What would Japan be without Godzilla?
Godzilla is the new mascot of Shinjuku in Tokyo. They even made him an honorary citizen of the ward, citizen registry and all.
The new Toho Cinemas complex just opened in the Kabukicho neighborhood of Shinjuku, along with a big hotel. And Godzilla looms over the structure. I went to check it out today.
Godzilla memory – many years ago I went to see the latest Godzilla movie at the theater in Kabukicho. I was the only adult I think; everybody else seemed to be junior high school boys. So if you scanned the audience, all the heads were at one level, except for mine sticking above the crowd. The schoolboys were all very enthusiastic in telling me all about Godzilla details as we watched the movie.
Trivia question (no fair looking it up!) – what does the name Godzilla come from?
Along with one million other people who spontaneously decided to take off work on Tuesday (after all, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom), I went with a friend to Ueno Park for Hanami.
My friend, who wishes to remain anonymous lest her reputation be tainted by scandal, doesn’t appear in the photos.
The weather was amazingly beautiful. Another great spring day.
I’ve described the photos below. And if you click on them you can see them in full resolution.
The sakura variety seems to be different from those along the Nakagawa. The ones in Ueno were mostly white, while the ones in my neighborhood have a pinkish cast to them.
I like what feels like a “cloud of sakura” in the stretch of trees.
This one’s a panorama! So if you can click on it and pan from side to side you can see a lot of detail.
Looking up at the cherry trees.
People came early and reserved roped off spots for hanami parties. You can see some on the left.
These people were really getting into the Hanami spirit. There’s beer, Mt. Fuji and, I’m not sure, but it could be Abraham Lincoln with sunglasses.
Not to mention the cute “Sakura Inu.”
We had lunch sitting down by the lotus pond (the lotus were not in bloom). This is a special inari zushi sakura set from a shop in Ueno station which specialized in inari zushi. Delicious!
There was also one pink tree, which drew a big crowd.
I took another bike ride along the Nakagawa today. It was still a bit cold, but today I went without a jacket for the first time this year. After about 10 minutes of cycling I felt warm enough.
As you can see, the cherry blossoms are still not in bloom. Except, in one tree I saw some buds trying really hard to bloom, with just a peak of pink coming out. The clouds looked nice, and sort of dreamy.
I think all the action is going to take place over the next two weeks.
A slow motion video taken today at Shinjuku station.