Saturday, March 5, 2016

there's a festival every day in japan!

We drove into Tokyo today to check out the Setagaya Ume festival.  Ume is plum and plum blossoms bloom at the very beginning of spring- just a few weeks before cherry blossoms.  I actually like the coloring of Ume blossoms better- but they aren't as grand as the Sakura blossoms. Luckily- the festival today was kid heaven.  

Japanese mascots never get old!  but metta's coat is old.  and hideous.  but she loves it and wants to wear it EVERYwhere.

The food wasn't as exciting as most Japanese festival food- but the park made up for it. It was very dangerous :)

 I was so worried about splinters on the giant wooden slide!
and this slide was just insane.  Zeb hit a bump at the bottom and caught some air.  the landing was not soft!  we saw some poor japanese baby hit a bump- flip over- and bang his head all the way down!!  that's why Kent opted to ride with mack!! over and over and over again. Mack was obsessed.  also- see that little boy in the hat in the center?  Kent nearly plowed him over.  It was so funny.

mack's favorite spot was this maze of metal bars.  He thought the whole set up was perfect!!  
He tried desperately to shimmy his way under the shortest bars- but as soon as he layed flat- he couldn't figure out what to do.  and he thought that was SO FUNNY.

I think Zeb is the only kid who didn't cry at some point today.  Metta stood up in this jumble and hit her head pretty hard.
mack tried to crawl through a tunnel and half way through decided he wanted to stand up.  Only the tunnel wasn't tall enough.  Kent had to go in after him as he repeatedly tried to stand up.  He hit his head every time.

Ike took a major spill on the rope swing.  He skinned his knees pretty bad and has been limping ever since.  There's nothing worse than skinned knees!

but, seriously, these toys look like death traps, right?  it reminded me of some of the old soviet playgrounds I saw still standing in Russia while I was there!!

I snapped this pic just before I yelled at ike to GET OFF the roof of that building!!  Zeb was on his way up but got nervous and was stuck.  There were a bunch of kids up on the roof of a weird old building at the park!!  that's ike in the red.
my favorite part of the day (I'm only sorry I didn't get a quality pic with my camera!!) was this guy and his cat.  I saw them arrive on his bike.  The cat just hung out on his shoulders all day.  I love cats.
we did get one tasty snack at the festival!  they sold balls of dough that you rolled out yourself and wrapped around bamboo poles and roasted over the fire!  It was pretty fun.

I think I did a pretty good job with ours!!

if you look closely in this pic- you can see Kent's mustache for the military's 'mustache march' .  I think it's atrocious.  and I don't think the base pediatricians should be able to see kids with them.  It's super creepy if you ask me (or any other mother out there!!!).
 can you see Zeb standing in the center of the pic?  this place was pretty adventurous.

 also-for lunch- we had McDonald's spring time specials!  the teritama chicken and egg sandwich (its the one in the back) and cherry blossom fries with a cherry drink!!  can you see the pink sprinkles all over the fries?!  everything was delicious.   I am going to miss Japan McDonalds SO much.
It's been awhile since we had a good weather saturday AND Kent off call so we could go exploring!  It was a really fun day.

These are some pics from the Daruma festival we went to awhile back!  The Japanese get these giant daruma heads and fill in their eyeballs with black ink as they accomplish the goals they want during the year.

I just loved this booth with masks.  the love of animation and masks and cosplay is so crazy here!!!!
I also really love the insane colors of Japan.  I am really going to miss the craziness when we have to move!!
we rang the giant bell as a family.  I'm sure there's some purpose to it!  but we have no idea what that purpose is.
we also washed our hands and mouths with temple water.
and we found the slide :)  the old japanese ladies LOVED watching our kiddos.
this guy spoke great English and really wanted to sell us some Daruma heads!  but on these days- they mark up the price nearly 200%!!
the line to get up to the temple and do the japanese bow and double clap was UNREAL!  we got there just as the temples opened so we beat the huge rush- but this is what it looked like as we were leaving!!!
how many face masks can you count here?  the Japanese take flu season (and every season!!) VERY seriously.
the lighting on these next 2 pics is super crazy because of the bright sun and the reflection off the festival awnings- but I love them both.
and it looks like mack has little devil horns :)  Which is fitting right now,  since we are in the midst of the toddler tornado phase.  He's a little tasmanian devil all of the time.  Messes, chaos, falling, bruises, screaming, etc.  Kids are such a joy :)
luckily the people here still can't get enough of his blue eyes, blonde hair, and chubby cheeks.

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