Cherry blossoms and mad baby swan boat driver in Ueno Park

We took a break from the bustling city-side of Tokyo to stroll Ueno Park. The lake was lined with cherry blossom trees. They were past their prime, but still beautiful.

These ladies asked where I was from. I told them USA, and the one in blue said “United Kingdom”? To quickly clarify, although I am from MA, I said “New York” and they applauded for 20 long seconds. I felt like an imposter, lol.

Elise passed through the striking red torri gates, lit incense, and rang the giant gong at Bentendo Temple. When I asked an elderly attendant in a gray and blue kimono questions about the temple, he gave me a flier and a bookmark, and, smiling, held out a peach-flavored lollipop to Elise.

After all that friendliness, we were unprepared for the epic battle that was to take place on the lake. Although there should have been plenty of room for everyone’s swan boat, the wind (and steering ineptitude) caused a number of crashes. The fiercest boat, by far, was commandeered by an adorably round-faced baby Japanese girl. Her boat slammed into ours twice, and yet, cleverly hiding her intentions, she waved at us cheerfully.

Miraculously unscathed , we continued our walk through the park. From this vantage point, the mighty urban bustle of Tokyo, more populous than entire countries! (eg Canada, Oz), felt like a distant dream.