It is impossible not to think pink in Tokyo.
It would seem to me everything is tinged with pink and all roads lead to cherry blossom .
I had not fully understood how important the cherry blossom is to the Japanese; it is a punctuation mark, a celebration of the new season and new beginnings. These trees are cause for festivities and the Japanese people take great pleasure in spending their leisure time amongst them.
I expected to be enchanted by their sheer beauty but I had not expected the cherry blossom to be number one tourist attraction in the city. They are revered and worshipped in a lovely way; locals dress up in traditional costume to be photographed in front of the trees and take picnics to enjoy in the gardens and parks underneath the blossoms. I imagined it would be the foreigners vying for a place beneath the powder puff canopy but no, it is the Japanese people who queue for hours for a glimpse of their national treasure.
Have we got our perfect cherry blossom photographs?
Not yet, I have found it impossible to master the shot but I am not giving up.
Tokyo is a city of gargantuan proportions and for me a city of sharp contrasts; a metropolis full of surprises. I am reminded a little of New York with a dose of Hong Kong and a pinch of Shanghai thrown in; yet Tokyo is unique and unfamiliar at the same time.
The sheer volume of people is overwhelming and yet the pace is orderly and calm in many ways. The way it works here is in marked contrast to the European style and I find it fascinating to be a part of. I find myself stepping inline, staying on the correct side and waiting my turn.
The deference of the people is unnerving and I am nowhere near a master of the bow; the bow is an emotional communication through posture and one that says much. The politeness of the people is refreshing. Genuine enthusiasm for their city, for their visitors makes it a pleasure to move about despite the difficulties communicating. The language is unfathomable for me but totally intriguing; I want to earn more than the pleasantries.
Tokyo is a city that mixes sophistication with childishness in equal measure. Grand commanding buildings with super slick interiors marry with Disney-like shops. Shops, in every shade of pink, which could have been designed for Barbie herself and the electronic wonderlands that must be every tech person’s dream.
And what is it with their pastries?
As delicate as the cherry blossom and as gossamer like, the Japanese gateaux are difficult to resist.
Mmmm, don’t think I will :)) xv