It was another early wake up at 5:00. Art and Dennis decided it would be a good time to get some laundry done since the machines would probably be open.
Then there was another re-examination of what we'd need to send back to Narita, what we'd be sending to Beppu (our stop after Sendai) and what we'd be carrying in our one suitcase.
I was able to make sure pre-arranged posts were going up on my blog. It worked fine all the way until Blogger decided to make changes in their set-up. Now nothing goes up until I manually publish. Sheesh.... Anyway... back to the trip.
Art also had to constantly check the weather conditions so everything he planned would go smoothly and whether he had to switch to alternatives for bad weather.
We then took a walk in our Hiroo area near the New Sanno hotel to view more cherry blossoms. The warmer weather was coaxing the blossoms to put forth their show.
The photos I've been posting have been taken by either me, Art or Dennis. I know this was Dennis' photo.
A little before 1:00, our friend, Sam arrived. He helped to send off two of our suitcases via Yamato takkyubin to Narita and two to Beppu. You normally cannot store your bags with the takkyubin service for such a long length of time, but Sam had worked his magic so that we'd be able to travel with far fewer suitcases. We then caught the train to Chidorigafuchi which is the moat outside the Imperial Palace...
and was totally blown away. It was spectacular, and it wasn't even in full bloom quite yet.
There were a lot of people, but we could walk around with ease. Sam told us that two days later it was so crowded that it was difficult to find a good place to view the blossoms.
The lane leading to the gate had gorgeous branches of cherry blossoms forming a floral canopy.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Sam got us ice cream cones.
We kept trying to capture the incredible beauty of each blossom. I never did manage to do it justice.
Mom enjoyed talking to the people at the Information table to learn more about the cherry blossoms. I know they were happy to see her interest.
And yes, there were other flowers there too. I loved the pattern on this iris.
We then traveled by train to the Gaienmai area where Sam and Keiko treated us to an amazing tofu dinner at a restaurant called Ume no Hana (Flower of the Plum). Almost everything they served was created by some form of tofu. It was fantastic! We loved every single morsel. We couldn't believe the sort of epicurean magic they could create with tofu!
When we returned home, Sam and Keiko had tangerines, strawberries and bananas for us. We would have it for breakfast the next morning to the chagrin of the New Sanno's Emporium restaurant staff who thought we would be coming.