Due to the rain, the annual SSAJ hanami event was unfortunately cancelled. However, no amount of precipitation can stop Singaporeans from fully enjoying the last day of spring vacation. A bunch of us braved the rain to take in the sights and sounds at Jindaiji, the second oldest temple in Tokyo. A walk from Chofu station rewarded us with a brilliant view of a brook lined with sakura trees in full bloom. Pink petals and crystal clear water drifted lazily under a highway, next to which a hanami party complete with barbecue was in full swing.
Upon reaching the temple complex, we headed straight for lunch at Yuusui, the most famous soba restaurant out of more than 20 in the area. The fresh handmade soba noodles were springy in texture, making a great companion to the piping-hot serving of tempura.
After amazake, soba manju and a short tour of the temple and picturesque streets, we visited a nearby natural onsen for a relaxing open-air bath in ebony-coloured spring waters. Upon the ripples, sakura petals spun and danced to the sounds of raindrops and rustling leaves. We sat under the overcast evening sky, listening quietly.