The start of Golden Week for us – and a new life for many. Today was the first day of Golden Week, a cluster of National Holidays in Japan where many workers get around a week off work. You really couldn’t have asked for better weather – the sun was splitting the trees – and so I headed down to Meiji Shrine for the start of the Spring Festival. Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingū) is a shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of […]
The sakura have fallen, swept away by the rivers and lost in the breeze for another year. Living gloriously, albeit for only a week, sakura are the embodiment of mono no aware (物の哀れ) – a Japanese Buddhist concept that recognizes the impermanence of life. In ancient Japan, warriors were compared to sakura blossoms – born to live brilliantly and die young. And so when the petals fall, a gentle sadness can be felt all throughout Japan. Spring is still here, but the pre-summer rains will soon begin.
Originally posted on IKIMASHO!:
Oddest boarding pass you ever will see Evacuation: Life on the ground and taking a relief flight from Kathmandu to London. It’s been nearly a month since I was evacuated on a relief flight back to the UK by the British Foreign Office after the earthquake in Nepal. Flying home I was a little unsure whether I had made the right decision, thinking I was fine to continue on travelling. But it’s only now that I…
In Japanese, hana (花) means flower and fubuki (吹雪) means snow storm. So, hanafubuki literally means ‘flower snow storm’ – or more commonly, ‘cherry blossom blizzard’. It happens once a year when the sakura petals begin to fall. Right now, hanafubuki has begun in Tokyo. I walked from my house in Shimokitazawa down to the river at Naka-meguro and the trees were snowing sakura all the way. ❤ Like IKIMASHO! on facebook
A bizarre Japanese festival that kinda sucks – in more ways than one. “Kawasaki, Japan: 10.30am. An American woman with gold pants and a massive ass is squatting on the ground in the convenience store, clutching a beer, looking as if she’s about to throw up. I look around and see more gaijin (foreigners) in the store than Japanese. Most look like military types who have come down from Yokosuka Naval base for the day. One guy, with a buzzcut and tshirt that […]
It’s been three months now since I moved back to Tokyo after travelling for the guts of a year. I arrived in January after my company needed someone to replace a teacher who had quit after the second term. So for the last three months I’ve basically been finishing off someone else’s contract – which has had its good and bad points. The positives: I had actually taught at this school before, four years ago. It was the first kindergarten I ever […]