So, Hanami season is over. The rain and wind of the last couple of days means that most of the blossom has now fallen. Shame. I'll have to find another excuse now to abuse my liver.
Saturday night was my second hanami party. This time the many trees in the park were in full bloom and pretty awesome to look at. I'm not sure how many people I was with (!) and people kept coming and going and -- well, I was drinking and talking, okay?! The park was packed with people on tarpaulins, sitting and drinking and having picnics. Some were dancing or had musical instruments with them. One group had a table in the middle of their tarp, with a pole coming up from it and a disco ball attached. Crazy stuff, but great atmosphere - felt a bit like a festival or campsite!!! And afterwards, inevitably, we went to karaoke. Except the buggers really annoyed us: they kept turning the heat up in our room and turning the lights on and cancelling songs we'd programmed in. And then they tried to overcharge us.... We paid a lot. But not the lot they were requesting.
We are now on the run from one of the Tokyo Karaoke Mafioso.
Sunday, due to a slight hangover, I didn't have so much to drink at the hanami party. Sunday's party was in a large cemetary and, again, there was a huge amount of people sitting on the ground eating and drinking, playing music, etc. The cemetary was beautiful, though somewhat windy and the atmosphere wonderful.
One random Japanese guy with a video camera came over to us and asked if he could record us, and could we just continue talking to each other!
But one of the funniest things was a pizza delivery guy came around to us and gave us a leaflet. Yup, you got it: we could have had pizza delivered to our gravestone party!
I hope all the spirits of the ancestors enjoyed the hanami as much as everyone else did.
Afterwards we went to an izakaya and I had a lovely shochu drink: amino acid, honey and lemon flavour. Nice!!!
We walked through a closing market afterwards and their was a skip of tuna heads. I thought tuna were small: these heads were bigger than mine. Naturally, I took some pictures. Naturally, it may be months before those pictures get anywhere near the blog!!!
And, talking of heads: picture an adult female with two high ponytails on either side of her head. One is dyed black, the other red. All the rest of the back of the head has been shaved and is stubbly. Shaved INTO this is a LARGE orange Mickey Mouse head with a little gap in the cheek were a little red heart has been added. Curving under the head, in green letters, is the word 'DISNEY'.
WHY????? What possessed you?
Today was fun. Had lunch in a wonderful cafe in Ebisu called 'Good Honest Grub' - the kind of place you really want to find so you can just linger for hours. The menu was all in English and I had a wonderful grilled chicken ceasar pitta bread thing there - the first pitta bread I've had in nearly 7 months....... and apple crumble! Yummy :D
We then went to a fantastic contemporary Spanish photography exhibition and the Metropolitan museum of photography and mooched around that for a while. The pictures were amazing and we spent ages disecting them, before going to the nearby BEER museum. This was all in Japanese and wasn't greatly interesting. The beer drinking area was really cool though, and the beers, at 200 yen a pop were very nice!
And as it was raining we had umbrellas with us. We locked our umbrellas up in special umbrella cages to keep them safe and secure!
Good fun in all!
Oh, and here's an interesting article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/japan/story/0,7369,1451704,00.html - it's all about how Japan's virgin wives are turning to sex volunteers.
It's also common in Japan for divorced couples to remain living together...