Easter Meets Hanami
Celebrating two great cultural events in the modern Club Lounge
Hanami, or flower viewing season, is always highly anticipated here. While recent cold and dry winter days gradually become warmer and longer and the spring breeze settles over Japan, a few lucky areas of the country are shrouded in glowing puffs of pink cherry blossoms, or sakura.
Every year, sakura’s short-lived splendor is celebrated across Japan as families and friends gather for hanami to admire the arrival of spring.
To celebrate sakura and the Easter holiday, Azabu Gardens hosted residents on March 17 in the Club Lounge for a day filled with scrumptious food, fine beverages and seasonal fun. Outside, the property’s cherry blossom trees were full of flower buds starting to bloom.
The festivities started at 10am with a group of seven parents and children trying their hand at creating sweets. Sat among the Easter decorations and beautiful flower arrangements, children squirmed with delight and fascination throughout the process, creating tasty Easter bunnies and egg dango or grilled mochi balls with kinako, or roasted soy bean flower, and brown sugar syrup. All ingredients were organic, vegan and gluten free!
Family members, friends and guests enthusiastically compared each other’s freshly made crafts as the workshop ended. Meanwhile, more people started arriving to join the festivities. By the time food and drinks were served at noon, the lounge was bustling with chatter and activity!
The fusion of Japanese traditions with Western celebrations created a special atmosphere for residents and friends of Azabu Gardens, reflected in the selection of dishes offered throughout the afternoon.
Spam sandwiches with red cheddar cheese and pineapple, tandoori chicken, grilled vegetables, and sukkot eggs were part of the choice of delicious finger food that eager guests could enjoy. Shortly after, international and local dishes, from fresh Cobb Salad, citrus style cebiche, and wagyu roast beef with a noteworthy wine sauce, to mouth-watering homemade lasagna awaited hungry diners.
For dessert, guests could pick from a choice of lemon macaroons, blue and pink lollipops, and carrot cake—rabbit-themed, of course! Fitting the ambiance, the treats were complimented with cherry tea and cherry wine.
Satisfied and stuffed children then amused themselves with an egg hunt and other interactive Easter-themed activities, while parents mingled over a glass of wine discussing top spots for hanami in Tokyo and plans for the upcoming school holidays. Wines on offer included a white Bidoli Furiuli Grave Sauvignon Blanc and a sparkling Bernard Remy Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc Brut, and for those who preferred, cold beers were available too.
After the games, children drifted off to the media room as a professional sake taster circled among the adults, offering an impressive selection of sake that awakened different palates.
On offer was a medium dry Fukamari Junmai with earthy undertones, a light John sparkling Junmai Daiginjo with hints of peach and cherry blossom aromas, a medium sweet 19 Le creasier rose m’Apporte Junmai Ginjo with refreshing notes of cream soda and lemon, a sweet Sanran Junmai with tastes of nuts and umami, a medium dry light and fruity Seiryu Junmai Daiginjo, and finally, a clean and dry Hakkaisan Honjozo with hints of banana bread and fig.
Winners of the egg hunt were announced to the enthusiastic crowd and prizes were given out to the champions. The jolly event came to a finish at 4pm as the 70 guests, a third of who were children, slowly made their way out with happy smiles on their faces, and countless chocolate eggs in their bags.