The Vernal Equinox Day

Today is the Vernal Equinox holiday in Japan.
As most of our holidays are on Mondays
(thank you for the three-day weekends, Mr. Koizumi!)
it’s rare that we have a holiday on Wednesday.
But it’s just the break I needed.
According to our Public Holiday Law this holiday is a day
“to admire nature and cherish living things.”
I think I’m going to do just that and spend the day outside!
Also, I was inspired by these pretty watercolor nails
and tried them out on mine the other day.
Seemed perfect for spring.
Happy Vernal Equinox to you!

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!
Seriously.
Best lunch break ever.

The Almost Spring Day

Oh I love that I can feel spring just around the corner!
How do I know, you ask?
Because the pretty plum blossoms
have started blooming in my neighbor’s yard.
We call plums Ume in Japanese.
And plum blossoms blooming in Japan
is a sign that spring is coming!
梅一輪一輪ほどの暖かさ
(Ume Ichirin Ichirin Hodo No Atatakasa)
(haiku about how every plum blossom brings the warmth closer)

– Hattori Ransetsu (1654-1707)

The Whiff of Spring

Today it was so warm outside.
Definitely did not need my jacket.
But actually it shouldn’t have come as a surprise
because the first day of spring in Japan is February 4th.
We call the day Risshun (立春).
And seeing as it’s just around the corner
I guess it makes sense that it was warm today.
Actually, until the Meiji era
Risshun was considered to be start of the new year.
Which is understandable because that’s when nature comes alive.
I spent early afternoon
on a rooftop patio in Harajuku.
The sun felt SO GOOD.
I always feel deprived of sunlight in the winter
because I go to work in the morning and
by the time I leave the office it’s already dark outside.
It’s so depressing.
Have you heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder?
I swear I get it during the winter.
But today I had a few hours under the sun
writing letters and sending emails.
And I loved every minute of this gorgeous day!!!