Thursday, April 20, 2017

Philadelphia Sakura Matsuri 2017

Hello everyone, I haven't written my blog in months and the reason why I stopped writing because I was more into my gaming projects and I worked too hard. I am also trying to save money for a trip to JAPAN. It's that time again to write and review my trip with Sakura Matsuri. This year I am VERY LIMITED on the Cherry Blossom Festival trips and I can only choose 5. The first trip I am going to review is Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia. Before I get into that I should get with Rico Yuzen's Jazz gig.

I don't usually write blogs on people or any shows in a while but it's a reason why I stopped writing my blog. Rico has been met a year ago but I won't talk about any of the details because I kept it for my ears only. To me, Rico has been a great Jazz singer since I often met her much more than Lulla, literally. Her Trio band included Nobuki Takamen which is guitarist for Jazz shows and Haruna Fukazawa the flutist. Nobuki was met from Sumie Kaneko first before Rico and Haruna was met from Yako & Alan Eicher. With Haruna and Nobuki on Rico's side, they made an excellent combo for Jazz performances. I brought Rico's first CD a while back.  Notice that heart necklace on Rico's neck, guess who is given from. I of course but again, story about the necklace and how I give it to her won't be told. Rico's Quartet show at Club Bonafide is just DAYS away, but I have to make sure that I am ready for this moment.

By the way, that's CHAI.

Returning to the Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival for the 3rd year and by now it's starting to become repetitive. It's the same thing over and over and over AGAIN but a little different than the last. Washington D.C. suffers the same fate. Takagawa Taiko just overflows the crowd and I don't understand why Taiko drumming is such a trend to people? Taiko Masala in Brooklyn Sakura Matsuri also overflows the crowd. So why not Soh Daiko in Queens Sakura Matsuri by JAA? Every year a mascot in Philadelphia is different and you remember last year they had a mermaid, now Tolalan the Cat which is I am so surprised from the city of Fukuoka, the place I want to meet CHIELA because she is from Fukuoka. Chiela and I are completely away from each other. The best thing about Philadelphia is that the Cherry Trees are in FULL BLOOM! Would you believe IT? The Cosplay lounge never gets old. I have enough with the presentation; let's get on with my personal story.

Ignoring the ticket with the Shuttle Bus, the first thing is I went to make Calligraphy. I scattered around the area until I decided to join the stage starting with the Harajuku Fashion show, then MIZMO in which my friend Hiroshi has been sponsoring. They are the Enka Trio Japanese female band and they're awesome including the costumes or outfits they wear. Each time they perform, they wearing the different types of outfits from Kimonos to Lolita fashion. After the show, it's sad that they don't sell CD's but a Tengui which I brought instead. The Cosplay Fashion show is great but because I didn't post any pics on my blog, there were some sexual poses of the show that you shouldn't be looking at and I caught these photos. Better take a look at the Ronchan Cosplay Facebook fan page and you know what I mean. Moving forward with Kanadete Sourou which I actually met last year but it's a shame that I have financial trouble but their band is KICK-ASS. I just HAD to get their CD's. They will come back to Philadelphia but someday I hope with they play in New York City. That's if Brooklyn Botanic Garden has the BALLS to invite them but then again, their festival is always late.

Unrelated to the Philadelphia Sakura Matsuri, I went to Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1 to meet them for the SECOND TIME. MIZMO are such nice women to meet and they're from TOKYO.

Now with the verdict, the jury has found Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia INNOCENT for continuing making the festival the best of the best in Philadelphia. I always think that the Philadelphia Sakura Matsuri is a counterpart to Brooklyn New York but not all of it is the same. Next story will be the JAA Sakura Matsuri of Queens and see you soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Eternal Con 2016

After all the Sakura Matsuri events this year and including this AWFUL NYU events, it has come to attending the first convention of the year after canceling Castle Point & Big Apple Convention. EmCon was originally going to be attended but it's also being canceled.

Last year when I write this blog and reviewed the convention, I was being a sad sorry face and alone and this year it has gotten any more different than the last. I am sorry for being so poorly to myself on the convention but now I am going to review it for the 2nd time. You expect Eternal Con would be has huge as Javits Center, but its big enough space for everybody including the planetarium theatre. Having a comic book or pop culture convention taking place in a museum is not bad at all. When you actually look at it and take a chance, it really feels like that you're actually in a convention. Now I understand why it states the largest convention of all of Long Island.

