Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Early morning walk along the Meguro River

I moved out of LA and so won't be interviewing any more APAs for Fresh Off the Box for the foreseeable future. But for now, I'll use this blog space to write about the things I do in Japan, which is where I will be living as of yesterday!

This morning I took a walk along the Meguro River that runs through Tokyo. It's a river that can be described as a large concrete ditch flowing with smelly black-greenish water and you are surprised to see anything living in there. Considering the conditions however, it could be a lot worse and is nowhere near an open cesspool that you see in some major cities. In fact, it is something of an urban oasis that is lined with walking paths and cherry blossom trees. Thanks to the jet lag, I was up early with the dog walkers and morning joggers and the garbage collectors and even a few late night party-ers trying to get home before the sun rose. One thing that caught my eye was all the people out sweeping the fallen cherry blossoms petals. It's probably more of a morning ritual thing, petals or not, they were keeping their spaces tidy.

The Meguro River Sakura trees at full bloom. The river is not as bad as I describe it!

I arrived in Tokyo just in time for the blossoming of the cherry blossom trees. Sakura is very symbolic of Japan and represents the nature of beauty (as well as the beauty of nature) and impermanence of life. The blossoms also represent the coming of spring and renewal and the people go outside and celebrate with hanami--a picnic under the cherry blossom trees. The blossoms have peaked and now the petals are starting to fall. I took some photos, but to be honest it's hard to capture the beauty of the moment in two dimensions. Later this evening I want to go out again when the place is packed with people and maybe have a beer or three.

The river is to the right. Some parts along the path are lined with small eating places and tiny boutiques. The walking area along the river is pretty long. My walk lasted about two hours and I didn't go all the way.

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