Came back from Kyoto to wade through the annual November happenings down my street. Such a great variety of stalls from grilled scallops to sausage to gyros to flavored ice to candies. It’s really great fun but the crowds are immense. After the long train ride, trying to just pass through it all was tiring. At least this is still Japan, everyone moved in an orderly fashion and the huge police presence made it even more orderly. Problematically the exits and entrances for the Metro are highly controlled and the one nearest my house was reserved for ingress rather than egress.
This weekend we visited a Shinto shrine, Yushima Tenmagu, not far from the house, over near Ueno park. It was cold and rainy, but the plum blossom festival went on nonetheless. I had not thought about what sort of temple it was, but once I saw all the food and trinket vendors it could not be Buddhist (shochu sales and … belly dancing?????). It was nice to see something so local that we had passed over through the years.
Valentines day was uneventful. We watched some episodes of Glee. I was surprised to see the mention of Singapore (“tidy streets and the cane … that’s what we need here!” hahahah) when the coach did a segment on the local news. That and some pad thai, and the day was over. Valentines day in Japan is different than elsewhere. Here it’s for the girls to give all the males in their life gifts, while on White day the roles are reversed.