Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sakura Trees in Yokohama

It's cherry blossom time in the Kanto Plain!  We decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and head to Yokohama for a walk-about.  We left the house and headed to Chuo station around 9.  Then, we hopped on the train to Yokohama Station, a quick 30 minute ride on a slightly busy morning train.  Luckily, a nice gentleman gave up his seat so our two little ones could squeeze in and sit for most of the ride.  Once in Yokohama we had to make a 'quick' stop at the Apple store to have Kris' phone looked at since it decided to just stop working Saturday night.  Well, we were number juu-san (13) in line and they were only on number yon (4) when we got there....so, that little wait took a lot longer than we thought.  The kids kept themselves entertained with their DS games for the most part.  Then, the swively chairs were just screaming to the kids to spin as fast as they could, so....we took a little walk.  I wish we had decided to walk much earlier than that because there is an awesome store on the sixth floor.  There were dinosaur dig kits, funny shaped ice cube trays, tiny farm and zoo animals, all kids of science stuff, and some funny looking games.  A trip for another day, I guess!  Kris' phone was done at a little before noon, so we headed back to Yokohama Station and then got on the train to Hinodecho Station, just a four minute ride, and then we headed toward the river.  

This is Ookagawa River.  There are cherry trees lining the river for as far as we could see or walk.  On the weekends during cherry blossom season there are vendors set up along the river selling food and drinks and probably toy vendors as well.  Today, there were only a few, but we weren't headed in their direction.  

The trees are beautiful!  They must be pretty close to full bloom, which happens at about the tenth day from when the tree starts blooming.  The kids immediately started picking up all the blossoms they could carry without crushing.  Then, they would smoosh them and dump the mess before picking up a handful more.

The walk along the river was very peaceful and nicely shaded from the heat of the sun, which made for a lovely walk.

My handsome husband was the only one in the group that would voluntarily stand still for a picture.  The kids would hide behind trees or wiggle as soon as I tried to shoot a picture.

Most of the sakura trees were a very light pink.  However, we found a few that were a fantastic dark shade of pink.

At the end of this road we made a slight left turn and then got on Sakura Dori (Sakura Street) where cherry trees line both sides of the road.

There were a lot of photographers here taking shots of the blossoms.

By now it is past lunch time and the kids want to eat NOW!  So, we gave up on Garlic Joe's, where we weren't sure if the kids would even like anything on the menu, and headed for the Hard Rock Cafe, where we know the kids will eat burgers or chicken nuggets.  The place was almost empty.  Mackenzie had chicken nuggets and fries, Garytt had a hot dog and fries, Kris had a chicken sandwich and fries, and I had a chicken appetizer.  We have definitely lived here long enough to forget how big American sized portions are!  Kris could barely finish his sandwich, I only had two of my SIX chicken tenders, Mackenzie and Garytt - who were both STARVING when we got there - didn't eat half of their meals.  Of course, as soon as we stepped outside they were both hungry again.  Good thing Daddy put the leftover food into his backpack.  :)

We left Hard Rock and walked toward the pier for a little walk along the water.  The kids sat and munched on their chicken nuggets until I was done walking around snapping pictures.

Next up, a flower show at the Red Brick Warehouse.  This is our first time over by the Warehouse.  They are beautiful buildings, from both sides.  I had already packed up my camera and promised the kids I was done and we were heading to the train station when I realized the other side of the building was definitely picture-worthy, but, I promised...so, another time.

The flower show wasn't as spectacular as I thought it would be.  There were only a couple different types of flowers and they were mostly just in square beds.  It was getting late enough that the kids were ready to just go home.  Mackenzie had fallen and hurt her knee, which, of course, made her limp all the way to the train station.  (But, was quickly forgotten once we got back to Yokosuka).  

So, we packed it up and headed back to the train station on our way home.  The kids did put on their jackets for the walk home since the sun was starting to go down and the air was cooling off.  All-in-all, a marvelous day!  The weather was perfect for just walking around enjoying the scenery.

The walking route:  Hinodecho St. to Motomachi Chukagai St.