18 May 2018

Cherry Blossoms and Cosplay

A few weekends ago, we went deep in east Berlin to go to the Gärten der Welt, because there was the Cherry Blossom Festival. We didn't really do our homework, so we didn't realise that there were several other events going on that day in the park. And it turned out to be a rather frustrating day, given all the queues that we had to stand in. It involved not only cherry blossoms, but also other weird entities, like cosplayers.

We got there at around mid-morning, but it actually took us an hour and a half to even get tickets. People were getting frustrated, and I must say I was also getting rather antsy. Anyway, after procuring tickets, we rode a cable car which took us to the park entrance.

There were several events going on in the park, most of them centring on Japanophilia. There were of course other Asian events. Heck, there was a tai chi exhibition. There was also a Chinese dragon going all over the auditorium. You can buy Korean fried chicken from several street vendors. Onigiri triangles were also available. There was a cosplay competition from 2:00 PM. And of course, there was the cherry blossoms, and lots of people whipping out their phones for Instagram photos.

At some point it all became too agoraphobic, that we just decided to go home. Perhaps the heat didn't really help. But there was just so many people and it was hard to actually enjoy the place when you're trying to dodge cartoon characters left and right. It was getting borderline slapstick.

Anyway, there's a lesson that's learned. Berlin is a big city, so if one isn't too keen in meeting up with plenty of people, there are other things one can do. I'll keep that in mind next time.


  1. There's a park in Santiago where on weekends, teens and twenty-something gather to celebrate K-pop. I thought it was Japanophilia at first, I later learned it was K-pop... funny how this culture can be so popular in a complete different country, half-way across the world!

    1. Zhu,

      I know what you mean. East Asian culture can be so exotic, at least to some people, which makes them prime target for an intense focus sometimes. I wonder sometimes why there are complete subcultures focused on Japanese and Korean culture, but you don't see parallel interest for Nigerian or Paraguayan culture.