Finally, it's time for Hanami parties! The Japanese tradition of finding some cherry blossoms, getting a picnic together and relaxing under the beautiful scenery. There's usually food, drinking and socializing for an entire afternoon involved. I also learned that some of the more popular parks will start having spots "reserved" with picnic blankets super early in the morning...
Luckily, Tsukayama Park in Hemi was not that popular. Joe was hit with a 48 hour flu, so after I worked on Saturday, Logan and I headed out for a walk...
The way was clearly marked with signs on the street poles and flags...we had a blast walking and looking for where we were supposed to turn next!
It was a nice walk to the start of the hill that we needed to climb. I'm not sure what it is, but all the nice little parks are at the top of things in our area..probably they were the least desirable housing location and it was easy to leave them undeveloped.
I've learned with Logan on this trip that he is an awesome walker....slow and steady and he can go and go and go. Motivation with a picnic or roller slides certainly doesn't hurt....and today, we had both on the plan.
We kept following the lanterns up and up and up...until we found the festival! We scoped out a few things, grabbed some yakitori and then found our own little spot under a tree. It was a ton of fun...We munched on food, Logan ran around the hills and we just relaxed. We explored a little more in the park and found some sort of children's festival...Logan was invited to play a few games and got random snacks as a prize. Totally fun and very nice....
After the Hanami fun, we headed up to Kanazawa Zoo to find a very special park. More roller slides were rumored to be here...we didn't do the zoo (I've been advised to stay away from the zoos in Japan, given my general dislike of them.
This was like the epic park to end all parks...amazing roller slide, awesome climbing to get back up the hill. We could have spent ages there. Logan made a friend in a boy about his age and his grandfather. Both spoke amazing English...it was a cool thing to watch Logan give his new friend a hug goodbye.
The rules of the roller slide. No superman, no pushing, no airplanes.
We ended up the day checking back in on Joe and then going out for dinner to Sushi-Ro, the sushi go round at the mall by us. On the way there, we enjoyed all the cherry blossoms in Verny Park.