The first thing you notice is the long lines isn't as frustrating as last year. That's because Eternal Con included FRIDAY as the opening instead of Saturday. After you enter when you are NOT a VIP convention guest, you are received a stamp on your skin while 3-Day convention attendees gets a wristband. I never actually attended 3 days this year but that is because I only have the Saturday ticket. Of course that is the disadvantage because the stamp comes off in case for re-entry. I also noticed that Eternal Con staff never questioned about your wristband or stamp for panels and main shows. For most of the conventions I went, I have to flash my badge every single time to security. Keep in mind that the museum staff also worked for Eternal Corp so it's basically working for the same company. Eternal Con becomes less tedious than Winter Con but it's a family friendly convention. Admission is very separate so you will need to buy a different ticket that is not related to Eternal Con.

The showrooms are in 3 levels and are different than last year. The celebrities are now on the VERY top floor. Once again, you need to put away your camera while you're in the area. When celebrities saw a picture unauthorized, you tried to get away but there is a one second delay from security before you move, possibly evicting you from convention grounds. The second floor now has the artist alley and a panel room. The first floor has a lot of vendors and artist alley. The cosplay area is now at the space history.

What's so big about this year, 2 cast members of Zyuranger of Yuta Mochizuki and Reiko Chiba which I'll explain SHORTLY? That got the fans super crazy of meeting the casts from Japan in person. Why New York or Newark Comic Con can’t have any of this. THIS IS THE REASON why Newark Comic Con sucked, it's still an awful convention back then and it's still awful right now. In fact it's now the same date as Liberty City Anime Con but that isn’t going to help since its all-out war.

Here is my personal story, after going into the convention I immediately saw the person that doesn't welcome me on convention grounds. Probably because he saw my Facebook ads about the December 2015 j-Summit New York event but he's been sneaking on me on Facebook. My first activity is the Cosplay Runway show. If you read any of my Sakura Matsuri blogs, it's Philadelphia I am referring. After the cosplay show, I roam around the convention and taken a photo op with Reiko Chiba. Next person is Jennifer Rose, I had to say that I am quite jealous because I only met Yaya Han but Jennifer Rose seems to be the local cosplayer and model of New York City. Nicole Oliva is also a local cosplayer, model and soprano singer and she's not much of an interest. I ended up buying prints and had a picture. It isn't as bad as Yaya Han but next time, I SHOULD TELL PEOPLE TO HOLD STEADY TO MY CAMERA. Of I forgot YufieBunny, she's a cosplayer too.

Next part of the story is the Streetpass Game Show organized by the Streetpass of Long Island. It's a fun panel for people to play the mocked up version of Family Feud and you get to WIN prizes. During the panel, I actually do some personal checking!

Eternal Con is the only con for this year that bounces me back, whenever I got sad or angry, happiness just motivates me to keep going. I really glad that I got my friend to come and that matters. This person Reiko Chiba is completely at random. At the time I didn't care of meeting celebrities especially for voice actors just the image characters that played the roles. I really do not know Reiko Chiba that well and that's because I never grew up watching the original sentai series called Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. That show never existed here in the United States but came out as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers by Saban Entertainment. However Zyuranger did create SEASON 2 only to use the stock footages for the Lord Zedd saga for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. When I was little, I always have a good crush with the character Kimberly Hart and not the actress Amy Jo Johnson. She was originally invited to Eternal Con of this year but Amy chose not to be part of the convention. If you remember last year's Eternal Con, they had Austin St. John, David Yost, Karen Ashley and Walter Jones. Big Apple Con or Wintercon ALWAYS has Jason David Frank. That really bothers me, what happened to TRINI? You know the Vietnamese actress? Her name is Thuy Trang. Why not bring her to the convention! Oh wait, she died in 2001? It's no wonder TRINI didn't exist at the time. Anyway continue!

