Bloom: An Ode to Cherry Blossoms

Tokyo Past 3’s YouTube channel is back, and it opens its 2017 run with a short piece on mortality and cherry blossoms, recited over shots of spring in the Kanto region.  Shogyō mujō (諸行無常) or “the temporality of all worldly things” happens to be one of my favorite themes, and more often than not I incorporate it in things I make. There’s only so much you can capture given the limits of time, erratic weather and a 9-to-5 job, but overall, I’m rather happy that I got to see them while they lasted.

BGM is “Koi to Komorebi no Toshishitsu” by Ryo Lion. Special thanks to Chihiro for looking over the piece for grammatical and spelling mistakes. He still thinks I cursed him because I sent him a birthday message in Tagalog.

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

Anniversaire Omotesando Holds Sakura Fair 2017

Tokyo — Spring has finally come and just as cherry trees have begun to flower, Anniversaire Cafe in Omotesando has also announced the start of their annual Sakura Fair! From March 22nd to April 18th, guests can enjoy sakura-themed items on the menu. Indulge in these treats while basking in the warmth of the spring sun at the cafe’s open terrace! Continue reading Anniversaire Omotesando Holds Sakura Fair 2017

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

29th Sakura Tulip Festa in Chiba Opens April 1st!

Top Image Source: Rurubu

Sakura City, Chiba — Sakura Furusato Square has announced the official dates for the 29th Sakura Tulip Festa. From April 1st to 23rd, guests can enjoy viewing 600,000 multicolored tulips of  70 kinds. This year’s theme is “scented tulips,” including rare species that flora enthusiasts definitely should not miss! Events and activities include traditional Dutch clothing rental, tulip picking, the Windmill Festival and more.  Continue reading 29th Sakura Tulip Festa in Chiba Opens April 1st!

Romanticizing Motherhood: Horikita Maki and the Ritualistic Retirement of Female Actresses in Japan

Top Image Source: Excite

On Tuesday, February 28th, I turned my TV on per my usual morning routine. I checked the clock on the upper left screen to make sure I wasn’t running late as the morning wide show I usually watch filled my otherwise quiet room with cheery, mostly insignificant chatter.

As the show moved from one segment to another, a familiar face appeared on my screen: actress Horikita Maki, through her agency, has faxed a handwritten letter to all media outlets announcing her retirement from the entertainment industry. In the letter, she details that she has decided to step away from the industry she has worked in for 14 years to focus on building a home. This was followed by a recollection of events in the past two years, primarily her marriage and childbirth. As the VTR ended and the camera zoomed back to the live studio, the hosts of the show sang praises for the actress, heralding once again the indisputable virtue of motherhood, before they quickly went to the next segment. Continue reading Romanticizing Motherhood: Horikita Maki and the Ritualistic Retirement of Female Actresses in Japan

Pintas & Christmas Nitpicking

In the Philippines, the culture of nitpicking is so prevalent that people feel entitled to comment on another person’s physical attributes all the time, most especially during the holiday season. I think we need to re-examine our attitude toward this. We all deserve to be happy, regardless of our physical make-up.

Exploring Japan, one story at a time

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