We did not realize it until he picked us up, but he had gotten out of his hospital bed because he just had to show us his favorite cherry blossom park. After our two hour tour, he went back to the hospital and a week later, passed away. Dr. Ito spent his professional career with Tokyo Electric Power, and he was the leader for the team that built and tested that OTEC plant at Nauru, which, unfortunately, was destroyed by a hurricane. A couple of months later, Pearl also died. While this location has more variety than any Sakura park, the memories are very difficult for me:
Interestingly enough, the first photo I took was a statue that startingly, almost looked like Pearl:
Even the hairdo is the same. This photo of her was taken a year before she passed away:
There were some bonsai Sakura:
And a wide variety of cherry blossoms:
Of course there were other flowers:
I then went over to Shinjuku Gyoen Park. First, though, to Takashimaya for an onaga bento with sparkling sake and Yebisu Premium beer. There was a mob of people in line to enter. Then I saw this sign:
Anyway, there must have been 100,000 people in the park.
Finding a place to eat should have been impossible, but by some miracle, three minutes into my walk I saw a shaded bench, with a wall blocking the secret police from seeing what I was drinking:
Anyway, no problems. I might comment that bentos costing more than $20 are not worth it.
I found the ideal spot for the ash tossing ceremony. On the other side of this pond, under the whitish Sakura:
The people also made my hanami memorable:
What a grand day. I return home tomorrow.
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