The grounds of Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park have been colonised by beautiful youth: women and men beneath the cherry blossoms surrounded by bottles of wine, sake and shochu, cases of beer and plastic bags stuffed with finger foods – drinking, playing games and sharing smartphone screens as the buds bloom and fall.

Hanami (flower-viewing) parties are a centuries-old rite of spring, a national symbol of life’s beauty and brevity. But as I walk by them this month, I can’t help but wonder if any of the pink-faced revellers are hooking up, or even care enough to try.

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Vijay Nanda

The author Vijay Nanda

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