Yesterday, Yuko and I went to a rose festival in Utsubo Park, near where I work. So even though it was Saturday, we took the subway into the city together.
Utsubo Park (which was once a military airfield, but no trace of that remains, except for its long narrow shape) has a huge, beautifully laid-out rose garden, and this weekend the roses were in full bloom.
You can see that lots of people are carrying umbrellas – not because it’s raining, but because it’s sunny!
To celebrate, there were stalls, music, dancing and entertainment, as well as lectures and guided tours. One stall had a device to test your squeezing strength. It seems I’m not very strong, but my excuse is that my hands were a bit slippery with sun-cream.
Outside the rose garden this cow was making a balloon animal for a child:
This dancing stilt-walker was entertaining the children:
While music was provided by this high-school band and dancers:
There was also a large group of people dancing to traditional Jewish music.
We left Utsubo Park and went to another rose garden, on a river island called Nakanoshima in the centre of Osaka. It’s a lovely part of the city, with some fine buildings and lots of open space.
Each of the roses had a plaque noting its country and year of origin, and the name of the grower. Several of the roses were credited to a grower called “McGredy” from Northern Ireland.
Note on the word of the day:
The Japanese word for rose, bara, is written with the kanji characters 薔薇. This is famously difficult to write, and the word is commonly written with the katakana characters バラ, as I used for the title of this post. But nowadays when you are writing on the computer, you don’t really need to know how to write the characters anymore—the computer knows. So maybe complicated kanji like 薔薇 will be seen more often.