A Chock-full of Chofu: A Day Trip to Jindaiji Botanical Garden, Jindaiji Temple and Yumori no Sato

Date Visited: March 18, 2017
Itinerary:

  • Jindai Botanical Garden
  • Jindaiji Temple
  • Yumori no Sato (Hot Spring)

“Are we still in Tokyo?” My best friend Yui asked the moment we got off the bus. The night before, I had asked her on a whim if she wanted to go to Jindai Botanical Garden.  We knew it was too early and too cold to see flowers, but we decided to do a bit of hanami before we went to have drinks.

It was a grey afternoon, and since we both had not been to the area before, we had no idea what to expect. Chofu was every bit a part of Tokyo, but the area where the park is located is far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was quiet and peaceful, the perfect destination for souls worn out by the daily grind. Continue reading “A Chock-full of Chofu: A Day Trip to Jindaiji Botanical Garden, Jindaiji Temple and Yumori no Sato”

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Early Spring Stroll at Hamarikyu Gardens

Date Visited: March 12, 2017

Nestled in the urban jungle of Shimbashi is the curious world of Hamarikyu Gardens. I say curious because big public parks in Tokyo are usually enclosed in such a way that stepping into them takes you into a different world altogether; Hamarikyu, on the other hand, makes you rediscover the vastness of the sky.

This is in itself a good thing, but it also makes for a peculiar experience. At Hamarikyu, nature and traditional structures abound, but the presence of tall, proud buildings standing in the distance also cannot be ignored. The result, at least for me, is a discord in time and space; a conflation of relaxation and stress, as if reminding the visitor that one cannot exist without the other.

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A pond and an arch bridge, with tall buildings in the distance

Continue reading “Early Spring Stroll at Hamarikyu Gardens”

Of Flowers and Lanterns: The Zama Sunflower Festival & Asakusa Tōrō Nagashi

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Summer is sizzling in Tokyo and the heat is just unbearable. You’d think that because I’m from the Philippines I’d  be immune to the summer heat, right? Not quite. Japanese summer is just way too humid for my liking.

So what’s the most sensible thing to do during this season? Well, you can either surrender to the heat and laze about, or attempt to beat it by going out and having fun. I obviously opted for the latter, and so here’s a rundown of two summer events I went to: the Zama Sunflower Festival and the Asakusa Tōrō Nagashi. Continue reading “Of Flowers and Lanterns: The Zama Sunflower Festival & Asakusa Tōrō Nagashi”