We braved heat, humidity and humanity to visit the gardens for their annual Japanese Festival. This is always the garden’s biggest event. The Japanese garden and its festival has been in Saint Louis, for longer than we have and has grown over the years to be so much more. But our most memorable festival occurred 31 years ago, when Anne was eight months pregnant with Dave. She was walking along one of the Japanese garden’s river carved stone walkways, when she was jostled by the crowd, slipped and turned her knee. For some years later, Dan fondly remembered our emergency Cushman cart ride beck to the car.
This year’s was as crowded as ever, but we managed to navigate it without any mishaps. In addition to the regular throng, recent festivals are populated by a host of people dressed for cosplay. Usually, their costumes are derived from anime characters, but are not limited to this Japanese art form. We saw the best costume while we were walking out. This man was perfectly festooned as the Mega-man video game character. The addition of Japanese pop culture themed roleplaying adds to the always entertaining pastime of crowd watching.