we started the day by waking up the birthday girl with hugs and kisses, and gave her a tiny furry dog keychain as a present.
actually, she knew that this whole Hokkaido trip was supposed to be her real birthday present (this and the Pentatonix Gig earlier this month, which i still owe an entry for), so getting an additional white tiny furry keychain — which we bought in secret yesterday at the airport because she couldn’t stop playing with it at the store — made her super happy 🙂
in the morning, we didn’t have any plan at all. so we decided to go out for a walk around the neighborhood again… we went by the river, which was not impressive at all. oh, except for their vintage pedestrian crossing bridges. they all have helix stairs!
as we walked a bit further down, we stopped by the Akarenga Terrace and visit the Old Hokkaido Government Building. they have a small Japanese Garden at the front of the building.
and an old man was painting the garden while we were there…
surprisingly, one (or more?) tree in the Garden was shedding, and it shed cotton-like fluff that flew, floated and piled on the ground like warm snow… it was very beautiful! and we thought, this is a perfect birthday gift for her from the city 🙂
she was busy playing with the snow-like thing along with many other Japanese kids in the park for over an hour! they were running around, trying to catch the floating fluff and jumped on top of the fluffy piles… it was so much fun for her.
in the middle of running and kicking around the fluff, all the sudden the Japanese kids left. the moms said, there was Matsuri passing by, and they all were going to watch it.
it turned out that today was Sapporo Matsuri. every year on the 14-16 of June, there is a Hokkaido Shrine Festival, where there are food stalls and carnivals at Nakajima Koen at night, and a parade during the day. too bad, we couldn’t make it to Nakajima Koen, because we were leaving for another city this afternoon. but we caught the highlight of the Festival itself, which was a parade of portable shrines around the wide road of the city, pulled by men dressed in Heian era. it was a loooong procession with soooo many of shrines on wheel passing by… some shrines came with dancers, some carried traditional singers and percussions… it was an amazing view!
once the parade over, we walked back to the Sapporo Station to meet Noushka and Ditha, our travel buddies on this Hokkaido Trip. oooh, can’t wait!
anyways, happy birthday, Kiddo… we wish you your version of the best life.
More photos of the day at the Sapporo 2015 album at Flickr.
Other entries of this trip is at Hokkaido Trip Summer 2015.