Saw this sign in Berkeley while walking to the BART station. Not related to Sakura Matsuri at all, it just amused me.
At the festival, I caught the tail end of the parade. This was the very last of the mikoshi: the sake mikoshi! Yes, those nearly naked guys were standing on it as the others carried it on their shoulders down the hill. One of them was even bouncing up and down. I felt kinda bad for the porters. Some of the folks walking alongside would occasionally toss cupfuls of water over them so they wouldn't get heatstroke.
This was the next to last of the mikoshi. The porters for this one were all teenagers from the neighborhood, I think.
The reason for the season:
That object you can barely see through the cherry branches is the Peace Pagoda.
And of course, it wouldn't be a Japantown festival without a bunch of crazy white people dressed as anime characters:
It's hard to tell from this distance, lighting, and resolution, but that first picture, with the Sailor Moon cast? Yeah, those are all dudes. With beards. Dancing and doing karaoke of the opening theme.
They needed to work on their synchronization.
This one's for maggiemarmalade: a couple of FLCL dolls in the window of the model shop. Unfortunately I have yet to master the art of shooting through glass.
Picked up a CD at the S.F. Taiko Dojo's store in the Japantown mall, and a flyer for the Soko Gakuen Japanese language school, which I'm seriously considering. I just need to figure out which class I should join (I've taken a few years of Japanese, but it was a long time ago and I'm really rusty. Still, I already know kana and some kanji.)