The Beauty of Shinjuku Gyoen

The end of the year is always a busy time for me (and everyone else, it seems).
But last Thursday, I woke up tired after another night of nomikai (which was really fun!) and needed some time to myself. So I went to the one place I can always count on to calm me and at the same time fill me with energy…Shinjuku Gyoen.
I was pretty sure all the leaves would have fallen by now and I would just be seeing branches against the blue sky. That would have been enough for me.
Well, I was wrong.
Even though the ginkgo trees had started to loose their yellow leaves by the dozen, the Japanese maple trees had just started to change color everywhere. Spots of orange, red, and purple could be seen throughout the park paths, lit up by the rays of sunlight. And it was beautiful.

This is the one place. The one place I know where I can always come to relax. To hear myself think without the chaos. And always leave feeling refreshed, even if it’s during a short lunch break.
 Hope you have a moment to of quiet or calm during this busy season, too! x

The Picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen

Ever since I got my hands on this fabulous picnic blanket, I’ve been a picnic addict!
So last Saturday, my bff and I had a picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The great thing is that she just moved into my neighborhood (whoop whoop!) so we just met up at the corner of the street and walked to the park together. I love that we can do that now!
We stopped by Freshness Burger to grab lunch for our picnic. Have you tried their vegetable burgers? They are so good. They have a bean burger and a mushroom burger and I am SO happy they are back on the menu. I think they are popular among non-vegetarians, too. This time I went with the mushroom burger set. 
We spent the whole afternoon just laying around and relaxing. There were a lot of families with children also doing the same thing and we ended up chatting with a few of the little people. So cute. All in all it was a great afternoon, especially since the typhoon came and it was all rain the following two days.
Do you have a favorite picnic spot? x

The Sakura in Shinjuku Gyoen

My love for this gorgeous park just grows and grows.
I heard that Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden was in full bloom
and couldn’t pass up the chance of seeing it all myself 🙂

Shinjuku Gyoen has over 1,300 cherry trees within the park.
About 420 trees are the ever popular Somei Yoshino.
But what’s so great about this place is that
they have SO MANY different types of cherry trees.
You can enjoy an array of colors and shapes.
And the greatest thing about it is
you can enjoy the cherry blossoms for a longer time
because they all reach full bloom at different times…YAY!!!

And tell me if this beautiful reflection on the lake
doesn’t make you want to run to Shinjuku Gyoen right now? ;D

The Hanami in Yoyogi Park

Yes, you heard right.
We braved the hanami crowds
and headed to Yoyogi Park this weekend!
It was a very impromptu hanami
as sakura season came quite early this year.
But I’m glad we got to do it!
Drinks, sandwiches, and snacks…perfect for hanami 😀

Cherry blossoms scattered above our heads
It was a pretty chilly day
and it wasn’t the perfect blue sky.
But we had a grand ole time under the pretty cherry blossoms!
And you know what?
It wasn’t as crowded as I thought!
We were there from around 11am to 3pm but
there was plenty of space around us.
I guess all those rumors that Yoyogi Park
is jam packed during hanami season is a myth?
Maybe I’ll make hanami with friends an annual thing 😀

The Lunch Break at the Park

It got so much warmer outside all of a sudden!
No chills when stepping out of the house.
No more winter stockings.
(PS: I was so happy I actually threw them all out!)
(PPS: I may regret it later but it felt good!)
So so wonderful.
Gorgeous days like this call out to me.
I feel the need to go outside and bask under the sunlight.
So…I did!!!
I made a mad dash to Shinjuku Gyoen
during my lunch break one day.
It was GREAT!!!
I love the calm and beauty of this place.
So relaxing under the sun.
You can bet once I got there
I was dragging my feet going back to the office.

Oh and the pink plum blossoms were still in bloom!
They smell really sweet.
Did you know?
I took so much time taking pictures
and sniffing all the blossoms
that I had to make another mad dash across the grass.
Running barefoot felt AMAZING!
Best lunch break ever.

The Afternoon with the Dog

Headed out to Yoyogi Park today
to meet up with bestie Demi and Takumi.
And finally got to meet the newest member of Takumi’s family
the small handsome dog, Hyena Ponta.
But he looks exactly like the white lion from
Jungle Emperor Leo, especially the way he stands
so we just called him Leo.
Which he surprisingly answered to…haha.
He is such a silly dog.
Beautiful but silly as hell.
He would run around one minute
and suddenly stop to sniff the leaves.
And the most hilarious thing.
He would run around and then stop
next to some stranger and just stand there
like they are the owner or something.
Demi, Takumi, and I were watching and just LAUGHING!!!
The great thing about Yoyogi Park is that
since so many people bring their dogs around here
a lot of the cafes in the area allow pets inside with you.
This cafe called Arms is located just outside the park.
The menu looked great, all kinds of burgers and sandwiches.
But we were all pretty full so we went with the tea
which was perfect for a chilly day like today.
Also the interior design is really cute.
Warm and cozy.
Okay, we were all full but couldn’t resist
and got the tortilla and chowder.
And we loved it.
We just sat around talking
and catching up with each other.
Been so long since the ‘old gang’ has hung out.
I really miss everyone sometimes.
Everyone individually and everyone as a group.
I was only a couple of years but
it was so great having a group of friends close by
and you could see them anytime you wanted or needed to.
And, you know, I always know they’ll be there
even if we’ve all moved away from each other
but it’s not the same.
So I really love it when we can all meet up together.
The vibe and rhythm is still the same 
and even though we are growing and evolving
some things never change.