Cherry Blossom Season!

Ever since the last Moi dix Mois lives, I've had quite a bit going on, so I thought it would be fun to share on here!
This year spring has been coming ever so slowly, and finally at the beginning of April the cherry blossoms have bloomed.
As you may already know, cherry blossom viewing, or "Hanami" is extremely popular in Japan, and for good reason. They're breathtakingly beautiful!
In fact, I did hanami not once, but twice this time around...although, I kind of wonder if one of the times really counted? The reason is, the first time I didn't really see so many and it was already starting to become dark out so it was a relatively fast trip. However, that brings me to the first topic I want to cover in this entry...

A dog show!!

You may be wondering "what does a dog show have to do with a Mana-related blog?" ....Well, nothing...
But its something I personally enjoyed and wanted to write a little about!!

Some years ago I went back to visit my family in the US during the summer and I went to a dog show for the first time. We have two dogs at my parent's home, a Shih-tzu named Motley and a Chihuahua named Alice. Actually I've been surrounded by lots of pets my entire life and only owning an Axolotl in Japan is sometimes a bit lonely...a lot of people fulfill that kind of loneliness by going to cat cafes, but I'm not really a cat person. Before you freak out, I don't hate cats!! I just really prefer dogs. I wont go into long details, but when our Chihuahua was a puppy (right before I moved to Japan) there was a huge problem and she nearly died. At that point in time my mom was undergoing surgery and I ended up being the only person in the family who could tend to the dog. I spent many painful days trying to save her, so by the time she got better we gained a deep bond. Even though I say I've had pets all my life, I'm not sure I can entirely compare the relationship to those pets to this one in particular...its extremely special. Therefore, when I heard about the dog show in Tokyo this year I had to go!!!

The dog show had two main areas -- one was a hall filled with various booths to buy dog related goods (clothes, food, toys, etc) where tons of owners brought their own pets to show off and take pictures at some photo booths. Its amazing what lengths people will go in Japan to make their dogs look insanely cute!!
The second hall contains competition and judging for the actual dog show.
Unfortunately I arrived a little late, so I only caught the end of the show, but it was still interesting.
This year Lucy, a Japanese Borzoi, won second place at the Westminster Dog Show, so I was hoping to catch a glimpse of her at the Tokyo Dog Show, but to be honest I didn't expect to see her...the dog show already had special industry days a few days before the public opening days, so I would have had no idea when she would make an appearance, if she did at all (I'm sure she did, the owner is from Chiba).

Anyway, to make a long story short, it was an unforgettable experience!! If I get the chance, I want to go again one day in the future!

So on to the cherry blossoms...

On the same day as the dog show, my friends and I decided to walk around and see the cherry blossoms at the sea side a little!

By the way, I took most of these pictures with a new camera I received for Christmas!! I'm completely obsessed with this camera because it has some really special and unusual functionality that I specifically asked for. I'll have to write more about it one day...its seriously awesome!!

Sadly there weren't a lot of cherry blossoms at the sea side, but I did find a particularly beautiful tree on a hill next to the ocean, but trying to get a shot of it proved difficult. I ended up climbing as high up the hill as I could and took a picture of it directly in front with the ocean in the background.

I know there are places where you can see cherry blossoms along the riverside, and I was thinking about doing it today but I backed out at the last minute...
At least I got a picture of one by Tokyo Bay, and that seems to be something kind of unusual. I really like it!

We also took a short walk to the beach near by, so once again I couldn't resist getting a picture of it!

It truly felt like within one day, I had visited so many different kinds of terrain!
After a lot of walking around and going here and there, the night came to an end and that brings me to today...

hehe, as I said on social media, "If you get it you get it"

Today was once again a few different places, but maybe not as diverse as the other day.
First of all, we made our way to Midtown...

The beginning point of Tokyo Midtown is beautiful, but unfortunately most typical photos don't do a lot of justice for it. I tried to take a picture lower to the ground to get the scene of not only the cherry blossoms, but also the small water fountains, stones, and garden in the center. The funny thing is, several people noticed me doing this, so suddenly I had crowd all around me doing the exact same thing!(;゚∀゚)
I don't know why, but some how this kind of thing always ends up happening to me!! Are my strange antics really that interesting?? I don't think I'm doing anything truly exceptional...but maybe when people see me they think they're missing out on something good (they're not).(≧∇≦)

On Sunday several people at work told me Midtown was worth going to for Hanami, so thats sort of why I ended up backing out of going by the river side. I was told places like Meguro River, Chidorigafuchi, and Sumida River were also a lot of fun, but would be insanely crowded...I really really considered it, but at the last moment I thought some place closer would be easier...not only that, I wanted to check out the cemetery again like I did a couple years ago (maybe I should have gone to the river side though...still kind of mad at myself for not doing it. Meguro is only 2-3 stations away(ಠ_ಠ)).

Turns out Midtown was nice, but it wasn't as many cherry blossoms as I had hoped. After a short time there, my friends and I headed to Aoyama cemetery.

I've posted an entry with tons of pictures there before, so I wont post as many this time around.

As a joke, I brought Tenebre along with me for the one picture I posted before this one, but then when I found a tree that was easy to put her in, I surprisingly got a really good shot!( ̄ー+ ̄)
Also, I know the picture with the cross has nothing to do with cherry blossoms, but when I saw the red and white trees near by I thought they were beautiful too.

As you can probably see from these last few pictures, there were petals floating down from the branches. To be honest, however, its the same petal in every picture. What happened was it got caught in a spider web, so I thought it would be easy to take a clear shot of that petal up front, with the trees a little out of focus in the background. The problem was, the petal wouldn't stay in one place and I couldn't seem to make the shutter speed fast enough to get what I really wanted. I ended up taking so many pictures just to get the perfect one that my camera battery eventually died. I tried again a few more times with my ipod, but to no avail. If only I had my SLR camera, I probably could have gotten exactly what I was trying for. I guess the pictures I got anyway still look pretty good.

After that, we ended up leaving the cemetery and walking around for a while until it was time to go home.

I imagine with in the next few days almost all the petals will have fallen and life will go back to normal. Its amazing how something as simple as a looking at a tree can create such a huge event like hanami. Even though its sad to see the cherry blossoms go, maybe it wouldn't be as special if they were around all the time. I guess that ultimately means its best that they only stay around for such a short period of time.

With that being said, hanami this year was so much fun and now I'm looking forward to doing it again next year!