Okay, what is with this weather we are having? Last week we had temperatures in the mid-twenties and it felt like summer; tonight when I left Zumba it was snowing. I want the 20 degree weather back please.
Back on topic, I think I owe y’all some pictures. I wanted to try and choose the right pictures to describe the day and it was hard. I’ve been looking at pictures for days. Decided it was time to get it done. Here you go, day one in Japan…
Saturday, March 10
I arrived in Tokyo on Friday afternoon. The heat in the plane was cranked during the 13 hour flight from Toronto to Tokyo. It was hot in the airport. Dragging our baggage around, trying to find our way out of Tokyo Station was a nice, warming exercise. When we checked into our hotel room in Tokyo it was too warm. And you know if I’m saying it was too warm, it was warm.
That all changed Saturday morning during breakfast when we looked out the window and saw it was snowing. I wondered if I should go back up to the room and grab a sweater before we left, but we were heading south, to the Izu Peninsula, so Cory thought we’d be fine.
We took a Shinkansen (nice, fast train) to Atami, and from there rode local trains to Ito and then Kawazu. It was chilly waiting on the train platform in Atami, so we had hot coffee/tea from the vending machines.
The local trains are slower, they make lots of stops, but we were warm and there was lots of scenery to take in along the way.
The platform at Kawazu looked down over the town, so we could tell we were in the right place…
…and that we would have no trouble finding the cherry blossoms.
Notice how warmly people in the photos are dressed? Yeah, it was not the nicest day. Still, the festival was pretty crowed. Kawazu has the earliest Cherry Blossom Festival, the rest don’t start until April. This was the last day of the festival, and a Saturday, so not surprising that lots of people would be there, even if it was not exactly a sun shine-y day.
Here, we commenced our walk through the cherry blossoms…
And stopped to look up.
Along the route there were vendors selling all kinds of things – street food, souvenirs, produce and other food items. This place had chocolate covered strawberries, which we enjoyed.
Farther down, around a corner, we came to a walk along the river, with cherry trees on both sides, branches meeting overhead. Along with everyone else, we took our time strolling along. Cory said that coming to Kawazu had obviously been a wise choice, because I hadn’t stopped smiling since we arrived.
There were little signs along the way; I’m sure you can guess why I took a picture of this one.
When we got to the end of the cherry blossom tunnel, we saw the ocean. There was a walkway (an actual tunnel, if you will) under the street so that pedestrians could safely cross. We went under the road, up the stairs to the beach where we watched the waves for a while. It was really windy though, and pretty chilly.
Coming back through the tunnel under the road, we walked along the bottom edge of the cherry trees. There were a lot more vendors down this side, a lot of the food vendors were giving out samples. We had a sample of cherry blossom candy, which I found kind of gooey and chalky and not very pleasant; then we had a sample of seaweed which I liked.
It was actually warmer in the center of town, and we stopped at one of the vendors there to buy some food. This was my first experience with Japanese customer service where the vendor didn’t speak English. She was very friendly and cheerful and she babbled away at us even though we obviously didn’t have a clue what she was saying. Cory pointed out a few things, which they packaged up for us, and then they totalled it up on a calculator and showed us the total on the calculator; smart way to do it.
We walked around Kawazu a bit and it was interesting to see, I did take a few more pictures, but not that many. This one though, I couldn’t resist.
After a stop for soup (Cory can’t pass up a noodle soup and considering how cold we were I don’t blame him), we got back on the train to Tokyo.