Swiss Alumni Hanami Event Revived in 2022

The Swiss Alumni community in Japan gathered on the occasion of the Hanami Event 2022 at the Swiss Ambassador’s residence on March 21, 2022.

Much time has passed since the Swiss Alumni / Alumnae community came together due to social restrictions caused by the pandemic. Hence, much greater was the pleasure for its members–residing in the Greater Tokyo area and beyond–to celebrate hanami in-person at the Embassy of Switzerland on March 21, the Japanese tradition to welcome the springtime when sakura (cherry blossom) starts flowering.

The event was hosted by Ambassador Dr. Andreas Baum at the garden of his residence and organized by Kyoko Marumo Suzuki, Head of the Science & Technology Office Tokyo (STO), and her team. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Baum highlighted one of the Embassy’s missions to reconnect with various groups including the Swiss Alumni / Alumnae in Japan after the pandemic. It was the first opportunity for him to meet most of guests since his arrival in Japan in late 2020, and also for Ms. Marumo Suzuki in the position as Head of STO.

A total of 24 representatives of eight different Swiss Alumni chapters participated at the social gathering where they met new and old faces. They engaged in lively exchanges and networking among each other but also with the Ambassador and the Embassy staff while enjoying delicious drinks and food such as the famous Swiss raclette. The event was held under strict safety measurements and with a limited number of participants in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all guests.

Before the pandemic, the Alumni Hanami events have been annually organized by the STO for many years in addition to thematic events for the alumni community. This tradition will be revived if circumstances permit.

Ambassador Dr. Andreas Baum and Kyoko Marumo Suzuki during the opening remarks.