Hanami Countdown to March 26th in the Tokyo Area

posted in: Hanami, Parks, Spring, Tokyo, Ueno | 0
Hanami, Ueno Park, zoo, yamato, spirit, travel, in Japan, visiting Japan, eating in Japan, international, tourists, temples, parks, museums, art, kimono, green tea, sushi, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Okinawa, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Honshu, Hokkaido, tech, games, manga, anime,
The bears want you to join them for hanami in Ueno Park. I’d RSVP if I were you.

 

Hanami Season is Upon Us in Tokyo – Be there and FEEL the Hanami Love!

Spent the say at Ueno Park Zoo yesterday. Animals were lively. I promise, pics to follow. Between the animals, cherry blossoms and people watching we got some great images to share with our friends. I post this now to give you a heads up on the Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) festivities that are revving up towards the end of this month and into April. We’ve gone before and it’s a beautiful sight to see. Plus, a very popular way for families and lovers to share in the beauty of what seems to be a cherry blossom covered park in Tokyo springtime. People will be picnicking, spending time at the shrines and basking in the beauty of plum and cherry blossoms as the world suddenly becomes very pink.

This is a MUST SEE event, so don’t miss it. If you know of hanami opportunities around Japan please leave your comments or contact us and we will be happy to post information and photos. I know we plan to make a run out to Chichibu to their gorgeous cherry blossom viewing season. Lots of cosplayers out there which is an added beauty.

More information here. Follow one of the images to the Official Ueno Park Zoo web site. The link takes you to an English page. The web site offers multiple languages for international visitors. If you live in Japan or you are visiting for an extended period, consider an annual pass. In 4 visits the pass has paid for itself and it offers a years worth of fun and joy for the pass holder. The Zoo also offers discounts to schools and groups. It is also possible to book special events or special programs for large groups. Cameras and video cameras are allowed. Please do not use your FLASH though. It can be very disturbing to the critters. Especially the marsupials.

Hanami, Ueno Park, zoo, yamato, spirit, travel, in Japan, visiting Japan, eating in Japan, international, tourists, temples, parks, museums, art, kimono, green tea, sushi, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Okinawa, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Honshu, Hokkaido, tech, games, manga, anime,
A great map and guide for the park and the zoo and points of interest for hanami visitors.

Spring is Close and the Sakura Are Coming Alive

posted in: Spring, Tokyo, Ueno | 0

Sakura trees are blooming now. Really glad spring is finally coming to Tokyo. We have been lucky as the winter was mild compared to last year…but it has been long. Sometimes I thought it would never end; the cold days and short nights. But on a recent trip to Ueno Park to visit Bentin Summa and see the lake coming back to life…I was surprised to see the cherry blossoms sprouting and the trees filling the twilight with a pink hue against a blue sky. I love this country.

I went to Meiji shrine for prayer, peace and love feeling

posted in: Shinto, Spirtual Places, Tokyo | 0

Standing at the Gates of Peace and Love

It was a beautiful day in Tokyo today so after some business meetings we left Harajuku and made our way to the Meiji shrine or Meiji jingu in Japanese. It is an expansive and beautiful place.The trees and tori, towering over us, are amazing. The birds and flowers are blooming and all in all it is a beautiful place to be.

Spiritual enclave of the Emperor Meiji dynasty
Tori entrance, Meiji shrine, Tokyo

We entered by the main gate and before us was the massive tori in the photo above. It was a little funny to me there was actually a sign telling people they are welcome to come and pray but no other funny business is allowed. If you know why they have this sign please leave a comment and start a discussion. I am curious about it. By the way. Please forgive my poor cell phone images. Next time I will try to do better.

Spiritual enclave of the Emperor Meiji dynasty
Tori entrance, Meiji shrine, Tokyo

We followed the winding path, seeing visitors from all over the world coming and going. People from the U.S. and France, Russia. I even met a couple from India. Of course there were many Japanese there and also Taiwanese, Koreans and Chinese.  It was beautiful to see people from all over Asia and the world in such a peaceful setting. It gave me hope for a future world filled with peace rather than a world filled with war and tyranny.

Spiritual enclave of the Emperor Meiji dynasty
Tori entrance, Meiji shrine, Tokyo

We prayed and I immediately felt better. Like a new day awakening before me. We stopped and looked at the offerings Meiji shrine offers to its visitors. Various Meiji charms, talisman and fortunes.

Follow the Way of Empress Shoken

After discussing with Usagi, I decided to take a poem that is written by Emperor Meiji or Empress Shoken as my spiritual guide for the day.