When I got into Japanese actresses, I wanted to meet them in person. I was mostly interested in the Boys Over Flowers genre including the famous actress of the series Norika Fujiwara as one of the bully girls from the 1995 movie and Nanako Matsushima as Tsubaki Domyouji. When I heard Reiko Chiba coming over to Eternal Con I got to meet her in person and I did. By the way, Reiko Chiba played the role Zyuranger Pterodactyl named Mei. As a matter of fact, this is the FIRST time I ever met Reiko Chiba in person but don't get me wrong, back in SpringFest 2014 I met Mike Pollack (Voice of Dr. Eggman of Sonic X) but he's nothing comparing with out of USA or New York State celebrities. Maybe I want to meet Eric Stuart. Don't forget Monica Rial and Jaimie Marchi. I didn't care but they're random meet up but like I said I only care about the characters that played the roles. It's too bad I never meet and greet as a VIP guest but as being so generous I got her print included with an autograph and gotten a SELFIE with Reiko Chiba. She is so awesome and very nice at the same time. As for Yuta Mochizuki, NOPE I didn't bother but he does exist. Yep, he exists! It's the Internet that brought the world into fantasy.


After the panel from Streetpass, there are 2 more. Okay so I talked a lot more than last year but don't get me wrong, Eternal Con is MUCH better than New York Comic Con. If there's a low tier con than ReedPOP's high tier con which has so many problems for the fans I'll go there any day. The last 2 are Empire Saber Guild and the Cosplay Fashion Show Contest which the BEST one of the series and I have a good time this year.

As the convention ends, the rainbow of death arrived. Yep, LJN TOYS decided to put up a booth for the Eternal Con, just kidding but things happen when it rains so hard and while sunny. So that's folks, here's Eternal Con. It was a wonderful convention and I highly recommend this one than Newark Comic Con and New York Comic Con. There are other New Jersey Comic Cons such as Garden State Comic Fest but its WAY TOO FAR and its taken place as Morristown New Jersey. NO THANKS! I don't have any other talk at this time so I'll take a break for blogging for a while. Thanks for reading and take care.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Japan Block Fair June 2016

Japan Block Fair has been an astonishment since myself of the Insecduel Team since the year 2010 of June which I remember at Upper West Side where the big stage, chopsticks NY magazine, Japan products, yeah it's my favorite one of all time especially when I first take a glimpse at Reni Mimura and Uzuhi. It's also the time when I want to meet Reni Mimura in person to become one of her angels and I did thanks to the Japanese person on a maid costume name Mako chan but she is now removed from my Facebook list. It's the year 2016 and things are not as used to be especially after 3 years since the heartbroken relationship between myself and Reni but I have to move on with my life.

Japan Block Fair becomes such a success that it's also becomes such an epic failure at the same time. Japan Block Fair is no longer what you see like the big stage even fused with the Koreans twice in a row; you remember all of this right? The common areas are now Park Avenue below 40th Street and Broadway below 93rd Street. Both of these don't have the stage area anymore. That makes me wonder what happened. There's even the Japan Block Fair around 6th Avenue below West 4th Street. Other times it took place in Astoria on Broadway between Steinway and 46th Streets or even East Village on First Avenue. In 2011 Japan Block Fair had a swimsuit contest, yeah remember before the time Reni Mimura's maid night event. It also rained during the festival, what a wipeout. I miss the time when Lulla played at Japan Block Fair since Astoria is her hometown. If Astoria has so much Asian within the community, why the fuck would they never bring the festival back to Queens? Who's the owner of Japan Block Fair and why?

Japan Block Fair is now nothing more than your Japanese market place, no stage and no performances. Speaking of performances, they aren't too many of them. Based on my actual story I never stayed at the festival for too long. Without the performance list, this festival is already doomed what used to be a great festival.

Speaking of great festivals, Sakura Matsuri Washington DC seems alright except the 2016 year when they relocated to Capitol Yards. Hell, even the Korean Parade & Festival has performances and a big stage and it was organized by KAAGNY. The Korean performances are repetitive but it's entertaining. You got ummm.... Poku Poku Boys, Yuna I think but I can't remember her name, even Shihori played at the Japan Block Fair and that is because she is staying in New York until the 13th of June but how the HELL Shihori gets to play? Who booked her to play at Japan Block Fair, as a matter of fact who brought these people at the festival? There's clearly no stage including schedule so something is seriously wrong. Japan Block Fair got every Japanese product from Japan but hey it's okay for me.

What about Hakata Tonton, I haven't heard a single update since their restaurant is getting renovated. I think they're dead since Go Go Curry or other Japanese eateries took the competition. Overall, it's okay but not so well. I don't think it's terrible but it's not great either. It's too small; performances are slightly a train wreck, decent marketplace and standard quality products. At least it's not Queens International Night Market opening event which is the WORSE one I ever experienced with overcrowded people.

