We arrived in St.Louis last Friday, and plan to stay here for three weeks. It was hard to take the triple digit temperatures on Friday and Saturday, especially when we thought back to the cool temperatures we had up north in the past two months. Fortunately a cool front moved in Sunday. It was a great day to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Japanese Festival. The festival was explained in Friday's Post Dispatch. According to the article the organizer of the festival, Ed Shimamoto, started up the festival about 35 years ago. He and his family had been in an internment camp in 1944 in Arkansas. When the war ended he and his family and others traveled to St.Louis for work. Shimamoto is quoted in the article that the Japanese Festival was conceived "as our thanks to St.Louis for being so welcoming". The festival is now one of the largest and oldest in the nation. It is a celebration of Japanese food, music, art, gardening, and martial arts. There is something for everyone to see and do over the three days it is held. Our visit started in the Ridgway Visitor Center where we toured displays of Bonsai and Ikebana. Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging, using flowers and other natural materials. Below is an example of Ikebana. Origami cranes decorate the wall next to the display. Bamboo for the flower arrangement came from the garden.