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See the Cherry Blossoms

March 29th, 2008

Though we caught a glimpse of the cherry blossoms last week as they were just starting to bloom, Sachi and I figured that we’d see them in their prime this week. We decided to go to two different places. Sachi dislikes Shinjuku, so we didn’t go back to Shinjuku Gyoen (though I think that’s really the best place for cherry blossom viewing, as it’s big, well-kept, has lots of trees and varieties, and has elbow room to spread out in–a big thing when you see the other places), and we decided that Ueno would be too crowded.

For some reason, we thought Inogashira Park in Kichijoji would not be. Big mistake.


You really can’t understand the press shown in this photo, it isn’t done justice here. There’s a quaint, narrow shopping street going from near Kichijoji Station to Inogashira Park, and it was packed enough most of the way–but the last 50 meters or so was intolerably jammed. We virtually inched along, with some jerk at my back apparently thinking he’d move faster if he pressed up against me and pushed. The jam was caused more by the large number of people on the street lining up for yakitori at a place called Iseya, near the entrance to the park.

Once inside, the park was little better–it was sardine time, worse than I’ve ever seen it. To top things off, the park has adopted a new don’t-feed-the-birds policy, which meant the loaf of bread we’d brought would go to waste, and there was little else left to do. Forget going out on the lake in a boat, the line was tremendous. Even just walking along was bad enough. Still, a few shots did result from the visit:



In addition to the blossoms, some Oshidori (Mandarin Ducks) were in attendance, though they were just about the only birds there; since the no-feeding policy, the number of birds in the park has plummeted. Clever idea they had there.



So after walking through the park for about fifteen minutes, we’d had enough, and went back to the station, and on to Meguro. Sachi knows the location well because she lived nearby for a while. There’s a river lined for a good distance with cherry blossom trees, and so we enjoyed ourselves there, somewhat better because it was far less crowded.





One thing we did notice was that it was Crazy Day. First, there were accidents on both train lines we wanted to use–the Yamanote and the Inogashira. In fact, as we took the Inogashira Line, we passed a station where, at the end of the platform, there appeared to be two human bodies completely covered over by tarps, apparently explaining the accident delay. A bit of a shock there.

Then, a little later on the same train, some guy came racing through the car; we thought he needed to get from one end of the train to the other fast, but he stopped at the end of our car… and started touching advertisements. Only the ones on either side of the doors–first the ads on one side, then the other, then to the next set of doors, all down the length of the car. Obsessive-compulsive or something, I suppose.

Then, in Meguro, there was quite a bit of craziness brought on by simple drinking, including these guys pictured below (apparently just back from a wedding), who had one member pretend to climb over the railing while the rest, for some reason, sang the Hanshin Tigers baseball team song.


Nevertheless, Sachi and I enjoyed ourselves with a pleasant few hours’ walk, and then dinner at a nice restaurant before heading back.



One last image. Just before we finished up in Meguro, we passed a taxi parking lot, and spotted several cats who had learned about warm car hoods. Two were on one taxi, and another underneath; I caught the couple on the hood.


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  1. ykw
    March 30th, 2008 at 02:46 | #1

    Nice pictures !

  2. March 30th, 2008 at 03:21 | #2

    Oh man, I miss Tokyo. And one cups …

  3. Hachigatsu
    March 31st, 2008 at 03:35 | #3

    Looks like the new camera is doing you well! Very nice photos, I’m quite jelouse I must admit.

  4. Luis
    March 31st, 2008 at 14:35 | #4

    Alex: “One cups”? (Oh, wait, the sake in a can?)

    August: you mean, it’s your turn to be jealous. I did that for a while, and you actually inspired me to get this camera, after all. Thanks for that, by the way.

  5. March 31st, 2008 at 23:23 | #5

    Wow, that’s great; I had no idea! One cup sake, the kind you can get in the kombini for Y300 or so. Perfect for the park.

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