Sadly, Japan Block Fair is their last for the 2016 year. That's not all; Japan Block Fair is taking step backwards which is going to be named jAPAN Fes. Will it be a hit, or it will be another commercial failure. Find out when it hits October 2016. See you soon!

Monday, June 13, 2016

jSny May 2016

It's the 12th of June and things are not going too easy since I am working with Amazon Prime and now it's the weekend so let's catch up some blogs coming up. It's been 2 weeks ago since I got the haircut and now let's move on to the event called j-Summit New York.

j-Summit New York brings on the Kumamoto Earthquake along with the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. With 10 of the performers listed I am going to give my personal review one by one if you don't agree with my opinion that is on you.

The first one in order is JAROexperiment. I never even heard of JAROexperiment so I had to look it up on Facebook. According to her fanpage, the singer and songwriter name is Chie. I was thinking that Chie might be, oh never mind. Anyway JAROexperiment make a great opening of the show so far.


The next one is 2 J-POP singers that I am going to mention. The second performer is Marina Kondo which I actually met at Harrison but not in person. Just like in Harrison, at least Marina is decent. For my overall I am just not into Marina at all. I do love J-POP music but it seems that I have a bundle of Japanese female pop music performers. Way too many to count! The third one is Yukino Kikuta. For whatever reason Yukino knows me but when do I saw last time. I have a hard time figuring it out because Yukino's friends with Kyoko Uchiki. Do I actually meet her in one of Kyoko's open mic events last year? I don't know! As for Yukino, her music isn't too bad but she does have a beautiful smile.

The fourth performer is 2une that includes Uno from Japan and Sneko. They are the American J-POP idols. Unlike Nicole Oliva, 2une does sing their originals other than the cover idol songs. Hell, even Hitomi Himekawa sing her originals on her j-Summit New York years back and she's half Japanese and Italian. 2une does bring in the fun and entertains the crowd which I really like. 2une is very creative, but I think Sneko comes a long way of becoming a singer.

The fifth performer is the singer and songwriter that composes Game and Anime songs is no other than Shihori. Shihori continues to be a great hit for the crowd. On top of that, her recent physical CD in Japan is brought over to the USA. Of course you can get these CD's at Shihori's website but whether they're available or not, they are way too many to count. Her kimono is also impressive along with the makeup she's wearing. A good performance from Shihori, but she's going to relocate to New York on the Autumn season.

The next one is Kenji Furutate which is kind of interesting. Except he doesn't bring his own taiko's to the stage. Instead he uses a drum but along with another instrument. WHAT KIND OF A PERFORMANCE IS THAT. The performance I saw in Harrison is really really good. So why not have a taiko, a tap dancer or a drummer to the night event? At least Japan Festival Boston is way decent. For whatever reason his CD price seems a bit odd. A CD costs $17? What? Most CD's had a fixed price of either from $5 to $20. They're mostly $5 bills of a different kind. Kenji Furutate is okay but it could have been better.

At last I am going to talk about the 4 remaining bands. The sixth one is Takeshi Otani band. Not much to say but at least they don't make me sleep like the last one. Otherwise it's going to be a BORING jazz performance. Takeshi Otani band is greatly improved but doesn't make me a jazz fan. LUST continues to rock on which is also my comment and not discussing it in greater detail. GELATINE continues to be a great kickass band but it's going downhill a little bit. It's seems so repetitive but on the other hand the drummer Jose Ortiz is leaving for good. First keyboarder Mina left to Japan and now Jose is moving to Florida. Gelatine seems to be falling down but with some new members I am sure they will bounce back. The last performance is the BIG APPLE SUNSHINE BAND. Michael Potter continues to rock on but they're doing okay. As a good friend of Michael Potter I can continue to support his band.

Out of all performances on the lineup, it has to go to either 2une or Shihori as the best J-POP singers, GELATINE for the best rock band and Shihori for being a solo singer as well. Join me the next blog and I will talk about the Japan Block Fair. See you there!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Japan Cultral Festival, The MATSURI 2016

On this day back in 2014 is one of the worst days you and I ever should remember this day as I am writing this blog.

So we conclude to the final Sakura Nihon Tour of the 2016 year, which is Harrison, New York. By now, you should know that all the Cherry Blossom flowers are faded away. With all the Sakura Matsuri events taking place on the earlier weeks such as California, Hawaii, Cincinnati, Washington D.C., Nashville, St. Louis, and many more. One Sakura Matsuri that was canceled is Stamford, which is unknown. The first Harrison Japanese festival called Japan Cultural Festival, which is still named right now, becomes The Matsuri.

