Hanami 花見

The pandemic waning in Finland, a cherry blossom picnic with dear friends on a beautiful day felt like a rebirth.

We did our first photoshoot for Piknik People book during the 2020 hanami and it also ended up being the first chapter. This year, the book being fresh out of print and the peak of cherry bloom nearing, we thought it would be only appropriate to set up a tiny pop-up bookstore in Roihuvuori Cherry Park to promote the fruit of year's work.

A phone call from our friends Henrik and Carina changed that plan. They were visiting Helsinki and wanted to meet us. We didn't need to think twice. After a long winter and the final book project crunch before easter, the hustle and bustle in Piknik People Studio never seized. It just changed. And it's good. A business is a business and it needs to run. However, we decided to leave the books and iZettle home and just pack some snacks and drinks, and head to the park to meet our friends.

After so many months of social distancing, other restrictions, uncertainty, and fear too, the pandemic in Finland was finally waning. We were also scheduled to get our vaccinations the very next day and the summer was finally here. It did feel like a beginning of a new era and the blooming cherry trees heightened the sense of celebration and made the occasion all the more special.

Roihuvuori Cherry Park
The idea behind Roihuvuori Cherry Park came from a Japanese immigrant Norio Tomida. In a recent article in Helsingin Sanomat Norio told that he proposed the park to the City of Helsinki at the beginning of the 2000s.

After Cherry Park's opening in 2007, hanami has grown in popularity, and pictures of pink flowers have flooded social media accounts. In 2019 30 000 people visited the park on a single day. The officials have noticed the city-dwellers' appetite for floral delights and are expanding the park from its current 152 to 242 cherry trees. A pond, a bridge, and a Japanese-style water stream are also in the works.