Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sakura Festival in Sakurashinmachi / 桜新町のさくら祭り

Sunday was another nice day and as this is also my wife's day off, we decided to go on a date.  We were having a hard time deciding where to go so we just hopped on the subway and decided to wing it from there.  We were thinking of maybe going to Kamakura or Enoshima.  Or perhaps go in the other direction to Kawagoe.  But then we thought if we really wanted to enjoy those areas we should leave earlier in the morning.  So, we decided to get off the subway at Sakura Shinmachi.  This area is known for the long running and popular anime series "Sazae-san".  The area houses the "Machiko Hasegawa Museum", creator of Sazae-san.  As we left the subway station and made our way to the streets we were surprised to find that a festival was taking place.  I was only thinking of taking pictures of the recently added bronze figures from Sazae-san and then we would walk to Gotokuji, the shrine said to be where the maneki neko (the beckoning cat or lucky cat or good luck cat in English).  A stage was set up in the middle of the shotengai (market street) and when we were there, hula dancers were performing.  The local fire department had their fire trucks on display, there was truck where you could experience what its like to be in an earthquake and of course quite a few souvenir and food booths.


As we were walking along the shotengai, I happened to come across Fune-san (the matriarch of the Isono family - Sazae's maiden name)

Of course I had to have my picture taken with Fune-san.


As we continued to walk, I also met with Fune-san's husband Namihei and his brother Umihei!


And then I ran into their son-in-law, Masuo-san (Sazae's husband).


So if the parents and Masuo-san are here, that could only mean Sazae-san should be nearby as well.  And yes, I met up with Sazae-san as well.


And if the adults of the family are here, that must mean the kids - Katsuo, Wakame, and Tara-chan are somewhere to be found as well.


Why is an American like me so happy to meet up with Sazae-san and family.  The answer is simple.  I am an army brat and my elementary years (1st thru 4th grade) were spent living in Tokyo.  So I grew up with Sazae-san as well (did I mention it is a really long-running anime series?).


These festivals bring out the kid in me.  A chance to check out fire trucks - boys will be boys, of course I had to check it out.


Should I become a volunteer fireman?


This is the truck where you can experience what its like to be in an earthquake.


Sazae-san's family can be found in many different places.


There is even a Sazae-san cafe which opened recently.


Sazae-san in front of the Sakura Shinmachi Koban.


This is the Machiko Hasegawa Museum.


Sazae-san Park / サザエさん公園
Where is Fune-san?
Apparently shopping on her own.
The festival was fun, but it was time to continue our walk.  We decided to go to Gotoji from here.  It would be a 30 to 40 minute walk.  But the weather is so nice that it will be enjoyable walk.

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