Our date with the cherry blossoms went off last Sunday without a hitch. The weather gods smiled on us, for once, and we were blissfully rain free. I had been worried when I awoke Saturday to a horrific thunderstorm, complete with Noah worthy rains. However Sunday dawned bright and clear, if a bit chilly and soggy.
The Group. Please note my way sexy Domo-kun shirt.
We all met at the school, then paraded down to the Sai river for some picnicing. I had procured a loaf of french bread and some brie and pepper gouda. However, silly forgetful me did not in fact bring such useful things as a knife. I was left to tearing great chunks out of the bread and scooping brie on to it. It was a bit pricy, buying imported cheese in a land not known for its love of dairy products, but well worth it. It had been a while since I'd gone French for lunch. Sadly the importers were out of Orangina, so I had to make due with Life Partner Dakara, a Japanese sports drink.
The birds of prey were out in force. They outnumbered the pigeons! I got this shot with my 300mm lens.
With lunch wrapped up the more active people tore into a rather heated game of dodgeball! I haven't played dodgeball for at least a decade, and was understandably rusty. I was in fact the very first person to be hit. This may be because I was deep in conversation with Nick at the time. Oops, that is what I get for not paying attention. It was great fun, but we had to be pretty careful, the wet grass did not have much traction, we had a couple really good wipeouts.
Kanazawa out in force.
Once we wrapped everything up, everybody split off and went their own way. Some of the visiting Managers and friends went to Karaoke, Paul went off with his Girlfriend, and Nick and I headed for Kenrokuen for more Cherry Blossoms. Admission was free to residents, but we had to argue a bit at the gate to have the lady let us in. She was not about to let two tourists sneak in on her watch! Luckily we had our ID cards, so we saved the princely sum of 300 yen. Hooray!
Nick and I in Kenrokuen
Flowers are nice.
After that we moseyed over to the Castle, where we got a nice view of the city from an overlook on the old castle foundation. The keep has long ago burned down, but the massive foundation is still there, looming over that section of town. It really is a shame the structure is gone, but the dense forest is kind of nice too.
The Castle. Or at least whats left/ been reconstructed.
With the sun going down and the evening turning chill, we thought it wise to seek out the okonomiyaki restaurant. I tried the curry flavored okonomiyaki, which was surprisingly wonderful. I keep eating 'non-traditional' okonomiyaki flavors, and when I tell Asuka about it she gives me the weirdest looks and refuses to believe that they taste great. Actually tomorrow we are going back there, Asuka, Hiroaki, and I, and we are aiming to try the Capsicum-Okonomiyaki, made with Habanero peppers. I am really looking forward to this...
Also this weekend I am dropping by Nagano for some birthday party thing, so that should be great fun. Also, Less than two weeks till Ekelund Female Wave 1 hits Japan. Hooray!