LAST WINTER


If you were born in the Tropics, the concept of winter would and always be something sublime.There was something so foreign yet exciting about seeing people in movies walk the streets during a snowfall, about the idea of making snow angels, about seeing photographs of trees with less or no leaves. I have always been fascinated by the idea of winter despite its common association with gloom and loneliness. To me winter meant hot chocolate, breezy walks, photographic sceneries with a melancholic and romantic undertone, reading a book by the fireplace, and of course - Christmas Carols!

I was very happy when I got to spend Winter earlier this year with my husband and his family in Japan. It was indeed the perfect time to travel and see another culture. Personally, I think winter and Japan go really well together, there was something so serene and beautiful about the place during this season. Though I was not able to see any snow, I'm still very glad to be able to dress up in layers, place my freezing hand in my husband's pocket while we were walking, drink warm Sake, and walk around a beautiful and peaceful city.

As I was looking over my Japan archive, I noticed how much I still have to share. And before I go on another travel series, I wish to share with you the remaining memories I have left of last winter. Here are some scenes I was able to witness during our arbitrary city walks and pit stops rolled into photographs.



I woke up very early that day and saw a ray of light passing through our blanket. I decided to get up and take a look at the view of our neighborhood and of course, adore my husband while he sleeps. I have developed this habit of praying for and speaking to him while he sleeps, I cannot explain why, but I just want to take every chance I have to let him know how I feel about him while I still can.




We stayed in an AirBnb flat in the Shin-Koenji Area. It was a very peaceful neighborhood and far away from the hustle of the main cities. The walk to the nearest train station would lead to you see the textures and elements of the typical contemporary setting of a Japanese neighborhood. Lots were small and houses or buildings made up for this by building vertically, pedestrians and bikers were a priority as wide sidewalks were provided, and with this, biking and walking was actually a lifestyle.






Being the tropical children that we were, it was pretty hard to adjust to the very cold weather during our first two days. I think it was also a good thing that there was no snow and we were gifted with the sun to get some warmth during the day. However as we stayed out most of the time, we were able to adapt to the cold and discovered the magic of heat patches!


I really enjoyed our time at the Asakusa area. It was the best area to see best of both worlds - the young and the old Tokyo. Since it was the New Year's holiday, majority of the hustling Tokyo was almost left like a ghost town as everyone was either in  the confines of their homes or out of town. So Asakusa was the best place to see people during this season. I observed that people came to the temple to offer their prayers, write down their wishes, or simply spend time with their families. 





 I love how charming Tokyo was. I know that it is in all seasons, but I think winter sets the tone just right for me in this place. It felt like I was walking on a movie set, I appreciated how space programming, design, and culture respected each other in this beautiful country.





Ginza and Higashi Ginza were left empty during the first few days of the New Years. This gave us the opportunity to walk freely and take our time to appreciate the things that we see along the way. With all the skyscrapers of both classic and modern styles parading on an array, these two areas are strongly recognized as a CBD district for Tokyo.






One of the reasons why we found ourselves in this part of Tokyo was to see the iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower. I had to beg to see this because I don't know when the structure will be demolished or replaced with a new one, and it would be such a waste to let it go without seeing it in person. Ever since I read about this in college, it was written in my list of places to visit when I travel. I shall be blogging about this treasure soon!
 
Tokyo itself has its natural charm for me. The unpredictable contrast of modern and old structures, the peaceful and efficient culture, the clean environment, and the high regard for the concept of respect just makes it an ideal place to be in. Aside from its culture, I really did enjoy looking at the skyline and the different structures that we saw along the way.






Harajuku, Shinjuku, Akihabara, and Shibuya are probably the best place to be in at  night. Neon lights painted the vista and there's just so much to see to the point where you will get into a bit of confusion as to where you should head onto first.





I really enjoyed winter. I enjoyed it because I was able to do all the things I wanted to do with the person I wanted to be with. It's always great to travel with someone who has the same mindset of travelling with you. Winter was a great excuse for me to be able to hold my husband's hand and place it in the pocket of his coat - just like those cheesy movie scenes that I love so much!

What do you love about winter?

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