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Flower Watching

We went to a park called Koganei Koen, about 20 minutes away by bus from our train station. I must admit that I was absolutely stunned by the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms. I'm not talking about a tree here and a tree there...it was rows and rows of trees in FULL bloomin' glory. You look up, and in some areas you can't even see the sky because of the sheer number of light pink petals budding from every part of every branch. Then I looked beyond where we were standing, and the horizon was covered in PINK! It was breathtaking. I've never seen anything like it. I stood there and said to myself, "Now I understand why the Japanese make such a big fuss over 'flower watching'---this is worth it!"

Sakura (cherry) blossoms

Well, about 10,000 other people had decided to go to that park on the same day. So you look up to see the flowers covering the view of the sky---you look down and see thousands of people covering the grass. In some parts I couldn't see the green of the grass at all. Every patch was taken by people on "leisure mats" (picnic blankets), boxed lunches, lots of alcohol, snacks, kids, and dogs everywhere. You have to be careful walking because there are people on bikes as well, maneuvering their way around the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds.

Flower watching crowd

Even in this mass of people, we were tickled to find out that our neighbor Campus Crusade friends, the Caughlans, were also there! It was great fun to hang out with them, and for our kids to play together.

Ellie and Jossy sliding together

So now that I've experienced the true joy of ohanami, I guess I've become just a little more Japanese than a week before:)

Sakura (cherry) blossom close-up

 

Nozomi and kids enjoying rice balls on a stick
Here I am with the kids enjoying rice balls on a stick

 

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