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I Will Play With Sakura 2006

05/09/06 | by silverso | Categories: Photos


This is my third spring in Japan, but only my first time ever to see the much hyped Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri. Actually, that's technically untrue as I did in fact go once last year, but it turned out to be more of a barren branch festival.


Well I'm pleased to report however that this year the festival actually lived up to the hype, and the park was really quite impressive looking. While I'm glad to have finally seen the trees in full bloom, I'm not sure if it was worth the cost to my health. Ever since last weekend my throat has been killing me, likely the result of some kind of cherry blossom allergy I never knew I had. Unfortunately, Noheji High School is surrounded in cherry trees as well so it looks like I'm going to have to endure this torture for some time to come.




These look much nicer than they taste.



In addition to the usual live goldfish and turtles for sale, this year you could also buy your kids a cute baby chicken for only 200 yen! Anyone know if a soar throat is a symptom of Avian Flu?




The lame Disney truck was back again this year, as was the neat motorcycle stunt show.





The haunted house was back as well, with an even spookier and more confusing display.



There are no mini donuts on this midway, but there are lots of slimy alternatives.




There are some sweets too such as suckers, ice cream, snow cones, cotton candy and candy coated strawberries. Like most good tasting things in Japan, they all come with a hefty price tag though. A single strawberry costs 100 yen, and cotton candy will set you back at least 500!



Oh right, the cherry trees.




And here's a nice shot of the river lined with sakura.



Same location, but at night.




The park is quite beautiful by day, but it looks even better at night. The park is much less busy and the trees almost look like ghosts.



I thought I'd be a bully and torture some sakura, but they sure got me back for my insolence.




Cool looking old tree in the "pay zone". One nice perk about visiting the park at night is that the pay zone is free.




To conclude, here's a shot of Hirosaki's mini castle. It was really nice to get a chance to finally experience the blooming of the cherry trees before leaving Japan. That being said, I can't wait for it to end as I would really like to regain the use of my throat.

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10 comments

Comment from: charlie mac
charlie mac

Growing up at a house with a cherry tree, I always heard from Dad that the leaves are poisonous. After reading and seeing your attempts to actually chew a branch of it quite amazing.

Googling for different variations of cherry tree and poisoning yields interesting results such as “Scientists are convinced that cyanide naturally
present in cherry tree leaves was responsible for the mysterious illness
that killed hundreds of foals and fetuses in Kentucky thoroughbred country
this spring.”

Beware the cherry trees.

05/09/06 @ 17:21
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

Poisonous?! They really need some “Do not eat the blossoms” signs in the park. I could have died!

05/09/06 @ 21:53
Comment from: Seth
Seth

I guess you’re lucky that you only got a sore throat then.

So did you land the McDonalds job? I can’t wait to see your face on my McDs bag!

05/10/06 @ 23:49
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

No word yet from Ronald.

05/11/06 @ 09:33
melissa

What?! They cant be poisonous! I saw them feeding sakura to monkeys at the zoo (well, on TV). They have all kinds of sakura edibles (the Japanese I mean): sakura soba, tea and sake with sakura floating in it, sakura mochi…At recess my kids would eat the petals and they were just fine. I’d look into that bird flu thing:)

05/13/06 @ 13:46
Comment from: Jamie
Jamie

I think for the most part they aren’t poisonous, but from what I’ve read they can produce some kind of cyanide in certain cases where the petals are damaged.

05/13/06 @ 17:45
John Philips

I took my class for hanami this year, but the blossoms weren’t out yet. ;-(

Luckily only two or three of my students showed up. Most of those who came were from Professor Carpenter’s class.

05/16/06 @ 18:31
PAM BERBOMB

THAT MOS BURGER THING IS AMAZING, AND SINCE THERE IS A MOS BURGER RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM ME, AS I SPEAK, I’M GOING TO GO CHECK IT OUT. HAVE YOU TRIED THE BURGER WITH THE STICKY RICE BUN?

05/22/06 @ 08:29
jabranz

Jamie

Are you avoiding your overly demanding and expectant fans as well as life?

05/25/06 @ 00:13
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

Sorry fans! My parents were in town and I’ve been busy taking them around to all of Aomori’s super exciting sights. I’ll post something about it soon soon soon, I promise!

05/25/06 @ 00:35
Avoiding life and teaching English in Noheji, Aomori, Japan

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