I'm a little bit over doing all the things everybody else has done. I'm not much of a conformist. I like to figure things out on my own. Yet here I am following the paths of every person who has ever lived at Yokota. I've started doing some looking of my own. I've been reading a travel guide a friend gave me. I'm getting there. I'm going to find those hidden gems. That said, my boys loved this tourist trap. It was sunny and beautiful right up until the last mile of the trip there. It rained and rained and rained right up until we were ready to leave. We had about thirty glorious minutes of intermittent rain in which Fuji decided to shine brightly.
Other than that, this trip was a bit disappointing. No flowers + rain + the cost of dressing up doubled(locals, it's 1000 yen/person as of 1Apr) . The ladies doing the dressing part were equal parts charming and terrifying. One was the sweetest lil ole lady and the other was possessed by a demon. No, she wasn't that bad, but she caused a Russian woman to throw a kimono down and walk out, yelling, "Terrible customer service!" in English as she went.
I told my boys, "Just stand there. Don't try to help. Don't speak, just let her dress you." They did great and were so stinking adorable. They are usually noticed by people when we're out and about, but this place was different. They were like celebrities. Simon and Titus soaked the attention right up. Felix and Jude were game for a few pictures, but they got over it pretty quick. SO MANY PEOPLE stopped to take pictures with them.
I imagine this little village looks amazing when everything is in bloom. I'm bummed we missed it, but we had a good family day. I never get to be in pictures, so when Sean said he didn't want to dress up, I handed over my camera and said, "Have at it."
He was very authentic looking until the Levis and Nikes. We weren't about to point out that Grandma Beelzebub forgot to put samurai pants on him.
This was a little artist's shop. He had some AMAZING paintings. People were shuffling in for his autograph, so I think he's at least locally famous? I have no idea, but when he offered to sign the prints I bought, I said, "Absolutely!" Actually, I said, "Hai," quietly because he hadn't understood anything else I'd said in English up to that point.
The weather was seriously jacked up. It only cleared right over Fuji. Everywhere else was still grey and rainy and blah.
All the people taking pictures of Fuji.
After the thatched roof village, we headed to Chuerito Pagoda. I knew the cherry blossoms weren't there yet, but since Fuji was out I thought we should head that way and try for some pictures. By the time we made it to the pagoda, Fuji was back behind the clouds again and didn't peek out even a little bit while we were there.
One tiny little tree was just starting to pop.
Kids starting to unravel at this point...
And that's that. Two typical tourist destinations in one day.