Tanabata Festival in Little Tokyo

About a month ago, I went to Little Tokyo to celebrate the Los Angeles Tanabata Festival.

If you don’t know about the Tanabata Festival, it celebrates the meeting of star-crossed loves Orihime, the weaver star and Hikoboshi, the cowherd star who according to legend can only meet once a year during Tanabata. The Japanese wish during Tanabata for this couple to meet once again. Also, they celebrate this festival to wish for good health and a goal/career wish.

The customs are were to have on the seventh day of the seventh month (July 7th), people write their wishes on colorful strips of paper called tanzaku. After writing their wishes, they hang their tanzaku on bamboo branches. Bamboo is thought to have become a part of the Tanabata tradition for its prosperity to grow straight and tall, stretching branches bearing wishes to heaven. Traditional decorations and talismans include colorful streamers called fukinagashi. The fukinagashi are located below in most of the collage. Many of them were very colorful and well made.

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During this festival, it is celebrated a month later and they sell food, have performances, arts and crafts booths, games, and lots of people in yukatas. I had a great time. In the Japanese Village Plaza, there were many of the shops having plenty of sales and promoting their food and or clothing. Like for instance, Nijiya Market was selling takoyaki, yakisoba, and okonomiyaki. Yamazaki Bakery across the way was selling meat buns and drinks. Café Dulce had their donuts on full display and were introducing a new Snickers donut. The Sanrio store had a huge makeover, it looked incredible with new merchandise and a new look. I had an awesome time. 08/19/17.

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Cliffs of Moher

This was the last sight that our group got to see. I loved this place. It is the Cliffs of Moher in Galway. It truly was magnificent. You had the choice of walking the path to the end if only you truly can or go to the castle and pay 2 euro to see the Cliffs of Moher from a different view. I had the best time here!

When I started on my way to walk on the path of the Cliffs of Moher, there is a gravestone for the people who had fallen to their deaths. The sad thing was that some people would get too close to the edge of the cliff and fall or the winds would get to be too strong sweeping them off the cliff. As I was walking, there was a stone barrier that separates people from the edge of the cliffs. Some of my friends were pretty bold when they stepped over the barrier and took cool pictures. I only walked about half of the way before I realized it was time to get back to the bus. When I got back to the main area, I got to try some vanilla ice cream. The unusual thing was that I didn’t get a brain freeze after I ate it. The ice cream was good but I didn’t get to finish it because I wasn’t allowed to eat it on the bus.

I can’t wait to print my Ireland photos.

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Aran Islands

After leaving Dublin which I was there for 6 days, our group ventured by bus to Galway. One of our sightseeing spots was to go by ferry to the Aran Islands. It was day 8 by the way. I didn’t go out that much in Dublin, although I wish I had more energy to do a pub crawl and go clubbing. I ate a ton of pizza from La Pizza though on O’Connell street.

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Inisheer (Inis Oirr) is the smallest of the Aran Islands, it has a palpable sense of enchantment which is enhanced by the island’s deep rooted mythology. It’s devotion to traditional culture and ethereal landscapes. Also on the island, there is an iconic island sight that was a freighter that was thrown up on the rocks in bad weather. I’ve heard Tigh Ned’s pub has a collection of photographs and documents detailing the rescue of everybody on board. It’s called the “Wreck of the Plassy.” It is pictured above in the collage.

Below this sentence is a collage I made of the beach on the island. The water was so clear and blue. It was beautiful.

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Brazen Head Pub

Brazen Head Pub was the second dinner inside a pub our group ate at. Our menu consisted of us choosing an appetizer, entrée, and dessert.

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I chose the soup of the day which is vegetable soup and a slice of bread. For the entrée, I chose the pork chop Provencal, which is a marinated grilled pork cutlet in a tomato and Mediterranean vegetable sauce, served with potatoes and vegetables. For the dessert, I got the chocolate fudge cake. I know above this paragraph you can’t see much of the menu because some of the words are cut off. Don’t worry, you can look up the menu yourself when you google Brazen Head Pub in Dublin.

Below is a collage of the food I got plus one other friend’s. Enjoy!

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James Joyce Center

After the botanic garden, our tour director took our group back to the hotel. We saw at least a hundred people in the streets wearing football colors of their favorite team. Apparently there was a big game that day. People were walking to the game, I assume. We had a very short break before heading down the street to the James Joyce Center.

James Joyce center is a museum dedicated to promoting an understanding of the life and works of James Joyce. There were plenty of quotes on the walls. Portraits of Joyce were displayed on the walls and everything was pretty cool. 👍

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National Botanic Garden

After the Guinness storehouse, a group of my friends and I went to the National Botanic Garden that was not far from the hotel. It was amazing and definitely better than any botanic garden that I have been to. They had several garden houses full of different kinds of flowers, cactuses, trees and displays of art. They also had two cafes near the entrance. The entrance is free. It has been open since 1795. They had some swans beside a tiny part of a lake that soon led me to a grand rose garden. There were peach, red, purple, even yellow roses there. My friends and I took many of pictures there. There was even a walkway that looks a lot like a movie scene from Twilight. I wish I had a longer time to be there and to take more pictures.

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Guinness Academy inside the storehouse

“Learn how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness at the academy. The six-step ritual’s as legendary as the beer itself – from the 119.5 seconds it takes to pour to the iconic surge and eventual settle.” A guide was helping my friends and I to learn how to pour a pint of beer. He talked for a short time and told us to start. He would watch over us and answer questions if we had any. When I poured my pint, it was brown in color and we got to let it settle on a rack before it was ready. The beer turned black and it was ready to drink, I only took a sip. It was not to my taste. I ended up pouring it out. I saw my friend down hers.

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