Final plum blossoms in Ome

Yoshino Baigo

Yoshino Baigo Plum Blossom Garden, Ome, Tokyo

Very sad to hear that all the plum trees in Ome, Tokyo’s Yoshino Baigo will be cut down in an attempt to stop the spread of the plum pox virus. The virus has infected the trees since 2009. They’ve been cutting down the infected trees and surrounding trees every year since then. However, even after destroying hundreds of plum trees, the virus has not been eradicated. After this year’s plum blossom festival ends on March 31, 2014, they will cut down all the trees.

We won’t see another plum blossom festival in Ome for at least several years until they replant. Now is the time to see it if you can. More photos here.

Tokyo Marathon 2014

Tokyo Marathon was held on Feb. 23, 2014. Here’s a collection of the most outstanding and incredulous costumes. I was near Suitengu Station which was about 10 km from the finish line.

Monkey head

Monkey head

This guy was running with his bride with heart-shaped balloons.

This guy was running with his bride with heart-shaped balloons.

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Japan mailbox. Painted on his face is the symbol of the Japan post office: 〒

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Jesus Christ, barefoot!

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Well coordinated.

From another planet.

From another planet.

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Carrying a surfboard while wearing rubber slippers.

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The biggest costume I saw. Couldn’t get a clear shot though.

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Very popular mascot named Funasshi, from Funabashi, Chiba.

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Ouch!

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Santa Claus with a big bag of presents.

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Geta clogs matching his monk costume.

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Kabuki

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Cross dressers galore

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Tuba player

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Monja

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Yep, these costumes can get hot.

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Golden frog. The note from his mouth says, “Feed me” (as in money).

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Man named Joseph. He’s got a small camera on his head as well as a smartphone rigged in front of him.

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At the end, a few buses carried runners who had to give up. The buses were quite empty though. The 36,000 runners had 7 hours to complete the marathon. Some 96% finished it.

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