Cherry blossoms are beautiful, of course, but many places are famous for their sakura, while the park in my town is the only I've heard of famous for its azalea plants. (For comparison, here's last year's post around this time.)
All that's left of the sakura:
There is a sad dearth of places to sit in Japan. It was especially terrible in Kyoto, where I wandered around in an increasing state of exhaustion and frustration and found Exactly Nowhere to seat myself. That's why I appreciate this park all the more, with its many hidden away benches and bowers.
Because it had been raining the day before and the grounds were still a lake, there wasn't much festival going on. But there were still a couple food stalls open. I bought some yakisoba, and since I was probably their last customer for the day as it was starting to drizzle, they gave me extra heaping noodles and picked out the cutest egg-heart topping:
This is the start of Golden Week, a week of holidays smushed together for a decent vacation. I'll be going to Tokyo for a couple days tomorrow, and on the seventh we'll be taking the first-year students to Disneyland. I'm a bit nervous about taking 200 twelve-year olds to Disneyland, more so because of the influenza paranoia going around. I'm also worried about the latter's effect on my desire to visit home this summer - hopefully the craze has died down by then.