AROUND TOKYO
We had a rainy Saturday, but on Sunday the skies cleared up, so we decided to walk with our pup Lilly along the Tama River. The cherry blossoms were just starting to come out. It was a bit on the cool side, but not bad.
Teresa and Lilly pose in front of a cherry tree.
I got a chance also to pose with the pup. We parked at the Seiu (Japanese Walmart) and walked a half dozen blocks to the river. The river has a nice paved path along the side, going several miles north of the base, and 25 miles south to Tokyo Bay.
At the northern end fo the path is this cool Shinto shrine. Beyond here you have to travel on residencial roads for a dozen miles to get to lake Okutama. Which I've done once...a very interesting journey.
On the way back, we stopped at a festival and watched some Taiko Drummers.
All the lead drummers were ladies, with two supporting drummers in the back that were men. They did a very good job. Earlier they were doing Tea Cermonies at the same spot.
We then went down the vendor tents and got some indian style chicken and spiral potato chips on a stick. It was all very good.

Then we walked back to the Seiyu and our car. It was a good casual Sunday.

The following Saturday I drove us down to the Army post at Camp Zama. It took about two hours to drive there. They were having a spring festival there, and the Tokyo SCA groups were doing a rapier championship to decide on the next Baron. I am too busy with work and such to do a good job as Baron, but I was happy to be the judge/safety officer, which is called a "Marshal" in the SCA. I'm wearing the red sash as the Barony's Rapier Champion, which I also passed along to a winner of that event, that I also served as Marshal for.
I proudly flew the Black Tigers rapier group flag over the main tent.

And flew my personal battle flag over the fighting area.

There were many Japanese SCA members there, as well as many American members.
My three students, Andrew, Jewel and Josh also came to see the event and practice.
Here several American SCA members warm up and practice fencing.
I help out with a few pointers and suggestions before we got underway, first for the Baronial title, then for the Rapier Champion title.

We bow to the current Baron and Baronness before the match starts.

The contestants line up and give their respects to the Nobles.

There were many bouts, each person fighting a matrix box, with two of three rounds per match. So, every contestant got to do alot of fighting with each person.

Here Lord Otto fights the current Baron.

Ladies as well as men fought for the coronet, which is what a Baron or Baroness wears on their head. Sort of a small crown.

In the end Friak Jak won the contest, to become the next Baron of Val de Draco. (Valley of the Dragon). I was not able ot stay for the feats, but I had a great time. The drive back was a challenge tho, in the dark driving thru the Tokyo area. Challenging was a polite word for it.

The next day we took a few hours and walked thru Showa Park. When we had been there a week before with Mike, there was nobody on the bouncy hills. Now it was packed. Which was to be expected, as the hills were now open, the weather was better, and the cherry blossoms were happening.

We took Lilly, who had a great time and had many admirerers.

After a while we spotted this group of college students all dressed up in blackish outfits.

I talked to one of them, (as they dragged me into their group for some fun) that they were all Film/Theater students and they were filming something special as a birthday present for one of their members. I have no idea what their script was about...but they all seemed to be having alot of fun.
They all spoke a bit of english, and were enjoying the warm weather. Zombie/Vampire/Bank Robbers maybe?
To say it was full of people was an understatement.
But, I have seen it much more crowded. It was a good day.