Unfortunately, the only Cherry Blossom tree in bloom at the highest (elevation) facility was this one:
Long range and closeup views of the Peace Statue, which is made of bronze, is 32 feet tall and weighs in at 30 tons.
saved millions of lives, Japanese and American. Maybe more important, Russia would have swooped in to claim half of Japan. Just look at how North Korea is doing. That would certainly be Hokkaido today.
This is a well-organized botanical park, with the latest in escalators and people movers. Alas, the Sakura was still sparse:
This is how foreigners dressed in those days:
The final scene is of a dragon:
Apparently, dragons are popular here because of something called Nagasaki Kunchi, their autumn harvest festival, which was first held in the 16th century. The dragon dance was the Chinese contribution to the October parade, and expanded to New Year's Eve.
Exhausted, I wended through the market next to the hotel and purchased my dinner of soba, sashimi, sake and stout:
Incredibly enough, I ate while watching the Japanese-dubbed version of the original West Side Story (Rotten Tomatoes: 94/84). I mean, John Astin speaking Japanese? Who is he? He was not Sean Astin's biological father, but he was married to Patty Duke when Sean was born. All very complicated. She was bipolar and during that period was also dating Desi Arnez, Jr., and got married to Michael Tell, who, it was later determined, was the real father of Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings). And, by the way, she passed away last year.
In any case, it was in 1961 when Gale asked me out to dinner followed by the opening of West Side Story in San Francisco. She arranged to borrow my roommate's car and paid for both dinner and movie. In the year we dated that might have been more than I spent on everything else. But she wasn't on scholarship. I wonder what she's doing today?
Natalie Wood (born in SFO as Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko) to the right died in a mysterious accident when she was only 43, being married at that time to Robert Wagner, for the second time. Richard Beymer (top photo), George Chakiris and Rita Moreno, all my age or older, are still alive.
Tomorrow: on to Osaka. I know the Sakura is blooming in neighboring Kyoto.