Just like the previous 2 years, it has still gotten better. Before I am on with The Matsuri let us went back on some of the good festivals I already went to which includes Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Matsuri Washington D.C., Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia, JAANY Sakura Matsuri, Japan Festival Boston, Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival and Sakura Matsuri in Brooklyn. The other ones like Randall's Island did not go so well and the worst of all is NYU & Iona College.

Harrison's The Matsuri event has not changed a bit. There is still fun and games along with arts and crafts for the kids, Japanese food and products along with performances. The third annual is just like the first annual folks and the Harrison Public Library has the tea ceremony while the second one had the Japanese exhibits at the recreation center. For one thing, even without the performance guide they have the performance list order in both English and Japanese. Now that is covered within the festival let us talk about the performances.


As I arrived, there is ummmm. I cannot remember but I rather not talk about these classic and traditional performances and I mean the J-POP performances. Marina Kondo sings really well but Megumi Matsumoto is much better. Even with one original song and two of her cover songs, it is still outstanding. Rie Tamuro with her guitar alone sings a couple of her originals. One thing I notice is her hair turns blonde or brightest yellow, which affects her branding. There are other ones like Karate demonstration, kendo and dance.

You would be surprised that Hatsune Miku made its way to the festival. Yep that is right, at least one cosplayer made it to the third festival of Harrison. That makes me wonder if any cosplayers taking over the Harrison and other parts of Westchester. The weather is somewhat hot too. Out of every performance, they fail the end time and it did not end at least 4:15PM.


Now with the FINAL verdict. The jury is found the Harrison Matsuri staff innocent. It is still a good festival but I hope next year I am bringing someone better. With all the Sakura Matsuri events, I had to end all of this as the weather getting hotter and flowers already died off. I am getting tired and that is the final Sakura Matsuri blog. Thanks for reading and have a good day.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The rules of handling alcoholic beverages

WARNING: Reading this blog is based on my actual personal life and images are not suitable for readers.

This blog is special not only the top 10 listings but also related to personal life.

When it comes to 18+ events on a 21+ venue or a venue that sells alcoholic beverages, there are some tips to make sure you and your friends have a good time. This includes yep, the j-Summit New York event. The shows are always 21+. Here are my top 10 listings!

Rule#1 Don't lie about age, some fake ID's are confiscated after security checks them on site at the entrance. This rule is to prevent minors under 21 from entering, purchasing and drinking alcoholic beverages. Some adults have the advantages of buying alcoholic beverages and giving them to minors under 21. By the way 21 is the legal drinking age of the United States of America. Others may vary including Japan which is age 20.

Rule#2 Don't ask your friends if they want a drink. If your friends want a drink and they gave you an alcoholic drink without questioning, they may not want it. Tricking people into drinking is NO way to respect them. Sometimes people asked me if they want a drink but when it comes to alcoholic drinks around them you already know its coming! I know they were nice enough but remember not everyone on this earth is alcoholic drinkers. To me, I NEVER asked them unless they're alcoholic drinkers.

Rule#3 Don't question people about their alcoholic life. It's none of your business. Nobody is allowed to ask if they're an alcoholic or not and may cause some relationship or friendship problems. I never question anyone if they drink and type of alcohol. Most of the time based on my Facebook friends it's self-explanatory and sometimes they asked me.

Rule#4 NEVER share your alcoholic beverages to anyone under the age of 21 and patrons fewer than 21 are also not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages. Anyone caught breaking those rules will have the police called and have you arrested and to press charges. Some events require you to wear colored wristbands to verify the drinking legal age. Even if I have friends under 21 I never talk or share with them. It's illegal and CAN give you a criminal record.

Rule#5 Don't even ask the person what they're drinking. BIG MISTAKE AND MAY COST YOU YOUR FRIENDSHIP! If you see someone holding an alcoholic beverage, DO NOT QUESTION THE PERSON. Back in February 2013 at The Bowery Electric I was a dumbfuck but this proves that Reni Mimura is a liar when I read the blog from her. I am one step ahead for Reni Mimura to break up our friendship.

