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Osaka: Osaka Mint Cherry Blossom

It really was my last time to view cherry blossom this year! We went by the Osaka Mint on Monday where they have an impressive array of late blooming varieties.

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Everyone else went to enjoy it too!

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Lolita: Starbucks Sakura, Kira Imai Popbox, USJ and Hello Kitty Karaoke

I had a lovely weekend, first I nipped to Jane Marple to buy the Alice dress. The staff member was very sweet and remembered me from the other week, she took the dress I wanted off the rack without me reminding her which one or colour!

Then I met with Anne who is leaving Japan soon :( We visited Starbucks for a Sakura White Chocolate drink. I got the latte and thermos drinks cup.

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Osaka Mint Cherry Blossom

J and I went to the Osaka Mint on the 15th not realizing that they were closed to prepare for official cherry blossom viewing which started on the 16th. Which was a shame as the blossom was in full bloom!

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I was lucky enough to be invited back on the Sunday with my Japanese conversation class! Though as we joked it turned into more of a cherry blossom leaf viewing!

The viewing was only one way, and I’d heard horror stories of being crushed but it was relatively quiet, mostly because most of the blossom was on the floor! There were still a few trees with blossom and everyone was fighting to get to the front to take pictures! The blossom was very pretty, my friend said they are like small bouquets hand tied to the tree, and I agree!

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After we walked through we strolled along the food stalls at the edge of the river.

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Interesting watering system.

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Takoyaki.

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Huge tuna head.

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And at the end we had a picnic! :)

Later in the evening I met J and we went back to have a beer at one of the stalls.

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3

BBQ and last of the sakura

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day, I went back to Osaka Castle with a BBQ!

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Sadly it rained really heavy Saturday night and the wind was howling so most of the beautiful blossom had been washed away.

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It didn’t stop people enjoying the sunshine and what was left of the sakura though!

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This guy was hogging the best spot for some corporate dinner.

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You can see just how much blossom was lost in two days:

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And one last picture…

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Sakura 2013

Last weekend seemed to be the peak for most of the cherry blossom in Osaka and sadly I had to attend a training course on both my usual days off.

I managed to go to Osaka Castle one evening, but their special light up hadn’t started yet. So instead we just sat under a tree and had some snacks and beers.

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I had a day off on Tuesday instead but J didn’t :( so we couldn’t go far. We just went a few stops down the loop line to Sakuranomiya and as the name suggests they have a lot of sakura.

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4

A weekend in Tokyo (day 2)

The following day in Tokyo the weather was pretty miserable :( I got up fairly early, had the hostels Japanese breakfast and walked to Ueno Park.

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On the way.

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Ueno Park! Wow. The cherry blossom provided a canopy to walk under for as far as the eye could see.

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Despite the rain people were still out having hanami parties! I saw one group wrapped in bubble wrap!

After I’d walked the length and back and sat and had a pastry I decided to head to the Skytree Mall.

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I checked out Q-pot and the Rilakkuma store but didn’t buy anything, I just got some Denki Bran for J and some Tokyo Banana for work.

I walked from the Skytree to the Sumida River to look at some more cherry blossom near the Asahi building. Then on to Asakusa for lunch.

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I had one of my all time favorites – Tendon Tenya! I even bought a couple of bottles of their delicious sauce to take back with me.

It was nearly 3pm so I went back to the hostel to collect my bag and make my next plans. I said goodbye to the staff.

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Aren’t they so sweet?

The rain had let up a little so decided to stick to my plan of going to DisneySea with their after 6pm ticket!

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I waited and read my book for a while, then just before 6 joined a que with the rest of the waiting people. The ticket guy introduced himself and asked us if we were ready, and were we going to have a good time to which we all chanted hai hai hai! At 6 on the dot we were allowed in.

My favorite ride is the Tower of Terror but it had a 160min wait! Woah. The park closes at 10pm so wouldn’t have time for anything else. Instead I went to some gift shops to buy Duffy merchandise.

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I walked around a bit taking it all in.

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Then joined a que to meet the man himself – Duffy!

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Yay! I got a hug and a high five!

At 8pm the light show started on the water so I headed back to the waterfront to watch.

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That’s Cinderella at the top and a boat of Snow White characters.

My bus was leaving from the Disney car park at 10.10pm and couldn’t miss it, so while the fireworks were starting I headed out the park to go home.

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My shopping haul –

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