The International Association arranged for a lunch potluck under the cherry trees today at 11am. I cooked a huge pot of Malay curry and rice. However, we wanted to see the parade first so Dave went into town on his bike to check it out – we knew driving would be a mistake with all the people and traffic. He rang me up to say the parade had not started and to come into town. I said ‘how about the curry?” He said we will come back for it. Lucy’s bike has a basket.
The parade was really fun, reminded me of July the 4th parade in Truckee, only very different. The men, somehow are pant-less!! Dave said they wore diapers but I saw a guy with bare buttocks!! Some had underwear on – they wore a short yukata – like a short kimono top but nothing on the bottom!! There were alot of dancing and gold chariots on top of wooden structures and were carried by lots of chanting men and women, and always, there will be a lady or two balanced on the wood structure dancing. It is as if the men and women carrying the chariots wanted to unbalance the dancing ladies. The route they took was lined with awesome cherry blossoms.
We went back home, loaded the curry and rice and rode our bikes towards the castle grounds. We had been visitng the grounds to view the blossoms since last sunday but today they were at their best – freshly opened a couple of days, they say. What a difference the whole castle area looked – so magnificient. This was even better than Ueno Park in Tokyo! Everywhere you looked was just blossoms – we walked along the moat under a canopy of beautiful flowers.
By the time we found our picnic area, the food was mostly gone. Evryone had gathered there from 11am but we wanted to see the parade. So we ate the food we brought, chatted some, made new friends. Went home about threeish.
When it was dark, we again rode our bikes to the castle – yes, it is the happening place today – to view the blossoms under lights. Awesome! I don’t want them to go away – I just want the blossoms to stay!