Cherry Blossom Days: Pre-Author Visit Pics from Japan

I just spent a week in Wonderland! Well, Japan, actually – but I happened to arrive at the height of cherry blossom (sakura) season, and I’m pretty sure Wonderland has nothing on trees that snow pink blossoms, leaving a carpet of petals on the ground.

Pink petal snow. Magical!

I went to Tokyo to visit my friend Emily, and also to do some school visits on the local Yokota Air Force Base.

Emily, me, and two English-speaking volunteer tour guides at a shrine in Tokyo

Honestly? So many wonderful things happened on this trip, I don’t know where to start! I’m not sure the cherry blossoms were the highlight – the visits to Yokota West Elementary, Joan K. Mendel Elementary, and Yokota Middle School were by far the most amazing experiences I’ve had in a long time.

Those kids! Those remarkable, talented, engaged, excited kids! I get all warm and squishy just thinking about them. And do not even get me started on the teachers and librarians…

I will never be able to thank the Middle School librarian, Cheryl Johnson, and her cohort, Annette Holladay, enough for bringing me over and organizing the whole thing. But I’m going to try!

Cheryl Johnson, Librarian Extraordinaire! And some Author Lady.

Today’s blog post is some of the pictures of my days in Japan prior to the school visits. The next three will be dedicated to the three schools I visited while I was there. I hope you enjoy the weird and the wonderful – and author friends? If anyone ever asks you to do school visits in Japan? SAY YES!!! The readers over there are far more amazing than the blossoms.


Everything is Japan is cute. It's the law. Even trains must be cute.

Even Buddha statues must be cute, it seems.See what I mean?


My sad attempt at taking arty pics of statues.

Hey, wait! Somebody forgot their shoes!

Oh, never mind. They're his.


More cuteness: Two "harajuku girls" in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo. They dress this way on weekends. LOVE!

Yeah, okay, it's all gorgeous,right? But I'm hungry. Hey, let's get some noodles!

Yum, noodles! But... wait... do those noodles have EYES??? AHH! Shirasu! Run!

Easter candy? Much better! Emma won't share...

But Gabe will! Emma and Gabe are some of the first readers I met in Japan (at an Easter party). Also, two of the most awesome!

More sakura blossoms and schools next time!

Sayonara, Friends! I miss Japan already. But I still have the jet lag – and the photos – to remember them by! Also, a lot of yummy Japanese candy. Moshi, anyone?

More in two days…

Posted in Miscellaneous, People I Love, School Visits on 04/07/2013 09:31 pm


  1. What a fantastic trip, Nikki! To go to Japan during cherry blossom season is on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing these great pics!


  2. Fabulous! Love those pics and can’t wait to see the rest. Rest up.


  3. Vicki Hawthorne

    Hi Nikki! Sounds, and looks like an amazing trip! On my bucket list for one of these days, too. Growing up I had a pen-pal in Japan – I often regret that Keiko and I lost touch after high school. I wonder about her often and hope she’s doing well.

    Speaking of – hope you are AOK, too. Still miss your smiling face and shakin’ our groove things on Mondays. But glad that you have a “life” also.

    Take care!


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