During the long weekend, the Hasselt Japanese Gardens celebrated o-hanami, the Cherry Blossom Festival. It is the one day of the year where one is permitted to sit on the grass underneath the sakura trees. Kim and Adrian colluded in order to create a suprise picnic for me that was accompanied by bubbly, green tea, and sake. The sun even came out for a few hours to we could sit in the warmth and watch Hayden enjoy some colourful hard-boiled eggs. (Interestingly, in Belgium, they seem to celebrate Easter by eating actual eggs rather than gorging on chocolate like we do in Australia.) After Adrian had peeled one for him and Hayden had taken a few mouthfuls, Hayden decided it was a lot more fun to just crumble his up and roll around on top of it until both he and the picnic blanket were covered in tiny specs of yolk.
The Hasselt gardens proclaim themselves to be the largest Japanese gardens in Europe, however at 2.5 acres by my research they come in fourth, after the 39 acre Valley of singing stones in Lithuania, the 29 acre Parc Oriental de Maulévrier in France and the 3.3 acre Kaiserslautern in Germany. Still, it was a fun way to mark the time of year in which Spring is supposed to arrive, and I hope that the sun will decide to spend some more time in Belgium sometime soon.