Cherry blossoms and crowds go together like long bathroom lines and hanami parties, but at these secret Tokyo spots, you can enjoy the pinkness without getting trampled, even at peak season! Here … Continue Reading The Best SECRET Cherry Blossom Spots In Tokyo!
I am a total, total sucker for plum blossoms. The flowers are much more beautiful than cherry blossoms up close, and you gotta admire that the damn things even bloom in … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Plum Blossoms In Tokyo
This has to be the most gorgeous walk in Tokyo. If you start at twilight, you can see the entire Tokyo waterfront slowly light up like the best holiday light show ever! Here’s … Continue Reading How To Walk Across The Rainbow Bridge!
It’s that time of year again! Tokyo’s Illuminations are free, and they never disappoint! Here are my favorite places to see them. New this year! NAKAMEGURO One of my favorite places to … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Holiday Illuminations In Tokyo!
When I was a kid, every year in mid-December we’d all pile into the car and drive around to find the house with the most over-the-top Xmas decorations. No surprise, I am … Continue Reading The Mother Of All Illuminations Theme Parks!
I hope you’re all rested up from our cherry blossom death march last spring, because it’s time to strap on your camera and a couple of extra batteries to hunt down … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Fall Leaves In Tokyo
These eye-popping exhibitions will change your opinion of those humble fall flowers forever! Here’s where to see the best chrysanthemums in Tokyo: • New for 2019! JINDAI BOTANICAL GARDEN Dates: October … Continue Reading Where To See The Best Chrysanthemums In Tokyo
Last night I went to see what I thought was going to be a modest art-light event on the Yokohama waterfront, secretly expecting that the photos from past years were exaggerating the quality of … Continue Reading 「Yokohama Smart Illuminations」: Wow. Just…wow.
Every once in a while, Japan so wildly exceeds expectations, it’s hard to put it into words, so I’ll just show you pictures of last night’s Oeshiki Ikegami festival instead. Special thanks … Continue Reading Festival Of 10,000 Lanterns
As you may have guessed by now, in Japan no flower is safe from being planted together en masse, in order to deliver total sensory overload at the appointed moment. It’s no surprise … Continue Reading Up To My Knees In A Vermilion Sea
Part laser light show, part aquatic extravaganza, Art Aquarium is the newest take on the old idea of keeping cool during the steamy Japanese summertime by contemplating goldfish bowls. Over … Continue Reading Art Aquarium
Asakusa is always entertaining by day, but it’s totally stunning at night. From theatrically lit temples to glittering reflections on the Sumida River, this neighborhood never disappoints. If you’d like to … Continue Reading Diva In The Spotlight: Asakusa At Night
Remember those big white snowball-y bushes that bloomed next to Grandma’s porch all summer long? Believe it or not, those everyday flowers were where they started hybridizing to get these fancypants. Some temples in … Continue Reading Gorgeous Japanese Hydrangeas = Summertime!
Not to be outdone by the cherry blossoms, azaleas and wisteria, the peonies of Tokyo come into their glory in May and June! First the big boys, like these at … Continue Reading Peonies As Big As Dinner Plates!
In case you need proof that “the harder a garden is to get to, the more spectacular it is,” look no further than Ashikaga Flower Park. Two solid hours from Tokyo … Continue Reading Yes, This Is One Wisteria Plant!
You know how everybody thinks Japanese people sit around in their kimonos all day, arranging flowers into works of art? Well, they don’t. But when they do…it’s amazing. If you’re in … Continue Reading Flower Dream Expo
Okay, in a cherry blossoms vs. azaleas fight to the death, where are you going to slap down your hard-earned cash? (Hint: Let me put it this way, I’ve seen Japanese azalea gardens reduce people who … Continue Reading Azaleas For The Win
Okay, the season of all-sakura-all-the-time is officially over, and the cherryliciousness did not disappoint. From late-blooming white ones to pinker-than-pink, here are a few of this year’s faves. If you’d like to … Continue Reading Cherry Blossom Roundup
Oh no, don’t think you can put your feet up and flip some channels after the sun goes down during cherry blossom season – thanks to the current craze for “illuminations,” … Continue Reading Cherry Blossoms Lit Up At Night: My Favorite Spots!
Okay, hanami warriors, it’s time to charge up your camera batteries, sharpen your elbows, and strap on your subway card, because the cherry blossoms only last a couple of days, … Continue Reading Hanami Blitz: My Picks For The Best Cherry Blossoms In Tokyo!
Don’t let this big daddy sneak up on you in the dark! In Japan they don’t mess around when it comes to cherry trees. I saw this explosion of goodness last … Continue Reading The Godzilla Of Cherry Trees
Tokyo isn’t a beautiful city, except when it rains at night. Then the neon flows into the streets, brighter than liquid gold. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Today it was raining. But I went to Shinjuku Gyouen garden anyway. If you’d like to visit Shinjuku Gyou-en garden the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The … Continue Reading Early Spring At A Beautiful Garden
It’s not that I don’t like cherry blossom season, I just like plum season better. (Okay, azalea season too. But that’s not ’til the end of April.) In case I haven’t … Continue Reading Once Again, Plum Blossoms Do Not Disappoint
Once again, the holiday light displays in Tokyo were totally over the top! Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi led the way, with another lovely abstract creation set to a dreamy soundtrack. … Continue Reading 2013 Tokyo Illuminations!
