Getting Old in Japan (April 2nd)

It’s My Birthday! I’m not generally one that celebrates my birthday, so I didn’t really intend to do anything particularly special for my birthday while in Japan. It was a Saturday that was seemingly like any other, except that we were going to go Sakura viewing! Sakura Blossoms are when many of the trees in Japan bloom, their leaves turning a light shade of pink or white, and begin to fall from the branches. In some places, it only lasts for a couple weeks… in others, perhaps 2 months, weather depending. But one of the RAs was taking everyone at Proxy (that wanted to go) to one of her favorite places to view the trees… I was really looking forward to it, as it was one of the things I wanted to see while in Japan, and the time period would actually allow me to do so!

There was of course the enjoyment of the walk all the way to the bus station…. and then to the train station… and then numerous changings of train. For the most part, nothing particularly exciting happened during this time. More or less, it was simply trying to get to this unknown station (unknown to most anyone except the RAs) so that we could work on finding our way towards this cherry blossom viewing area.

Even when we arrived at the right station, we almost immediately began to see cherry blossoms… there were not a ton of them, though when we found the small river that we would be viewing them from, they seemed to grow a lot more numerous, likely planted next to the river purposefully. But even still, we had a good 20 minute walk to reach the area that was our intended designation. But here are a few of the pictures that I managed to take along the way on our ‘voyage’!

But finally, after a long trek, surrounded by beautiful, blossoming trees, we would finally reach the part of the river that was intended to be our viewing grounds. It was obvious that it was a well-known, public area to view the trees as there were already numerous people there. But with our large group, we found a spot down near the water to settle down and enjoy the food that we had brought with us (mostly food from the grocery store we had purchased before coming here). There was a lot of talking, laughing, and sharing foods… it was fun overall. Despite the number of people, it was decently quiet, and the trees were quite beautiful to look at… occasionally, the wind would blow hard enough to make the leaves fall, and it was an enchanting sight… unfortunately, I could never get pictures or video of it. 😦

We got to the point where we were beginning to get ready to return… though it seems that the RAs had a little surprise for me. Apparently, they found out that today was my birthday via facebook (there was a facebook group we had to join to help keep in touch of things going on around Proxy)… and the RAs had purchased a small cake/cookie thing for me. So I got to enjoy looking at it while everyone sang to be really loud, causing pretty much the whole river of people enjoying sakura blossoms to look over at us… But the cake/cookie thing itself was rather good. And in the picture, there is actually 1 strawberry missing…. Jason was a dick and took it. He’s mean. 😦

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Once I suffered through eating my cookie (I was already full when they presented it), we were basically ready to head back. The travel back to Proxy was rather uneventful… and far less pretty than the trip there. But it was kind of a good thing, as it allowed me a few hours to gestate all the food I’d tried, as well as the cookie/cake thing that I got to enjoy!

But only 3 or 4 hours later, Myself, Jason, Declan and Rachel all decided to go to Katsudon for my birthday meal… it was pretty fun. The place we went to actually has a food challenge… you can get a 6 person serving of Katsudon for 25 dollars… and if you eat it all by yourself, its free. And if that wasn’t hard enough, they have a 10 person one as well. Of course, we got the 6 person one, though we split it between the four of us. But even so, it was rather sizable. One of the more amusing things was watching Declan during it…. he went from pumped, to slightly full, to more full, to looking defeated, all in about 30 minutes. Rachel found it hilarious. Overall, it was a great meal… and I’m glad I got to share it with some of the best friends I had managed to make during my time in Japan! … and Jason. πŸ˜›

After the sizable dinner, we managed to waddle our way back to Proxy… and I almost instantly went into hibernate mode. Overall, it was a rather enjoyable birthday, and I’m glad I got to share it with as many people as I did!

End of B-Day! 😦

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