Or you could say ‘exaggerated’ or “lay it on thick.”  But what’s exaggerated in one culture, is pretty much normal in another. Take for example, how we New Yorkers do “hanami” here. It becomes a big festival, like the annual Re-naissance Fair. To anyone familiar with the tradition of cherry blossom viewing in Japan, our take on it might seem exaggerated (to say the least). Whereas in Japan, hanami is usually the opposite — more mellow or understated. Just friends gathering for a picnic during the day or night under the shade of blossoming cherry tress.

overstated 大げさな  grandiose  壮大な、大げさな exaggerated  大げさな take on it  それについての見解、見方

「大げさ」これは素晴らしい言葉です。英語では‘overstated’ and ‘grandiose’  にあたります。または、 ‘exaggerated’ 、 “lay it on thick.” と言えるでしょう。でも、ある文化において「大げさ」であることが別の文化においてはごく普通であったりします。私たちニューヨーカーがどのように花見をするかが良い例でしょう。ニューヨークでは花見が毎年行われているルネッサンス・フェアのような盛大なお祭りになります。日本の伝統的な花見を知っ




What to expect at a New York Cherry Blossom Festival

First, there is an admission charge to enjoy “The Cherry Blossom Festival.” The Brooklyn Botanic Garden charges $30 per adult. Students can get in for $5 cheaper. Kids under 12 get in free with an accompanying adult. Next  comes the grandiose part. The cherry blossom viewing party doesn’t stop with the trees.  You’ve got stages with dancers, taiko drummers, J-pop concerts, bonsai-pruning workshops, and art happening all day long. On top of that, there are cosplay game shows, samurai sword performances, and demonstrations of Japanese tea ceremonies on multiple stages! For details you can visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s website bbg.org


 Cherry Blossoms in NYC

If you don’t want to pay admission, then take heart — there are plenty of other places in NYC to have a pic-nic and relax under the cherry blossom trees. My favorite spot is Sakura Park. That’s on the Upper West Side near Columbia University, Grant’s Tomb and Riverside Church.  Interestingly, there is a stone lantern (‘ tōrō’ in  Japanese) donated by the City of Tokyo to mark the sister city designation between Tokyo and New York City in 1960. The lantern was dedicated by the Emperor of Japan (then the Crown Prince Akihito) and his wife, the Princess Michiko, who now are about to conclude their reign in the era of Heisei. So per-haps this spring’s hanami is cause for an especially grandiose gathering and festivities — to mark the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one.

crown prince 〔英国以外の〕皇太子    take heart  元気を出す、気を取り直す designate  指定する      dedicate (…に)ささげる

Sakura Park

入場料を払いたくない人も、がっかりする必要はありません。ニューヨークには他にも桜の下でピクニックをしてのんびりくつろぐことができる場所がたくさんあります。私のお気に入りはサクラ・パークです。コロンビア大学、南北戦争で活躍し後に大統領になったグランツ将軍のお墓、そしてリバーサイドチャーチに近いアッパーウエストサイドにあります。興味深いことに、このさくらパークには石灯籠があります。これは1960年、ニューヨークと東京の姉妹都市指定を記念して東京により寄贈されたものです。現在の天皇であり当時は皇太子だった明仁親王と美智子妃が献上式に出席した。お二人はまさに平成の終わりと共に勤めをを終えようとしています。おそらく今年の 花見は特に規模が大きくお祭り気分も高まった盛大なものになるのではと思います。一つの時代の終わりと次の新しい時代の始まりを祝福して。


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Brooklyn Botanic Garden

NYC Sakura Matsuri


15 Places to View Cherry Blossom Trees in NYC

Citywide Bloom Guide