This spring time was extra special because Chris is here. Usually, the ship is out every spring. But because of a schedule change, he was able to enjoy sakura season, too! You have to understand, it's great getting to see and experience fun things in Japan throughout the year, but I'm always a little sad because I feel like Chris is missing out. So, I really appreciate the times when he is here to experience Japan with me!
Our first outing was to the Ogi Cherry Blossom Lantern Festival. This event has literally been on my calendar for a year. The festival is only for one weekend in the spring and last year I didn't hear about the festival until a day after the event. I have been waiting for it and I was thrilled when I found out Chris would be here, too! The town of Ogi is about an hour and a half away. The festival is in a park with hundreds of cherry blossom trees, but the amazing part happens at night. They light up hollowed-out bamboo with candles and the whole place glows. We wanted to get there in the early evening to see the park before the lights went out and then experience the park at night, too. This festival was definitely worth the wait. It was an amazing sight to see! Here are a few pictures from the festival...
|At the park before all the sun went down...|
|The lake at the park lined with lanterns and cherry blossoms.|
|As the sun was going down, the candles were being lit.|
|All of the displays lit up|
|This is what the bamboo displays looked like... they were cut out, and then the openings were covered in rice paper and lit from the inside with candles. Amazing!|
|Another view of the lake and lanterns at night.|
|At our Hanami Picnic on Easter Sunday|
|With our wonderful friends, John and Jessica|
|Getting ready to go down the "roller slide"|
|A view of the long roller slide... it is made up of many rods that spin you down the slide.|
|A huge grassy hill you could slide down with a sled... here he goes!|
|And he made it to the bottom! This hill was slick!|
|A slide that literally goes straight down!|
|And finally the zip line... we couldn't leave until John and Chris had a race!|
|I just love the parks that hang lanterns among the cherry blossoms!|
|The bright pink blossoms are my favorite!|
|I don't know what these flowers are, but they looked like delicate little bells.|
Happy Spring, everyone!!