Sorry again for the long delay.Kendra here. We've been doing nothing for a while now...we ran out of money. For reals. Like, no money. We had enough for some food and we managed to scrape by with some help from some friends, but thank goodness I get paid tomorrow!
A while back, we got to celebrate our friend Mana's birthday at a park in Kyoto while doing some Hanami, sakura flower viewing. It was a delightful time. Here are some highlights.
This is the view from Shijo bridge overlooking the famous Kamogawa river in Kyoto. It's lined with all kinds of Sakura all the way down both banks. Brilliant.
This is one of the more famous trees in the park where we went. It is a variety of Sakura that resembles a weeping willow. They get very big and live a long time. This one has been around for quite a while. It is roped off so no one can hurt it. It's always surrounded with tons of people taking it's picture. They even light it up at night (see picture below)
So, the basic set up of one of these hanami trips is kind of like a pic-nic. Only, drinking is encouraged. Really encouraged. It's a big tradition to sit under the Sakura and write poetry and drink sake and lament about the beauty and impermanence of human existence. Or, do like we did and be noisy, blow bubbles, and drink . Although Aaron did compose some Haiku for Mana's birthday. (see video below)
Here is Mana and Karen starting with the bubble blowing madness. We figured we spread the love and blow bubbles all over the park. We've been drinking for a while by now.
Yah, you're reading that bag right...Sandpie Assort. It translates to Assorted Cream Pie Sandwich cookies. See. Sandpie Assort is soo much easier to say!
Not sure what is going on,but Andrea has a bottle of wine in her lap and looks really embarrassed or amused by something.
So, people started leaving by 8 pm, but a bunch of us stuck it out for a few more hours (bad idea!) and stayed until it started raining. Well, once it was really coming down, we decided to leave. On the way out, we passed the weeping Sakura with its night lights on. Ohh...aahhh.
The journey home was tough. I had on flip flops and the side walk was wet and I basically slip'n'slided my way to the train station. Once there we bought tickets then realized we missed the last train we could ride. So, we got our money back then called Andrea and begged to stay at her place. Of course, being the awesome person she is, she took us in. We were all wet and all kind of drunk (minus Katherine who doesn't drink) so we were a bunch of soggy yahoos and all ended up borrowing some of Andrea's socks...
This is on the train ride home next morning...nice. But before we left, we went to the Falafel garden and pigged out on falafels....the only place you can get them properly is in Kyoto, and myself being hung-over needed some good food. It was one of those great meals you eat after a hang over and feel 100% better. Amazing.
Before we got all the way home, we had to stop at a famous theatre in Gion (an entertainment district in Kyoto...not that kind of entertainment...this street is famous for traditional Japanese arts and Geisha tea houses). Every Spring they host the Miyako Odori, which a public performance of the geisha of Gion's dancing. I'm a huge fan of geisha art so I've been wanting to go since I was about 14. So, I spent the last bit of our money on the most expensive tickets >_< butttt....you get tea ceremony and a commemorative plate! We ended up with great tickets. I'd do a post about the show but no camera allowed in. I'll try and find some official pictures online or something.
Here is our attempt at poetry under the Sakura. It starts nice...the ends with shouting. Typical!
Our next post will be about out climb of Mt. Maya, Mt. Rokko's next door neighbor. Also, Mom and Jason are coming to visit in under a week! Oh boy!
Peace and love,
Peace and love,
All conversations lead back to Journey.
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