Rule#6 DO NOT talk or interact to the underage person while you are holding or drinking any type of alcohol. Remember, drinking strong types of alcohol may cause your breath to smell like one and your underage friends may turn you away. This also applies to Non-Alcoholic drinkers. While drinking, don't talk to people under the age of 21. Some may smell it or turn away from you. When a underage person talked to me, I didn't realize. This also includes when one of my friends playing with a child while holding a alcoholic beverage which is not cool and can result in spilling on a child.

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Rule#7 Do not get yourself drunk, drink responsibly! For men, drink at a minimum of 4 consumptions and for women is to drink is 3 consumptions per serving. Alcohol volumes are varying! Depending on your moods or feelings, don't attempt to commit suicide or abuse drinking alcohol. It's always good to be yourself. Just because your friends drink alcohol doesn't mean you can join them or talk to them while drinking. Sometimes when I am at Lulla's shows I just brought drinks and drink with her and friends.

Rule#8 Don't drive your car after drinking. This is serious because you can be arrested by police and get DUI charges or may get your driver's license suspended. Drinking while driving can cause serious injuries or even death. I fear that someone drink before they drive me home and crash hard and gets me killed.

Rule#9 Don't force the person to come over to have an alcoholic drink. This happens in a few events but if the person do not want to drink alcoholic beverages, do not allow the person to drink. I've been written many times about this rule. Reni Mimura tricked me into drinking which is actually Rule#2 around August 25, 2011 and before the 2013 new year's celebration Saori Kato tries to call me to drink Saké. People are nice enough to ask me if I drink alcohol but sometimes they don't question me. 2016 is an embarrassment which I won't explain when I was served beer to my siblings whose a nonalcoholic drinker without permission from me.

Rule#10 DISCARD any leftover alcoholic drinks in the trash. NEVER leave the alcohol drinks sitting on the floor, bar tables or any seats unattended. Doing so may cause the underage person to drink any alcohol you left unattended. ALWAYS hold the drink with you at all times and refrain from sharing. It's common for adults when there are no one under 21 on the venues leaves alcoholic drinks on tables and bar stools. Imagine if a person under 18 to grab an alcoholic drink on the table and drink it. At times a restaurant like Applebee's a server accidently served cocktail drinks to a minor or a child whose 6 to 12 years old. I put my drinks down on the table but someone grabbed my beer at the time. This actually happened to me and imagines if a person is under the age of 21, you're fucked! This is the reason that you NEVER leave any alcohol drinks unattended.

Kudos to the Omusabi Sisters I saw at the club called SOBs (Sounds of Brazil). This story won't be told at all.

And remember, drink responsibly and have a good time. See you soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Randall's Island CBF 2016

Previously on Insectduel's Game Corner, I talked about Japan Day @ Central Park which is not many people enjoyed. Now I am coming to the event that is taken place at Randall's Island which is the signature event the Cherry Blossom Festival. Let me say this right now, the people who organize this event just called it the Cherry Blossom Festival and not Sakura Matsuri as its Japanese name. If you want to know about this year's festival, let's take a look.

So this is my 3rd visit to Randall's Island's Cherry Blossom Festival. The 2nd annual is disappointing and the 3rd annual became great. The 4th annual just gave them the sick idea to create the Cherry Blossom Festival and screwed it up. Since the warm winter weather and my travel with Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival the flowers has already died off. If you remember JAANY's Sakura Matsuri event, the Yoshino flowers already died off while the Kwanzans grew up. You assume that Randall's Island would do the same right? Actually the flowers already bloomed around in between April 30th and May 7th as I visited the festival myself. So after I visited Randall's Island before the festival launched, you think the Cherry Blossom Festival is going to be canceled right?

It's NOT over; seriously torture is not over because Randall's Island Park Alliance had the BALLS to run the festival as planned. *Audience Booing* Anyways as I was saying before, Randall's Island had the 4th annual of the Cherry Blossom Festival. With Stamford Connecticut's Sakura Matsuri hasn't announced it's possible that the festival got canceled this year. As with Randall's Island it chose to run as planned even if is going to rain. Enough chit-chat, let's talk about the festival.

