April turned out to be an exceptionally eventful month, which sadly didn’t allow me to post as often as I wanted. Life never gets boring in Japan, although there seems to be a different verve in the air during the cherry blossom season. Not sure if it is because so many tourists flood the country (record number of tourists in Tokyo this year!), or it’s my fondness of spring and all the natural beauty that comes with it. One thing is certain though, I have lots to share!
After numerous positive feedback and encouragement from different sources, I finally made the decision to offer photography sessions. I couldn’t have picked a better time either, as a lot of families in my community booked me for the cherry blossom photoshoots. Perhaps the biggest lessons learned from this new endeavor of mine is that family photography requires a lot of skills and involves a lot of hard work (constant communication and coordination with clients, finding a perfect spot for the photoshoot, working like a horse on the day of the photoshoot, and then editing everything). At the end of the day though, capturing every cheeky smile, happy face, special moment and even a melt-down of a two-month old baby is worth it all. I am currently setting up my photography page on Facebook where I will feature all my work, and eventually will build my web-site as well. I also plan to apply for online photography school (currently actively researching, so let me know if you have any recommendations) to further my skills and get certified. I am a huge believer – old-fashioned as it might be – in formal education and structured course studies, and think it will help me get where I want to be in terms of honing my technical skills. On top of endless of practical work, of course. We shall see what future holds in this respect and how this little creative work of my unfolds.
I gave myself a luxury of a short time off work to enjoy cherry blossom season. I made up a list of all the spots I wanted to visit and spent a week frolicking Tokyo’s neighborhoods to take in the fleeting views of blooming sakura. It felt wonderful to allow a little “me time” to myself and do things at my own pace. I still have tons to share in the coming weeks (to my mom’s big disappointment who told me today that she is getting bored of my sakura photos. LOL and sigh.), although you can catch up on the digital diaries I already published here.
As I mentioned before, cherry blossoms are not the only highlight of spring in Japan. There are plenty of other Japanese flower festivals to look forward to. I enjoyed a lovely weekend with my friends in the Showa Kinen Park and marveled at the blooming candy-colored tulips. Next up are the wisteria, azalea and shibazakura festivals in May, followed by the hydrangea craze in June.
In other news (or rather, a “pinch me” moment), I now have my own column – Neighborhood Strolls – on Savvy Tokyo where I share detailed guides of different areas of the metropolis, both touristy spots, and off the beaten track areas. My articles about Jiyugaoka and Aoyama are already live, and I will bring you Odaiba in May – a great place to spend a rainy day at.
Justin threw me a huge surprise in April and got us VIP tickets for Coldplay who visited Tokyo on their world tour Head Full of Dreams. I’ve been an avid listener of Coldplay’s songs for over a decade now and this opportunity was a total dream come true. The concert was an absolute blast, filled with surprises and special effects. Listening to my current favorite – Something Just Like this – being performed live was a very special moment.
April is a very special month for Justin and I as 28th of April marks our wedding anniversary. This year Justin took over the planning and took me for dinner at Pierre Gagnaire in ANA Intercontinental Tokyo (detailed post coming up soon). To avoid commute, we decided to spend the night at the hotel which also allowed us to stay up till the wee hours at the bar and enjoy the nightlife for a change.
This pretty much sums up my month. I hope to catch a breath in May and reconnect with the blogging world. Speaking of which, don’t forget to link-up your post on Emma, Angie, Polly and Binny’s blogs. This month the topic is A Travel Menu, i.e. if travel was a menu, what would be your starter (short haul), main (long haul) and/or dessert (a place with a lasting impression). I truly cannot wait to read everyone’s contributions! I love the idea of travel link-ups because it gives me opportunity to discover, interact with and learn from so many like-minded people. So, if you haven’t yet done so, I highly encourage you to join in. My other favorite travel link-ups are Wanderful Wednesday, Monday Escapes, Faraway Files, City Tripping and Fly Away Friday to name the few. Do you have any favorite link-ups? Please share!
Tell me, how was your April? I’d love to hear!