Forget those pesky cherry blossoms. Leaf season is the BEST! If you’d like to visit Arisugawa Park, Gokoku-ji temple, Gotoku-ji temple (they’re different!), the Nezu Shrine, Koraku-en garden, or any … Continue Reading Leaf Season-O-Rama
If Electric Town makes your heart beat faster during the day, just wait until nighttime! Crowds of Forever Alones and idol worshippers alike are drawn to its pulsing neon, mesmerized … Continue Reading Akihabara At Night: An Electronic Jewelbox
There’s one problem with shopping at the chiyogami store in Yanaka – in a matter of minutes, my shopping basket was stacked with ten times the number of sheets I … Continue Reading Wrapping Paper That’s Too Nice For Any Present
It’s still rainy season in Tokyo, but that just means more opportunities to take beautiful pictures at night! Here’s Tokyo’s beloved orange replica of the Eiffel Tower, shining through the … Continue Reading Tokyo Tower, On A Rainy Night
It’s rainy season in Tokyo right now. But the steamy, gray, days turn into magical warm nights, the pavement shining like a river of melted neon… • “A wonderful blend … Continue Reading Tokyo Streets At Night, Shining In The Rain
By day, the Sumida River is a busy thoroughfare of boats and ferries, but at night it turns into a magical sea of sparkles. If you’d like to ride the … Continue Reading The Sumida River At Night
I love these. Every year on May 5, families fly koi nobori outside their houses as a sort of prayer that their sons will become like the carp that climbed … Continue Reading Swimming In The Sky
In Kabuki-chō, the day starts when the sun goes down. The streets are thronged with those who are looking for a good time, and those who are looking to provide … Continue Reading Tokyo At Night: Kabuki-chō
Once again, the Nezu Shrine does not disappoint – at the end of April, the hills surrounding my favorite shrine are paved with azaleas of every color. But my favorite … Continue Reading Azalea Mania
Tokyo isn’t a beautiful city by day, but at night it’s transformed into a glittering jewel. This is the view from Odaiba, as the dinner boats set off down the … Continue Reading Tokyo At Night: Odaiba
It’s crowded. It’s crazy. But I’ve got to admit, cherry blossom season here does not disappoint. • After scouring Tokyo for the best of the pinkness, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set … Continue Reading Cherry Blossom-O-Rama
At first glance, I thought I’d climbed that big hill to Okurayama Park for nothing. Hey, what’s with the bare branches? Where’s the fluffy pink and white goodness? It’s supposed to … Continue Reading Better Than Cherry Blossom Season
Conveniently scheduled for a national holiday so hundreds of thousands of commuters wouldn’t be inconvenienced by trains that occasionally had to pause while snow and/or ice and/or tree limbs could … Continue Reading Today’s Special Guest: Winter
Forget the plastic Santas and bobbing dwarves mistaken for elves – let’s skip right to the computer-choreographed field of lights that pulses and ripples to wintry electronic music! The display … Continue Reading Holiday Lights Just Don’t Get Any Better Than This!
Yeah, yeah, I know – leaves glowing in autumnal splendor, fall evening clear and crisp, moon shining bright, pond like a mirror, and the photos are sure to wow the … Continue Reading It’s Really All About The Sticky Rice Balls
Cherry blossoms are definitely the favorite child. Back in March, as The Season approached, the newspapers all breathlessly reported the movement of the pink tide from south to north, weather … Continue Reading So How Come Azaleas Are Chopped Liver?
If you’re beginning to yawn when you see yet another park filled with tiresome clouds of of fluffy pink cherry blossoms…wait until dark! Every night this week, all along the … Continue Reading Glow In The Dark Cherry Trees
One thing I have to say about the seasons in Japan is that they’re relentlessly picturesque. And convenient! When I woke up Wednesday morning, I looked out the window and … Continue Reading Today’s Cute Little Season: Winter
Yep, if the plum trees are blooming, that means a giant dump of snow is just around the corner. This particular dashing of spring hopes comes with such clocklike regularity … Continue Reading Just When You Think It’s Safe To Ditch The Muffler…
And the most convenient! If you owned this little grove, you wouldn’t have to take countless trains and buses to enjoy some natural splendor because you could just keep it … Continue Reading The World’s Tiniest Forest
Tokyo really rolls out the electric carpet when it comes to holiday light displays. This one in Shiodome was pretty spectacular even before it started sparkling and flashing in time … Continue Reading All Is Illuminated
Tonight I was hurrying home from Akihabara, the famous electronics district, when I was caught in a downpour. It was raining so hard that even people with umbrellas stopped at … Continue Reading Akihabara In the Rain