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Posts tagged ‘Sakura’

Picnic at Yoyogi park

I wrote this post at the end of December last year but never got to publish it. I never get to finish things these days. Even when I have a little bit of free time I choose to sleep because I am so tired.. hehe Oh well, better late than never. ^-^

So, I get to stay at home a lot lately and it’s winter and it’s cold and it’s getting dark way too quickly. When I hear 5PM chime outside my window, I have this sad tightening feeling in my chest that another day has past and I haven’t done much.. Taking care of a newborn is tough because it turns your whole world upside down and requires a lot of getting used to. Not that I mind feeding and burping and changing diapers. I actually enjoy all that. But I miss terribly my other activities, especially going out and meeting my friends… I was going through some old pics today while the little one was sleeping and stumbled upon this picnic photos we took during Golden Week this year. I never got to publish them and now it’s kind of too late but I decided to do it anyway. It’s nice to look back at the beginning of my pregnancy and see how it was. That picnic day was actually when I told my girlfriends I was pregnant. We had such a nice time. It was funny how they immediately swooped the bags with food and drinks out of my hands and then didn’t allow me to carry anything heavy the entire day. ^-^

That’s my favorite picnic food from Tokyu food court in Shibuya. All these shops have been there since I moved to Japan. In Tokyo everything changes with the speed of light yet my favorite gyoza and croquette shops are still there after all these years. It just tells you how delicious the stuff is. People keep coming back for more keeping the business alive.

That day, Gow chan brought Buddy with her. He loves eating his snacks on someone’s lap. ^-^

Sakura in Japan blooms in April but this particular kind is late, blooming in the beginning of May. Shibuya has a lot of such trees. That’s another thing that I miss.. I moved to another ward this year after living in Shibuya for 10 years. Third of my life I have been living in this crazy Tokyo neighbourhood that never sleeps. I used to live in an apartment building that had Meiji street – the biggest longest street in Tokyo on one side and train track on the other side. City noise was constant and I got used to listening to the sound of traffic and train when falling asleep. Now, I hear the singing of birds in the morning. It is very nice but it is so different. Sometimes, I wake up because it is too silent. Crazy! ^-^


All things April

I haven’t been blogging in April, mainly due to the fact that ever since I gained a little bit of weight by eating junk food out of stress, I’ve been using every free minute to exercise. So far, I haven’t lost much weight but I hooked up on running. It’s the perfect kind of work out for me because it’s free, I don’t have to go somewhere to do it and I can enjoy Tokyo’s scenery along the way. Each time I choose different direction which helped me discover a great open cafe, a nice park and several secluded hanami spots. ^-^

So what was happening in April? First things first – lots of earthquakes. On April 11th we got big one and then another, each one getting closer and closer to Tokyo. On Saturday it was Chiba, yesterday it happened in Nagano.. I can only hope they won’t escalate..

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In bloom

I wish Tokyo would be warmer this year because the most beautiful season where everything grows back to life was a bit hard to enjoy..Rain and strong wind and the temperature staying below 10C are not the conditions under which you prefer viewing sakura in bloom or having picnic in the park…But nevertheless, I enjoyed the view from different locations, more by a sudden opportunity rather than a special plan in mind..

This one was my first hanami. Right before watching Sherlock Homes in Roppongi Hills, me and my husband did a little detour to Sakura zaka to see these gorgeous flowers in bright illumination.

Then, I had a lunch picnic with my little minions at Meguro river.

Lille made (from scratch) almond and chocolate muffins and puffy bacon pie with cheese – delicious! It’s amazing what you can do with a Japanese microwave and a little bit of patience.

Sakura was in full bloom at that day and because of the strong wind, it rained on us non stop. When I got back to my office, my bag was full of little pink and white petals.

These are my most favorite Magnolia flowers blooming in the rain somewhere in Shibuya. When the petals begin to fall, you better watch out especially if the tree is big, they can hit your head pretty hard. Happened to me last year in Shinjuku gyoen park. ^-^

Then on Saturday night me and my husband went to Russian Orthodox church for Easter celebration. It was cold and windy, we could hardly keep our candle flame going during procession around the church. As always it was beautiful – choir singing, bells ringing and people coming to join from every street. I met Anastasia and her sister and some of my old Russian friends.

Before the service started we walked around the Imperial palace and wandered into Hibiya park.

Then walked along the canal where giant carps were jumping out of water.

Paid our respect to Gozilla statue ^-^

and to gorgeous Peninsula hotel! ^-^

Then a week later, I met Serezha in Sakuragicho for the movie “My darling is a foreigner” where none other but our own Gow was starring in it alongside with Dante from Softbank commercials.

The movie was funny and easy to watch but for me had its shortcomings too. Some of the scenes were a bit  disconnected as in all Japanese movie interpretations of famous manga. There were also scenes that had the sole purpose of honoring movie sponsors like wedding scene sponsored by the likes of Zexy. It had no meaning and reminded me again how much I hate robotic circus like weddings that often take place in Japan. Also the stereotypes in the movie drove me crazy. A huge maguro head on the plate in a kaiten sushi restaurant ordered by a foreigner – seriously! That’s ridiculous!

Oh, and Gow chan had to speak bad Japanese with an American accent! I bet it was difficult for her since her Japanese is perfect!

Oh, and couple of days ago I met with Rodion. He is also from St.Petersburg and used to work for a local TV channel before coming to Tokyo.

We have similar backgrounds and the same passion for milkshakes and video games.  ^-^

He took me to one of his favorite cafes in Shibuya where I had a very unhealthy half a litre of milkshake and some decent tacos.

Then, we went to a game center to shoot monsters and play guitar hero.

My last hanami was near my office during lunch break. My friend Hiro bought a new toy camera and wanted to check it out. The pictures are not ready yet but he took some with my camera too.

That day and the day I went to Sakuragicho were the only warm days and it’s already middle of April. What is up with the spring this year?

Hanami at Gyoen park Shinjuku

Sakura at Gyoen

It was pre-sakura week. Only few trees were blossoming but the weather was perfect and crowds with professional cameras have not yet hit the park so we could enjoy a nice stroll in the sun, Magnolia scent and a rare opportunity to gather up on a saturday afternoon.

Magnolia blossoms

It was my first time to meet Yogi. He came from Okinawa to visit our mutual friends in Tokyo. He was very friendly but shy and because Vincent was in our company we could hardly talk, as always Vincent did all the talking. ^-^ That’s one of his charms.

Yogi, me and Vincent

We walked all the way to the French gardens and then spend all afternoon in La Boheme.

Laura and me at Gyoen

Louise joined us later to spice up our discussion with her cute little French jokes. It was also my first time to meet her but I’ve heard a lot about her from Laura. She is sooo interesting, playing violin and dancing ballet and her birthday is on 29th of February so she had only like 8 birthdays so far. In Russia, if you are born on 29th of February you are registered either as 28th of February or 1st of March – never on 29th because in Russia we think of a year that has 29th of February as unlucky year. ^-^ Fortunately Yogi gave us all little “omamori” – little bags of salt that are believed to have protective powers in Okinawa.

Now sakura is in full blossom. Last weekend I went to watch it at Yanaka bochi – cemetery in Ueno. More about it in the next entry. ^-^

Hanami lunch

Sakura flowers

Today me and my team went for a Dean and Delica lunch in the park with blossoming cherry trees. In some parts the trees are in full bloom already and it looks absolutely amazing especially when the sun comes out of the clouds. Eating outside in the sun is really so much healthier and better than in front of PC or in a smokey restaurant. I wish we could go out like that more often! (*^-^*)

Sakura slope