The Yukata Party

The Yukata Party by bloompy
The Yukata Party, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

Last night I attended my first Yukata Party. It was quite exciting a soirée with about 80 men attending. The event, hosted by my friends at their residence at the posh Roppongi Hills, started around 7pm on Saturday evening, and the last guest left at around 4 in the morning on Sunday.

Yukata is a type of kimono worn by both men and women during the hot summer months. Since my move here in 2004, I learned that yukata was becoming popular again. Perhaps the cultural ministry wished for the young people to wear the traditional costumes from time Continue reading


The Return of the Cicadas

I recently returned to Tokyo from an extended Golden Week vacation. I left it as the city was trying to shed its cold weather and came back to see that some foreigners had donned shorts and light shirts, which could only mean that the warmer weather had arrived (one cannot really tell by the way most businessmen dress as they always wear the same dark suits, whiter shirts and dark ties, but that all will change soon, and I will explain Continue reading

Fleeting Beauty

The white and pink blossoms that only a week ago provided a sight for the tired wintery eyes have been swept away by the wind and rain that came to Tokyo this week. With the temperature dropping to mimic a winter weather, it would be nice to escape to the mountains of Hakone and soak in the hot springs…

Confetti of Petals

Confetti of Petals by bloompy
Confetti of Petals, a photo by bloompy on Flickr.

It feels as if there were many weddings and birthday parties taking place these last few days for there were so much confetti strewn across the city. In fact, Tokyo (and all over Japan) is experiencing what the French call elegantly “La Fleuraison de Cerises”, better known here as the Cherry Blossoms. In private gardens and public parks, canopies of the Continue reading

Xmas Starts to Pop Up

In the mid-80s in the U.S., this was how things worked: Stores had their Christmas decorations and merchandise for sale the day after Thanksgiving. In the late 80s, Christmas-related items started to pop up after Halloween, moving one month ahead before Thanksgiving. Shortly thereafter, in the early 90s, Christmas items ridiculously showed up in July in a major department store in San Francisco, which is not too bad Continue reading

The Autumnal Equinox

The most recent Japanese holiday celebrated the Autumnal Equinox, a time when the sun appeared to cross the celestial equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, this phenomenon ushered in the Fall Season. And so it really began: the unbearable heat and humidity of the summer days slowly gave way to the cooler and dryer fall weather. In the past week, since September 27, it has rained almost everyday. A typhoon was supposed to be working its way to the city, but the only evidence I saw was the gusty wind. If there was a rainstorm, it Continue reading

Mosquitoes: Japanese vs. Indonesian

I grew up in Indonesia, then moved to the U.S. (Louisiana, Tennessee, and California) and now am living in Japan. Those years of living in the U.S. were great; if not for anything else, then for the one reason that I did not ever have to deal with mosquitoes. Maybe it was the climate of where I used to live, or maybe it was the fact that I never lived in a lower level apartment, but my summers in the U.S. were pest-free (safe for those telemarketing calls.)

In Indonesia, there are only two seasons: the wet and the dry seasons, but mosquitoes thrive on both weathers. All year long, they are always around and doing their job. On the other hand,my many trips to Tokyo were never punctuated by any visit from a mosquito. Before my move here, times were passed in the hotels and those visits were hardly during Continue reading