This post is not about a specific place, but a collection of beautiful places and spring scenes my friend and I recently enjoyed while roaming the streets of Tokyo. Tokyo can seem massive, chaotic & overwhelming. But all it takes is to turn around the corner to find yourself in a complete pocket of calm. I grew to love the cozy backyard shrines that exude quintessential vibe and utter serenity. I can have the whole place to myself, and take time to explore the details and artwork, while also enjoying the quietness of it all. Everywhere you go, you are deemed to be charmed. The beauty of Japan is that you don’t have to go to the “must see” spots or look for wonders in remote destinations to be impressed. You will be charmed wherever you go. In fact, I have been unfairly neglecting my own neighborhood for a year, and when I finally decided to explore the shrines around my house I was rewarded with a courtyard lined up with blooming kawazu zakura trees. Two minutes away from home. Isn’t it funny how we go sightseeing elsewhere, but never dedicate enough time to exploring our own neighborhoods or even hometowns? My best discoveries in Japan have always been off-beat, totally random and unplanned. The other day, Naomi and I were walking towards the train station when our curiosity took over and we peeked around the corner to find a beautiful little shrine, completely deserted. Sweet tart ume scent on the crisp air and the soft pink confetti scattered over weathered traditional scenes were a true treat and totally worth the detour. Follow your heart, not the itinerary. It will lead you to beautiful places. Anyway, without further ado, I want to share a few scenes around Tokyo and its outskirts. Of course, plum and cherry blooms had to be in the picture. It’s that time of the year.
Let the east wind blow and send your fragrance
Oh, plum blossoms
Do not forget the spring
Even though your master is gone.
Lord Sugawara no Michizane, 9th century
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