Pink Petal Rainstorms: Home

Back to the shuffle.

After about a month and a half of travel with barely a blink in between when I’d come home, work for a few days, and head off to the next destination, finally, I’m home.

Home of the overcrowded trains, foggy with the condensation of business men and women packed like sardines on a rainy, windy Wednesday morning. That’s the part I didn’t miss. My old diet of moderate consumption and morning routines? Those I’m happy to greet again. (C’mon, who can avoid indulging in new foods in vast quantities while traveling?)

The last few days have been a rush to take in as many cherry blossoms as possible before they rained onto the pavement in pink petal showers. Rather this time, real rain washed them away more swiftly. Sakura really is a time for thoughtfulness and consideration that everything has its time and place. Fret not, new beginnings blossom even when the initial beauty has long washed away. After all, spring is just beginning.

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Last Friday after arriving from Sapporo (Hokkaido), we were swept into the graces of a great and generous friend who took us to an incredible private tempura dinner experience, followed by night views of sakura near the Imperial Palace.

On Saturday, we feasted on blossoms all over the city, starting with Tamagawa, Jiyugaoka, and Naka-meguro, where we stopped for a sizable Hawaiian meal at Aloha Table with a clear view of the blossoms along the Meguro River from our high table. The perks of knowledgeable reservations — don’t be shy to ask for that view.

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From Nakameguro, we were swept away again by our friend, who took us to incredible places: Aoyama Cemetery’s sakura-lined road, Shinjuku Gyoen park, Isetan department store’s private coffee lounge, Happo-en in Shirokane area, driving views of Roppongi sakura, a traditional Kyoto-style tea house, and a feast of yakiniku near Marunouchi. Despite the cold, grey weather, it was beautiful–all of it. My favorite parts were Happo-en, a private garden housing bonsai trees over 500 years old, and the tea house, where I learned how to cool water to make the perfect cup of consommé-like green tea. It was unlike any I have tasted before.

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And just like that, cherry blossom season is over, my father is back home, I’m back to work and shortly school, and the only thing that remains of the fairy tale is the wilted pink petals on the sidewalks.

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