Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sakura Matsuri 2012 - Washington DC

This weekend, in Washington DC, was the 52nd annual Sakura Matsuri, or Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival celebrates the 1912 gift of cherry blossom trees from the mayor of Tokyo to the United States, as continued celebration of friendship between the two countries (Thanks Wikipedia! :P). We at Cosplay-vania decided to take a day trip to DC to see what the Sakura Matsuri was all about.

(Stuart) After a very bumpy and wobbly ride on a double-decker bus, granting us very little sleep, we arrived in DC around 6:00 AM. One round of much needed coffee later, we were ready to hit the streets. First up in the list of events was the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. We got some pretty awesome seats on the side of Constitution Ave. to watch all of the floats and performers go by. Giant Scooby-Doo, Ms. Piggy, and Cherry Blossom Balloons, various groups of clowns, policeman, marching bands, and motorists, some sweet vintage cars, and plenty of pageant winners all got there applause from us. I enjoyed seeing the Bon Odori dancers and the Japanese drummers pass by (the toddlers playing the drums were really cute, hehehe). We also saw our first signs of cosplayers in the distance (the pink and purple wigs in the crowd gave them away :P).
We were SUPER Close to Katie Couric and Alex Trebek, the hosts of the parade. Then they walked away, lol.

Very pretty fluffy dresses and parasols :)

D20 dice XD

AWESOME Spider-walker machine from the Science and Engineering Festival representatives.



Clown-organ car for the WIN

This guys was a pro clown-cyclist!

Power Rangers made an appearance too! Though these were from the Ninja season that I didn't really recognize, lol.



The Festival:

Insert Kathryn narration here! After the parade was mostly finished (and our behinds were completely numb from sitting on the sidewalk for two and a half hours), we meandered a few blocks over to the actual festival area. Come 11:30 AM it wasn't terribly crowded, and it was pretty easy to get into the area they had cordoned off for the festival. We were also absolutely starving, as our McDonald's wake-up meal seemed like it had been an eternity before, so we headed over to the food stalls to peruse the wares.

Stuart and I tried the Yakisoba, which was alright, but rather light on the flavoring. Mimi had Takoyaki, more or less fried balls of octopus, which she enjoyed. All in all, not bad for stall food at a festival, but as the day progressed the lines got impossibly long and the food progressively less edible as the crowds grew in size.

There was a decidedly larger smattering of cosplayers in the festival area proper, but still not to a large degree. For the most part we just wandered from stall to stall browsing merchandise.

Totoro! And someone's awkward reflection.

There was even a station where you could try your hand at throwing shurikens at a target- Stuart tried his luck, but to no avail...

video

We also saw a group of people in Anigao (see Mimi's post), and I have to agree with her - it is insanely creepy looking. I have an aversion to Uncanny Valley and doll-like things anyway, but damn are those masks creepy.


InuYasha is freaking me out, man...

We wandered over to the J-pop stage and heard The Asterplace play - they did some covers of anime songs, which was pretty cool.

The drummer was hilarious

The last thing we stayed for was the Anime USA Cosplay Fashion Show (because honestly, by that point we were falling asleep on our feet).

And here is the point where I'm going to mini-rage, because in my mind, cosplay refers to dressing up as a specific character from anime, video game, comic books, or some other media. The minute they started including Japanese street fashions in the lineup, it rather soured the taste of the entire fashion show for me. I have nothing against people dressing up in Decora, Cyberpunk, Lolita, or what have you. Just don't call it cosplay, and certainly don't put it in a show dedicated to cosplay. There is a difference between Japanese street fashion and cosplay, and the fact that these were included in the line-up really got on my nerves.


Decora is fashion, NOT COSPLAY.

That's not to say that they weren't lovely outfits that were perfectly representative of the fashion, because they were. Just not of cosplay.

And now, in the interest of time, I am going to photo dump sans captions. Watch out, people. Here be pictures.






















And at that point we had been on our feet for most of the day, so we left the Sakura Matsuri area and hobbled over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History!

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History:

(In Mimi's voice) If you have been there, then you know it is probably one of the coolest museums in the whole entire DC area (lol). It usually takes me a while to get through museums, but this time we only took about umm...2 hours. We visited almost every part of the museum except for a couple that we were not interested in. We even attempted the insects exhibition despite my phobia for c**********s.

Kathryn freaking out about bones because she loves them so much!!!!

A ghostly picture of me trying to touch the whale replica!!! I really like how creepy this picture turned out.

Stuey not really getting attacked by a stuffed tiger.

Many silly pictures later, we were so tired that we had to leave the museum and hunt for food. We ate at "Absolute Thai" (I think) and it was absolutely delicious! NOM NOM


1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is super cool! I had no idea this stuff even existed! Thanks for sharing the pictures :D

    ReplyDelete

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