Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pictures from our 1st train ride and the Cherry Blossom Festival

This past weekend we braved the trains for the first time. They were much easier than we thought, which is good, because that is a BIG way to travel around this country. On and near base, you can drive. But to go into Tokyo, driving takes about 3-4 hours. By train it is about 1.5 hours (and that is with lots of stops on the way). We live right near Fussa Station, on the Ome line. 
Brett waiting for the train, checking out the vending machines. They are EVERYWHERE!!! I've read there is something like one for every 20 people in this country, and I believe it! They sell drinks (blue buttons are cold drinks, red buttons are hot drinks), and some sell alcoholic drinks as well. They vary from sodas to coffees to teas and everything in between. I guess I should never be thirsty here!

You can see that there are a LOT of people that ride the trains (and this isn't even rush hour!) 

The Cherry Blossom Festival we went to was held at the Showa Memorial Park. There are tons of these festivals all over, but this one was close to us, and supposed to be very pretty. We weren't disappointed!
This sign must say "cherry blossoms" or something like that :)

 These reminded us of Texas bluebonnets, although they weren't the same flower of course.
Here are a few more pictures of the Cherry Blossom Festival. The trees were everywhere and were very pretty (although they are even more in bloom this week). More than the trees were the people. There were Japanese all over! Basically, a festival here means: bring a blanket, picnic basket (including alcohol if you want- Brett was excited about that part), and just hang out on the grass and people watch and enjoy yourself. We didn't bring a blanket or food, but we know for next year! We did get a bite to eat at the little booths that were set up around the park. It was a beautiful day (sunny, mid 60's) and we had a great time. 

Brett asked me if I was going to take a picture of EVERY branch. I smiled and said yes : ) Of course I didn't, but they were so pretty, I just couldn't help but stop and take several.  I think it would be neat to get one of these pics blown up and framed to hang on the wall, as a Japanese keepsake. If the baby is a girl, I'm thinking of doing her room in cherry blossom motif, and would hang it in the nursery. If it's a boy, well, I still might enlarge a picture but hang it in the living room instead (no pink flowers in Brett's boy's room!) 
A close up of the blooms:

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