For the three days between Friday April 3rd and Sunday April 5th 2015, Gotenyama Trust City held “Gotenyama Cherry Blossom Festival 2015”, an event based on the theme of “Edo-style cherry blossoms enjoyed in Gotenyama.” Gotenyama, which is one of the five hilltops in the Jonan Gozan area of Tokyo, was a popular, bustling location for cherry blossoms during the Edo period. In the festival, various events were carried out which focused on that history and on the Shinagawa-shuku (one of the 53 stations of the Tokaido Road), which flourished as the front door to the old Tokaido Road. Then, Gotenyama was found enveloped in an atmosphere reminiscent of the Edo period. Much thanks to everyone who came out during the three days!
◆Enjoying Oiran Courtesans Processions
Elegant Oiran courtesans parade through Gotenyama Trust City with their entourage. Wearing graceful costume, Oiran courtesans wander around in a certain unique way called “Soto-Hachimonji”. This was a pleasing spectacle for all. At food stalls set up in the open area, visitors could get a taste of Shinagawa craft beer (called SHINAGAWAKEN BEER) and simmered dishes. People had an excellent time enjoying the cherry blossoms of Gotenyama.
◆Rolling about in a rickshaw that put on a show at Shinagawa-shuku
We had rickshaw puller Ryota Satoh come out to Gotenyama Trust City. He works as a guide on the old Tokaido Road. An energetic Mr. Satoh took us out to see the cherry blossoms. We felt closer to the flowers and they seemed more beautiful when looking at them while rolling about in the special white rickshaw. This was received well by both children and adults alike.
◆Feeling the arts and tastes of the Shinagawa Marché
Shinagawa flourished as a post-town for the 53-stations of the Tokaido Road.Various foods and goods were sold at Shinagawa Marché featuring Shinagawa, such as Ukiyo-e post cards and rice cracker(senbei) called”Shinagawa Maki”. Also, at the Ujian tea house located within the Gotenyama Garden, 3 craftspeople, belonging to the Shinagawa Traditional Crafts Preservation Society, gave demonstrations and workshops.
◆Walking through the night-time cherry blossom tunnel
Moreover, each night from the period of March 21st 2015 (Sat.) to April 12th 2015 (Sun.), there was a light up display at the site of the cherry blossoms performed in sync with their blooming at Gotenyama Garden. We had visitors enjoy both the cherry blossoms rising fantastically on spring nights, as well as a night-time scenery that was overflowing with the inherent flavor of the historic Gotenyama Garden.
Gotenyama Trust City conveys to the present the atmosphere of a Gotenyama that was notable site for viewing the cherry blossoms. Through the cherry blossoms at Gotenyama, this event was one whereby people could really get a feel for the history and Edo-period atmosphere of Gotenyama, as well as the coming of spring. While the weather wasn’t great, we are pleased that so many came out to the event. Thank you very much! At Gotenyama Trust City, we’ll be planning many more events in the future, so we look forward to seeing you again soon!