Welcomed by the boom of the drums from Chibi Taiko, the 2012 Tonari Gumi Reunion Picnic began under beautiful blue skies on Saturday, August 18th at the Jericho Pond Picnic Area in Jericho Beach Park. Some 135 old and new Tonari Gumi members, friends, relatives and volunteers gathered to renew acquaintances, make new friends and to have a lot of fun. Following introductory addresses by Joji Kumagai, Tonari Gumi’s Chair, and from the Consulate General of Japan, the party began. With delicious bento’s supplied by Izumi-ya and deserts made by Tonari Gumi’s volunteers, everyone enjoyed themselves in the pleasantly warm temperatures. David Iwaasa brought everyone up to date on the progress with Tonari Gumi’s new facilities which should be completed by the spring of next year and encouraged everyone to contribute to creating a “Home Away from Home” for the seniors within our community. Then it was onto the games, ranging from a balloon toss, egg carrying relay, jun-ken-po, a Japanese train relay, the traditional crack the watermelon and a rousing tug-a-war competition. If you like some of the photos displayed below, check out the rest of them in our flickr feed by clicking on the pictures to the right. It was a great event and if you missed this year, make sure you make the next one. Our next major event is our 11th Annual Premium Sake Tasting Night on Saturday, October 6th. Tickets sell out quickly so purchase your tickets by contacting Tonari Gumi or buy them on-line right here.