As soon you enter the Urban Farm or anywhere on fields 60, 61 & 62 on Wards Island, yes folks it's Wards Island because you are at the Southern part of the island. When you arrive this is their initial reaction. Where are the cherry blossom flowers?  As you see after May 7th and it's due to a rainy weather week the flowers had already washed down. That is the first downfall of the Cherry Blossom Festival on Randall's Island. The second downfall is the tea is no longer served. Last year they serve bottled tea like with Japan Day @ Central Park and also the Sakura tea with pickled Cherry Blossoms filled with hot water. It's too bad it's never served anywhere in the USA but you got no choice to buy them online and import the item to your home address. What a crock of shit!


Randall's Island's Cherry Blossom Festival has continued serving family friendly activities to the younger audience. Remember I told the suggestion on last year's RIPA's CBF Facebook event page about the Parasol Painting since Allentown's Cherry Blossom Festival, well it's not on their festival program. That could've been fun for the kids and/or adults. The fun and games are still enjoyable such as Kite Flying or make your own kite, Face Painting, Samurai Hat, Flower Making, Calligraphy, Bean Bag Toss, the famous kids game Yo-Yo Fishing and the brand new game to this year's festival, Scavenger Hunt. The performances are enjoyable but not much which they include J.D. Patch and Friends, Ninja Taiko, Junko Fisher, and calligrapher Taisan Tonaka. I would like to know that the Calligrapher person who runs the festival is still the same exact person but let's not get into his/her profile. The food could have been better, like with Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival they actually have Japanese products. RIPA could've EASILY stock up on RaMuNe from the Asian Supermarket on Broadway & 110th Street or bring an Asian food truck but instead they have the grilling area with non-Asian foods.


The Scavenger game is quite foolish if you play it as an adult. You think you have the brawns and brains to successfully find all the objects but nope, this game has flaws on its own. Now that's an improvement to NYU's Sakura Matsuri but not better than Brookline's sticker game. With this game if you figure out all the clues, you find it, then open it, stamp it and re-hide the object. With too many people playing at once, you can cheat at their own game by FOLLOWING other people to find the stamps or they can FIND YOU. As I explore, here's the clues.

We grow rice is easy if you learn how to read, Apple Orchard is already a pain because the stamp is well hidden. Chicken Parts is way too confusing, even if you read it you can't tell where you going. The clues may find the way of finding it. Flower stamp is easy if you learn it by now, the 5th stamp frog is dear costly. You can't tell where the FUCK is the large London Plane Tree is. It's the ONLY stamp I can't find of my own because of confusing navigations and well-hidden areas. I literally did figure it out where it is but the picnic area could be ANYWHERE but what it meant to say is the tables. Christmas fern is once again found by cheating my way in and the Birch Tree is quite easy if you study the Cherry Blossom Trees. If you went to many Sakura Matsuri events with a PLANTED TREE, then you should learn to identify a Cherry Blossom Tree. Heron isn't bad and Hell Gate Bridge is this! I would have found it on my own but one of the volunteers found it for me, WHAT THE FUCK?! In between programs I looked at the clues every half hour. If you found all 9 stamps, you return to the booth and you get to choose one of the 3 prizes.

The handbag which I had so many, plastic cups and the item that is worth a good prize is lavender seeds. I chose the lavender seeds and let's tell the rest of the story.

The Butterfly Release for this year is also a disappointment. Comparing with last year it's been great but with this year it's just something that no child could not wait for. You grab a butterfly and immediately released it. You know what, fuck it! As I said before it was in between my treasure hunt and butterfly release. After all the excitement, I chose to bore myself to death. You also noticed that there isn't much attendance as last year so you may be wondering is what happened? Where are the cosplayers or anyone? The good news is that it never rained during the festival otherwise there will be more problems.

And now for the verdict! The jury is found Randall's Island Park Alliance team, um let's see the positives. The festival's games or arts and crafts are great for the kids, great performances, and decent prizes, completely safe and well secured. The negatives of the festival is that there's no tea tasting, dying cherry blossom flowers, games that frustrated me as hell including well-hidden stamps, disappointed butterfly release, volunteers helped participants for games with hidden items, confusing clues,  foods aren't related to Japan or Asia, almost all games doesn't represent Japan and open alcoholic beverages to the public.  Oh I forgot to point out that there is only 1 raffle game prize in the entire festival. At least Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival won't allow taking alcohol drinks with you once you leave the area. As a result, the jury is found GUILTY. Comparing with Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival in Massachusetts, it's great for the family; Randall's Island is somewhat fun. What is their punishment? Absolutely nothing! Tune in tomorrow and I'll explain about alcoholic beverages. Thank you for reading!