This Saturday I went with some friends to Langelinie in Copenhagen. Not far from the the little mermaid statue, a number of sakura trees, (sakura is Japanese for cherry trees,) were planted there in 2006 after having been donated by Danish Honorary Consul in Hiroshima, Mr Seiichi Takaki on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of H.C. Andersen.
Amongst all those little cherry trees, a number of people had gathered to enjoy the occasion. A few tents were set up too, with people selling Japanese foods, sweets, snacks, drinks, and tools such as knifery, bowls, chopsticks and so on.
There was also a scene where people performed with Japanese dance and things such as kendo, karate and drumming. Many of these shows were arranged by local clubs who also used this as an opportunity to advertise a little for themselves.
As can be expected at any japan-related arrangement in possibly most western countries, it also attracted some cosplayers. Amongst other, we met Afro Samurai, which I think was totally awesome. I have been thinking of becoming an Afro Samurai myself but I doubt it would work very well because I am as white as one can be.
At one point, I was borrowing a zoom lens from my friend who also has a Canon. (And I used some of his photos for this blog post actually.)
I was trying it out, taking pictures of people on the stage, and this girl in the foreground thought that I was taking pictures of her. I didn't even see her before my friend found out. Then we took some pictures of her, too, after asking for permission of course. (Hey, it looks like she put a lot of effort into that outfit, too, don't you think?)
We found some Oolong Tea too, at one of the tents. My friend Rasmus also had a can of it, but I don't think he enjoyed it that much, (it was sugar free,) but I missed the taste of cold oolong tea a lot, so I was quite happy to have found it, as you can see.
Here is a picture of Rasmus, who is also the one who took some of the photos I've used for this post. We are having a makeshift sumo wrestling match using some funny clothes to add extra weight.
We also ran into these girls. They are not cosplayers, however. Apparently, their style of attire is a subculture fashion originating from Japan called Lolita Fashion. I guess some of these girls might even consider some of this clothing for daily wear. I'm quite surprised to run into and find out about such a phenomenon in Denmark. But they again, this event did take place in Copenhagen. That city is a lot more colourful than the rest of the country.
Nearing the closure, the arrangers of the festival would let everyone participate in some kind of dance. People would walk around in a circle, dancing. In the middle there was a man drumming to the beat of a number of different Japanese songs. We didn't participate, but the music was nice.
As you can see, many people dressed up in kimonos for the event. If I had had one, I would have donned it too. I imagine that's the most typical way for Japanese to dress up at events like this.
Some of you might have noticed that the Sakura trees in Langelinie had already dropped all their flowers. That was a little sad, but of course it didn't ruin the day. Though it would have been totally awesome if there had been flowers. Then the occasion could've been more like Hanami, the original Japanese way of celebrating the blossoming of their cherry trees, but I guess this event really wasn't that far from it still.
Just to put you in the mood, here's a picture I took about 2 weeks ago of a cherry tree back where I live. It was still bright pink when I got back from Copenhagen, but now, 2 days later, the tree has dropped most of its flowers.
Well. It is still spring. And today is really hot. It's awesome. I love spring.