A Spring Journey
A Spring Journey
By Wayne Sun
“In blossom today, then scattered: Life is so like a delicate flower. How can one expect the fragrance to last forever?” – Admiral Onishi Takijiro
It has been my perennial dream to go to Japan more than any other country. And with the twist of fate, my dream came true. With our visas quickly approved, my daughter, my mother, my twin and I started our 10-day tour of the majestic Japan in its best season – Spring.
My first impression of Tokyo is like a bowl of busy bees. The music of footsteps on the streets makes a local ear sense that he is home. An everyday portrait of the city would be non-stop people on the street and when you look up, there would be towering buildings and skyscrapers hovering over you. My first take on Tokyo is that it is the most expensive city in the world being the center of business in Asia and surrounded by technological advancements that are not available anywhere else.
The first place we visited was the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. This is the oldest temple in Tokyo. It is said to be the most famous and photographed
temple in the city. To blend in the mood, we arrived there in style. Riding a Rickshaw all the way to our first destination was definitely an experience I would not forget. For a person as heavy as me, with my daughter and elder sister, this young man single-handedly pulled our two-wheeled cart and swept the streets without breaking a sweat. At this temple, you can witness all forms of Japanese traditions on how they pray for the manifestation of their wishes and call for good luck, health life, and good fortune. From lighting of incense candles,
releasing of smoke, throwing of coins and drinking of water from the well, we were definitely slowly turning Japanese.
Since we were travelling with my daughter, our next itinerary was to the zoo. We checked out Ueno Zoological Gardens which is the oldest zoo in
Japan. Among the highlights are the polar bears, the seals, the pandas and the gorillas. It was such a treat to see a big smile on my daughter’s face as it was also her first time to visit a zoo in her whole life. And I am glad that her first was here in Japan.
Our next destination is Takeshita Street in Harajuku. This is like the fashion street of Tokyo where you can see people flaunting bright, colorful and outlandish clothes and make up. It will definitely spark your imagination and inspire you to follow their trend. There are numerous clothing stores, out of this world shops selling different kinds of merchandise and restaurants worth dining for the second time. One of our
I did undoubtedly.
And since its spring in Tokyo, we visited one of the beautiful cherry blossom gardens also known as Sakura. And to witness these eye popping trees we went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens with our brother this time. A lot of tourists go here to take pictures, have a picnic or simply read a book or rest. As you enter this magnificent landscaped garden, it was like stepping into another world. The whole place was like a picture in
Another highly recommended place from my brother is to go to the Metropolitan Government of Tokyo. It’s the 2nd tallest building in the city. He took us to the 45th floor where we can see the marvelous view of Tokyo. It was a spectacle to my eyes.
And finally to cap off our 10-day adventure in Tokyo, would not be complete without going to the happiest place on earth - Tokyo Disneyland. We literally spent our whole day hopping from one theme ride to the next. We watched the afternoon parade as well as the evening dream light parade which showcased different Disney characters from Alice in Wonderland, the Blue Fairy, Peter Pan, Mickey Mouse and the Gang, Disney Princesses and a whole lot more. If you are a kid at heart like me, it would be one big check on your bucket list.
favorites were the shops selling crepes and bubble tea that are served generously with ice cream, chocolate syrup, matcha syrup and everything else that will make your taste buds sing.
Our next trip was to Shibuya. We experienced the busiest intersection in the world also known as the Scramble Crossing. Millions of people pass from all directions at this crossing each day. This landmark has been very famous in movies, like in one of the Resident Evil sequels. This is one of the best places to take a 360-degrees video which
a canvas that came to life. It was an atmosphere of peace and rejuvenation that you cannot experience anywhere else.
Aside from the wonderful and breath-taking places that we visited, what I liked about Japan are the people. They are very respectful and courteous. This is evident whenever we ride the train. When they see my 83-year old mom and 6-year old daughter, automatically people near us would immediately stand up and offer their seats. During my whole stay, I had not witnessed any traffic jams or congestion of cars unlike here in the Philippines. I didn’t have any culture shock. The only challenge was the weather since it was really cold that we have to wear triple clothing, gloves, face mask, muffler, rub lotion to the whole body and apply lip balm.
If other people would say, I left my heart in San Francisco, I would say, “I left my heart in Tokyo and I can't wait for my next encounter.”
Indeed, a country is made of the people than the places they offer. Sayōnara Nihon, mata aimashō. ��������� ���������