Japan: SAKURA FANTASIES and HANAMI DREAMS

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ceci les couleurs des mes reves
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this looks like a neo-impressionist painting by Georges Seurat

I’ve been going on and on about this, since my first Japan blog entry… One of the main reason why I came here during spring time is to see the sakura and experience hanami. Scenes of people drinking and having their picnic under the cherryblossom trees kept playing in my head since i was a kid. I remember watching it on tv from a Japanese documentary.

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part of naomi’s bird collection
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i will miss their lovely japanese home
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japanese breakfast – tofu, rice, miso soup and lotsa veggies

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This morning, Naomi and Satoshi prepared a traditional Japanese breakfast for us. Everything was of course, oishi! Eating rice for breakfast is nothing new to us asians, but this one is healthier than our “silogs” (fried dish, fried rice, fried egg) in the Philippines.

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The weather today is perfect for hanami. We drive to town and tried looking for a place to park. I think the whole of Saitama is out on this wonderful day. I see children and families enjoying themselves as we drive by. Layers of images right before my eyes – hundreds of pink blossoms in the background, families doing their independent activities, people walking in and out of my frame – I feel like I am watching an infomercial promoting Japan, but this time I AM IN IT!

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mmmmm oishi!

Everybody seems to be going the same direction. To the park we goooooooo 😀

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We bought some food from Mo’s burgers, a japanese fast food chain. Really good actually, nothing like what that golden arch fast food offers. Here i found out that iced teas are not sweetened, you need to ask for sugar packets if you like. The burger was yummy and filled with veggies too.

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sakura fantasies and hanami dreams

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oj, iced tea, burgers, fries and onion rings

My gawd, my first hanami!

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The atmosphere is so nice. Friends and families gather here to relax and have their time off from work. There are young girls dancing in their kimono and some grannies showing us their moves, playing the japanese percussion called taeko.

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Toto had a lot of fans while we are walking around the park.

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the most comfortable shoes ever
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toto and titi ;p

Naomi taught me how to ask someone to take a picture of us, in japanese. I don’t know how it is spelled, but this is how it sound to me – “SHA TA, USTE ITEDAKIMAS KA ” hahahaha, I practiced saying it a few times, then i am ready… And i think they understood 😉

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finally, a picture with them looking at the camera 😀 (well except for toto)
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photo together, success!!!

I will head back to Tokyo later, so Satoshi and Naomi took note of my checklist of things to consume and to look out for before i go.

  • Japanese breakfast – check!
  • sushi and temaki – check!
  • Japanese burgers – check!
  • matcha ice cream – check!
  • yakitori – check!
  • miniature kawaii goodies – check!
  • watch a ghibli film in japan – check!
  • stay in a japanese home – check!
  • onsen bath – check!
  • hanami – check!
  • ninja kicks – up next 😀

Now that the task is almost complete, I am now worthy to get my ninja kicks. Where to get some? Well, at the hardware shop of course!  hahaha. These jika tabi are actually worn by japanese construction workers, and okay, ninjas too.

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half nike, half ninja
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hahahahahalukatdat!!!

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Bought this black one and fell in love with another kind of tabi. Funny how i had to go all the way to Japan to be a ninja, only to find out that this are from the Philippines. Hahaha huwow halukatdat!!!!!!

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Arigato Satoshi, Toto and Naomi 😀 Aruruteynkyu for welcoming me into your wonderful home, for preparing delicious dishes, for touring me around and for helping me achieve my japan checklist. My sakura fantasies and hanami dreams finally came true, thanks to you two.

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