Wednesday, April 27, 2005

onamae wa?

i really should be bringing you the best and worst of tokyo...instead i'm aimlessly wandering through cyberspace tripping over useless yet mildly entertaining sites like this one:

What is your Japanese name?.

go on - have a go!

My japanese name is 原 Hara (wilderness) 弓美 Yumi (beautiful bow, as in bow and arrow).

remember in japan the first name goes last and the last name goes first.

so i am yumi hara or hara yumi...either way it sounds like a train station near anna's house, but that's kinda cool!

what's your japanese name?


(I've always been one of those ridiculously vain or bored girls who spends/ wastes time taking photos of herself when she really should be doing something constructive...this one wasn't taken for this story it was taken to accompany an email to my sister telling her that i could no longer deny that i am a gay man - but i thought it kinda fit with the way im feeling now that all my friends will be calling me yumi not sushi and also so my mummy can see that i'm still alive)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

let's happy jamping baby surprise


kept under wraps for a surprisingly long time, the surprise shower for anna and mr.d's beautiful bouncing baby boy was let out of the bag last night! (

thank you so much to all of their lovely friends who made it possible.


a huge thank you to the bearded man! the night was set in motion as the t-man left the apartment in full costume bound for shinjuku station...the busiest train station in the world, especially on a saturday night. hiding secret instructions in a station locker and fighting his way through the crowd and strange looks, he met anna and mr.d and set them on the next part of their journey.


arriving safe and sound and thankfully still clad in burberry blindfold (another japanese touch) anna and mr.d still had no idea where their chariot had taken them or what they were in for!?


met by all their crazy was time to eat, drink and make baby happy! we are all so excited for you anna and mr.d and hope that you had a fun time together with us last night! it won't be long now - next party we will be inviting the THREE of you!

take care we love you lots


Saturday, April 09, 2005

hanami firsts

this explosion of blossoms means parties, and parties mean people and new people mean new 'stuff'. here are a few of the interesting characters and 'hanami firsts' (ie the first time i have seen this...)Dsc07999

... a packet of chips eaten with chop sticks


...odd socks on a japanese person


...cocktails in a sports drink pack (they were yummy)

Monday, April 04, 2005

cherry cherry night


yozakura (night time blossom viewing) is 'really happening' right now! for some it is the only chance they will get to have a hanami party, so it is quite popular to picnic under the sakura and stars. this may sound a little pointless...but many of the popular spots have lanterns, lighting up the sweet blossoms against the black night sky. 


tis the season to be jolly


how can one gorgeous little flower symbolise so much to a whole nation? it's sakura time which means the cherry blossoms are out in full force.  the trees in bloom scream 'spring'; an end to the chilly days. they also mark the start of a new school year and the beginning of the new financial year. but most importantly, cherry blossom time means hanami. hanami is a sakura viewing party, which means you gather as many friends and family as you can, prepare or buy as much food and sake as you can, spread everything out on mats under the trees then eat, drink and get as merry as you possibly can. its all very fun really. most party goers begin the day/night oooohhing and aaaahhing in awe of the sakura's beauty, as the festivites liven up the pretty petals drift to the background and the odd glance is enough to  spur on the spring fever.


lots o luck

Dsc07916 most young tokyoites will tell you they are not religious and very few can offer much info about the frequently visited shrines and yearly rituals or celebrations. however with a coin in their pocket ready to throw into a shrines wishing well like box, most will not hesitate to pray to the 'gods' for luck, fortune and happiness.


omikuji (seen hanging above); a fortune telling slip can be found at most shrines in and out of tokyo. the desire to read ones fortune has become so popular that omikuji vending machines have started to pop up. simply slip your 100 yen into the slot and out slides your fate. many omikuji are now translated into a roughly comprehendible form of english. once you have read and understood your fortune, good or bad its ready to be tied on the closet 'omikuji rack' or tree. while im not really sure of the exact reason for hanging out your fortune, i think it has something to do with setting it free, letting it be, airing it out??? as i said...not too many young tokyoites (certainly none of my friends) can offer much info...