Shizuoka Sakura Matsuri

Posted on Monday, April 05, 2010 | 0 comments

   Saturday, we went downtown to meet some friends for the Shizuoka Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival). It's held I think the first weekend in April every year, and the timing for this one was almost too late--by next Saturday, probably most to all of the cherry blossom trees will have sprouted leaves and lost a lot of their flowers.
 This festival can get quite crowded, especially on Saturdays, when they have a 3 hour street dance-a-thon from 5 to 8 pm. Still, it's worth braving the masses of people at least once to see the dancing--and of course the trees themselves. Sunpu Park is where the majority of cherry blossom trees are, and while it's probably not the most beautiful viewing location around, it does provide lots of room for hanami (roughly translated to 'cherry blossom viewing party', basically a picnic under the cherry blossom trees, usually involving beer or sake).
 It's a little sad to think that the cherry blossom season has passed again so quickly, but at least that means warmer weather is finally on the way!

                           Lining up for the annual parade

                          I think that maybe this guy was supposed to be Tokugawa Ieyasu
                                             Sunpu Castle

                     We tried the jumbo takoyaki this year...unfortunately, they were nasty! No flavor and not much tako (octopus) or spices inside, either. If you like takoyaki, stick with the regular-sized ones.


              Sometimes the festival-goers are more fun to watch than the parade members...look closely, she actually has a cat tail attached

                                     And, the front view....Meow!

                            Night dancing

                                     This kid wins 'Mullet of the Year'