Today was Hanami Day but before I could join in with the festivities I went to Harajuku as it was a Sunday. It was packed to the rafters there. The era of the cosplayers, gothic lolitas and other tribes mingling on Harajuku Bridge that I had seen when I first came here in 2006 definitely seems to be over now. There was nobody on the bridge except for tourists. I had to pay a visit to the now empty Hello!Project shop. It’s strange not seeing it there anymore. I didn’t enjoy fighting through the crowds on Takeshita Dori so after a brief visit to Kiddy Land on Omotesando I left for Yoyogi’s Book-Off and then to Ueno Park to see the sakura there. It was amazing and there was so many people around with hanami parties all around the trees.
At 12.15pm I headed off for my own hanami party in the park at Nishi-Kokubunji. Met up with my best friend, her boyfriend who I was meeting for the 1st time and her friend. We went over to the conbini to pick up some food and booze before going to the park. I even tried my first taiyaki (fish shaped snack with red bean paste inside) which was delicious. The park wasn’t exactly packed but there was many families there and I suppose the cold weather today didn’t help things. My best friend had bought a badminton set for us to have fun with which we did. After a couple of hours at the park we retired to my best friend’s place with a bottle of champagne and wine. Both girls cooked myself and my best friend’s boyfriend a lovely meal. We talked for a couple of hours until I left my best friend to be with her boyfriend and went with her friend for a bout of karaoke which was great fun before coming back to Shinjuku by midnight. It had been a really good day and I had enjoyed my very first hanami. I want to do it again someday.
A thoroughly miserable day – raining on and off for most of the day. Went to Akiba to trawl through the shops there and bought 2 t-shirts (one K-On and the other was Strike Witches). Also visited the Tokyo Anime Museum at the UDX Center. A small but interesting museum. The special exhibition was on the master thief Lupin III and all the stuff he’s been in including the new TV special that aired in February.
The urge to visit Nakano came over me again so off I went on my 3rd trip to Trio 2. Bought a couple of items there.
In the evening after popping over to Shibuya I went back to Nishi Kokubunji to have a bit of a chinwag and drink some alcohol with my best friend. A good deep conversation which I always enjoy with her. It doesn’t matter if it’s just messing about or having a lively debate about something I’m guaranteed to have a great time with her – I guess that’s why she’s my best friend.
Landed back in Shinjuku at 12.45am – a little bit worse for wear. The Chu-Hi and Cola Shock cans are lethal to drink and I found that cans have much higher alcohol content than what I’m used to in the UK!