“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.
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.
Located at the fringes of western Tokyo, Okutama is a town that offers the quiet majesty of nature to anyone who drops by for a visit. I walked the Otama Trail for my first ever solo hike, which gave way to a lot of reflection. Continue reading Trailing Thoughts in Okutama
The naturally-occurring patterns that we find in nature always leave me awestruck. It makes me realize how clever and wonderful the design of the universe is, and how this design lives in all of us. I like to think this way, because by default it makes our design flawless, no matter how much other people point out the so-called faults in your physique. Continue reading Branches
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.