A priestess hands you a wooden cylinder that contains long narrow sticks, each with a number on it. The number correlates to the poem you will get. You shake the cylinder and in a moment a stick pops out. The priestess read the number, in my case 6 and she gave me the poem. Mine was written by Empress Shoken.

Ever downward water flows,

But mirrors lofty mountains;

How fitting that our heart also

Be humble, but reflect high aims

Empress Shoken

In Japanese kanji the poem reads:

Takayama no kageo utushite yuku mizu no

Hikiki ni tsukuo kokoro tomogana

A Meiji jingu priest offers a further interpretation:

A down-flowing stream still reflects the

image of the highest peaks above.

Let your heart, in a similar manner, be humble but reflect high ideals.

It is a beautiful poem that reflects ideals everyone, everywhere should try to maintain. Imagine our world if people lived by this creed. It would be a beautiful place to raise our children, safe from all the problems people face today. With the Empress’ words we can make our own lives a better place and better hopefully for our friends and family. I am thinking to send this post to Barack Obama and Vladamir Putin and all the members of the United Nations and ask them to please consider their people when making their decisions. Our world leaders seem to have forgotten their own peoples. Instead they think of money and their own financial gains.

When you come to Tokyo take a few hours to explore Meiji Jingu. You can find more information Here.

 

Tasting the Essence of Hanami Season in Tokyo

posted in: Bars, Entertainment, Spring, Tokyo | 1

It’s a bit rainy today but the forecast is for clearing skies around Tokyo for the weekend. Sakura are blooming like mad and maybe now is the perfect time for a Hanami Party with friends and lovers.

Hanabi is popular Bar in Meguro
View from Hanabi tables

We’ve done a little research and have discovered a few pubs, bars and meeting places that are perfect for the Hanami season. Bar Hanabi in Nakameguro is a great place. You can find them at 2-16-11 Aobadai, Meguru-ku, tel. 03-5456-4404. Once you are in Meguro you can find Hanabi on a beautifully cherry blossom lined street. Their website is ( http://www.hanabi-nakame.jp )

Hanabi is popular Bar in Meguro
Inside Hanabi Bar

Hanabi offers party rental facilities are tables for intimate groups and couples. What I like the most, besides the great food, is that there are more than 100 varieties of cocktails.  So great food and drinks in a beautiful little place with an amazing view.

Hanabi Bar offers perfect mix of dood and cocktails
Delicious food available

Meguro is a beautiful city and perfect for watching Sakura or Hanami. At night the lanterns that line the river give a special beauty to the sakura lined walkways and streets that wind through the area. Hanabi offers perfect viewing opportunity to enjoy all of it. Doubt me? Just take a look.

Sakura watching on the Meguro gawa

The street around Hanabi, perfect for Hanami season.

Hanami season in Meguro

Enjoy the soft glow of the lanterns at night. Best idea is to come in the afternoon and watch the changing colors as the sun sets over Meguro. This Hanami season enjoy the sakura from different and new places around Tokyo.

Hanami season in Meguro
View from hanabi

Sakura in full bloom in Tokyo

posted in: Rivers, Spring, Tokyo | 1

First Sakura – 2014

Spring has finally come to this cold place. Families are out and about, children run and play and enjoy the warm sun and the air is filled with the sweet smell of sakura trees blooming and showing their flowers for the first time since last spring.

Sakura trees blooming in Tokyo spring 2014

Usagi and I spent the day strolling through the neighborhoods of Asakusa and Akihabara, visiting shrines and temples and praying for Japan and for our families.

Sakura trees blooming in Tokyo spring 2014

This is my first time to be in Japan during a glorious spring.  I have usually come to stay in the fall and winter and could never understand fully, the attraction for Japanese and for visitors from around the world, the draw, the need to see and bathe in the beauty that are sakura.

Sakura trees blooming in Tokyo spring 2014

We spent part of the afternoon, after visiting the Imato (maneki-neko) shrine in Asakusa we walked across busy streets and crowded passage ways until we made our way to the Sumida gawa (Sumida river). The trees you see here line the river in a park that stretches on for miles. The photo above shows the world famous Tokyo SkyTree which is just on the other side of the Sumida.

Because we know not everyone can be here who wishes to be we have made some nice wall papers for your computer as a gift of friendship and love to visitors to our site. Please download them and enjoy them. If you like them, please share them with your friends and family.

Free Wallpapers of the Tokyo Sakura season – 2014

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