We’ve had a fun long weekend — Saturday we went to an Aikido demonstration (which Jen is going to post about, so stay tuned) and then out with friends to an Izakaya (Japanese bar that also has a lot of food) that specializes in chicken and fish on the grill and sake and shochu. Shochu is almost like vodka — it’s a strong clear liquor without a lot of flavor on its own, although sometimes it does have a distinct taste.
Sunday we had a date to play boardgames and eat pizza with some other friends, which was lots of fun. And then today after Jen’s AM meeting, we headed out to Rikugien Park on the far side of the city. Rikugien is a landscaped Japanese-style garden, covered in a maze of little pathways, and four seasons of flowers so it’s beautiful whenever you visit. We are a bit inbetween spring and summer at the moment, but the azaleas are still blooming, a variety of flowers had popped up in the woods, and the forest and other greenery was all lush, bright, and full.
When we left the house it was hot and sunny, but shortly after arriving at the park the clouds started to move in. Keeping an eye on the sky we made our way around the central pond, and wove through most of the park before the skies opened and the thunder and lightning began. Fortunately we were right next to an adorable little tea house, so we pulled up chairs, got some tea, pulled out our books, and waited for the rain to stop along with a handful of other travelers (Japanese and otherwise). Finally when it cleared up a bit we came home, made a very garlicky dinner of Mediterranean chicken pita pockets, and are bracing for the coming week, which is going to be a bit busy. We have events every night, some of which we are hosting, so for the moment we’re doing a little prep but mostly putting our feet up.
Here are the photos from the park: