It feels abnormal to return to normal: no blankets on the sofa; no extra towels in the bathroom; no maps spread out on the table; no parcels from Loft, Uniqlo, Itoya, Kiddyland, Isetan and various wagashi shops neatly lined up in the living room.
The only evidence that I had a guest is a small porcelain zebra that she brought with her, all the way from South Africa. It now has pride of place on my dictionaries next to my computer.
My niece has left for Singapore, where she'll stay with a friend for another week. Her overriding impression of Tokyo: clean, crowds, great customer service. Her biggest surprise: how cosmopolitan it is. Her most common interjection on Day 1: Oh my gosh! Her most common interjection on Day 2 to Day 6: It's so cute! (It's contagious.)
My most successful excursions: Kappabashi and Ladurée (thanks to fellow South African Mary for suggesting it, and to Lisa, whose photos persuaded me to go). She had a great gastronomic tour that ranged from a blue-collar izakaya in Ameyoko to an upmarket wagashi shop in Kagurazaka. I had fun. I hope she had, too. It was less stressful (I was worried about lack of space) but more tiring than I thought it would be.
I return to blogging with a few photos of plum blossoms taken at Koishikawa-Kōrakuen. We went there yesterday morning. I thought there might be a few blossoms left, but I was pleasantly surprised: many trees are still in full bloom.
|I'm cheating: I took this photo at home. Click for bigger versions.|
The problem with plum blossoms is that they simply cannot compete with their prettier cherry cousins. Plum blossoms are beautiful as single blossoms, but en masse they just don't have the impact of an exuberant, frothy sakura explosion. Cherry blossoms have no sense of decorum; plum blossoms are a bit self-conscious. Extrovert and introvert. Precocious cheerleader and blushing maiden. Plum blossoms have one big advantage, though: they have a lovely odor. (Cherry blossoms have none.) As you walk through the orchard, you're enveloped in their fragrance. I won't mention what it did to my hay fever. Let's not spoil this scene of pastoral perfection.
Thanks for your visit, Diné! I'm glad your last day in Tokyo was full of sunshine and flowers. じゃね!
|The plum orchard at Koishikawa Kōrakuen|
|I took these photos with my phone. Not bad for a phone, huh?|
|Plum blossoms thataway.|
|Playing with light at home, using my Canon|
|Isn't it cute?|