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Showing posts from January, 2018

The Point Is

It snowed in Tokyo today, just when I had decided to wear leather shoes.
True, the weather forecast had said "Snow 100%" when I checked it that morning, but I simply couldn't believe it: in the entire winter I'd spent in Tokyo six years ago not once had it even sort of maybe hinted at snow. But by 1pm it was snowing big, fat, damp flakes of snow that quickly piled up on the sidewalks and in the streets. I was told to go home early from my first day at my new job (what a day!), and since it took me nearly two hours to get back to my apartment that was certainly the right call.

Hard to believe that only two days ago it was nearly 50 degrees (Fahrenheit, I'm still a US girl at heart, here, even if I now live in 24-hour time) and I was walking through a sunny Japanese garden.

The Kyuyasuda garden is located in the Ryogoku area of Sumida-ku, in the Eastern half of Tokyo. It's an area famous for sumo, and the park is nestled against the grounds of the "Ryogoku…

But I Must Maintain!

I have a soft spot for art that lets the viewer interact with it, or museums that let visitors take photographs of the galleries. An exhibit that checks both of these boxes--and is full of mind-boggling optical illusions to boot!--is an experience I just couldn't pass up. So with my buddy Troy (he took all of the good photos in this post and if you want to see more of what he's up to check him out at A Troy in Tokyo!)  we hit up the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi to check out an exhibit called "Seeing and Believing" by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich.

Believe it (haha) or not, I've seen some of Erlich's work in person before: he's responsible for the optical illusion "swimming pool" installation at the 21 Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa. The 40-odd installations at this exhibit certainly didn't disappoint.

One darkened room had five boats "floating" in what at first glance seemed to be water. Take a closer look at the…

Oh, Hie There!

Happy 2018, everybody! It feels weird to me that I've already been in Japan for over seven months: time really does fly. I was fortunate to spend a week at home for New Year's where I did a lot of eating, sleeping, and general relaxing. But now I'm back in Japan where the weather is a lot warmer (mid-40s most days) than it is in Chicago (-15 degrees for the entire week I was there). And since Christmas is technically a full 12 days, I was still home for the holidays.

Speaking of Christmas, I had a lovely time. I went to church at Saint Alban's for the first time in several months and enjoyed singing (and harmonizing!) to hymns. Most of the Christmas music I'd been exposed to thus far had been the overly peppy songs played in-store like "Jingle Bell Rock" (gag), "Santa Baby" (more gag), "Let it Snow," and other non-denominational songs.

Then, after a delightful sushi lunch in Akasaka--

--I stopped at the nearby Hie Shrine.

The shrine is…