I know that at the end of each month when I prepare my Things I’m Loving post, I look back and cannot believe how quickly the month passed. This time around was the worst yet. I literally did not believe June was over…until I looked at my calendar and saw it’s July 2nd! How can someone miss the start of a new month, you ask? The beginning of June saw us traveling to the Okinawan Islands to explore Shurijo Castle, Kabira Bay, Fusaki Beach, Taketomi Island, and Iriomote Island. (And I actually still have more to share, I just haven’t had any downtime!) Soon after we returned to Tokyo, my mother-in-law visited for 10 days which meant lots of sightseeing every day. And just a few days after she left, a couple of friends came to stay with us for a week. I didn’t look at the calendar until they left this morning and only then did I realize…it’s July! So before I get any further behind, here are some of the things I enjoyed in June. (more…)
This is my second year living in Japan and one of my favorite Japanese winter traditions is the viewing of winter illuminations. Businesses and cities put out their own displays that range from simple lights outlining store windows to showcases that turn plazas and park areas into winter wonderlands. These illuminations generally seem to be displayed from early December through either December 25th or January 1st but some last until February. Last year when I discovered these illuminations, it was a wonderful surprise. As soon as the temperatures began to drop here this year, I looked forward to the reappearance of those twinkling lights. Here are some of my favorite illuminations from the past two years.
You can walk from one illumination to the next in downtown Tokyo and occasionally find a hidden treasure you did not expect.
The Ginza district in Tokyo is perhaps best known as a major shopping district, especially for upscale and luxury retailers. The displays there have an appropriately luxurious flare.
Displays also abound within businesses and range from traditional Christmas trees to some rather creative alternatives.
The Kyoto Station has a grand display that I caught a glimpse of in 2012 the day after Christmas. The station is so huge that only a huge display would be fitting.
And last but certainly not least, the Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa, Tokyo, has a fabulous display of lights, trees, and even fireworks!
- Illuminating the Holiday Season in Japan In Japan, Christmas… (instagram.com)
- 2013 Winter Illuminations across Japan, a Photo Journey (japanesesearch.com)
- Holiday Illumination at the Tokyo Midtown Building in Roppongi (iamabloggerintokyo.wordpress.com)
- なばなの里 Winter Illuminations (cgvipin.wordpress.com)