Friday, August 31, 2012

Tea & Magical Lights, Momo Version

 The other night, I did a photoshoot with my friend Momo. It was so much fun photoshooting her! We've known each other for quite a few years now, even before we both moved to Japan, connected first by music. I've done a couple of shoots for her in the last few years, and it's always a pleasure.

Such a pretty bag, I love the colors and patterns.

Awesome shades and arm decor :)

Momo is a really talented artist, and I hope I get to see more of her artwork!
She's originally from New York. 
I want to visit NY one day too!


We had tea in this lovely antique tea shop in Jimbocho. What a lovely discovery.
There were some other tea shops along the main streets, but we decided to wait and see 
what else we could find. I'm so glad we waited and came across this quiet, gorgeous place.


 After that, we took a walk from Jimbocho toward Suidobashi and Korakuen.
I haven't been to that area for a while, but it was so brightly lit up and sparkly in the night.
Even though there's quite an expansive theme park, shopping, and dining area,
it was relatively quiet on a weekday night.

Oh, the lights, and a pretty smile :)


 It was such a wonderful night to take a walk and shoot pictures. I just love coming across unexpected magical places. And pretty lights do make me happy. Thank you for photoshooting with me, Momo!

Momo sometimes performs lives around Tokyo, so please check out her shows if you're in the area! 

おまけ Bonus pic:

Yay for taiyaki!!! I want more!!! <3 Gimme taiyaki (^^)

Stay tuned for another version of this shoot coming soon, with photos taken for me by Momo!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Falling Into the Sky



Last week, there was an impromptu cycling session past the city lights of Tokyo station, the white rectangles of light extreme and futuristic against the inky darkness, and to the Imperial Palace. 
There, I witnessed a magnificent reflection of city on water. There was also my first view of the joggers here - indeed, tons of people running around the palace after their work hours.


The nights approach faster and faster, with fewer glimpses of daylight when I leave the office these days. I can almost sense the smell of autumn in the wind. But when it comes, I think I will miss wearing skirts, shorts, and tank tops.. that feeling of lightness.


Watched the film Melancholia over the weekend, and it gave me a few chills after the ending. 
What if the world as we know it came to an end? If people knew that it was coming, how would they react? 
I read afterward that Lars Von Trier's main inspiration was not just the world ending, but the idea that depressed people tend to act more calmly than others under extreme stress. I'm not sure if that always applies, but Kirsten Dunst's character in the film did show an almost sarcastic kind of acceptance at the ending of the world and all life.


One thing she said stood out to me - that we are alone, that we're the only life that exists.
I lay thinking about that afterward, wondering if it could be true, hoping that it's not, and wondering if humankind will come across other life within my lifetime.


 Even if we found life beyond Earth, I wonder what the organisms would be like? They could live and communicate in a completely different and mysterious way from humans. I wonder if they would like us? If they looked at this planet, what would they think and feel?


Last night, this beautiful Luna Moth, almost as big as my hand, floated down out of nowhere and proceeded to flutter around. Giddy with excitement, I watched and waited as it sailed down, finally settling on the ground nearby. I crept as close as I dared to take a few pictures, and it suddenly decided to perch quietly on my leg for a few moments.


For some reason, this brush with the Luna Moth felt to me like a mysterious and mystical event.
Apparently, luna moths are a symbol of spiritual transformation and growth.
Perhaps this moth was trying to pass something to me.


Maybe I'll find out.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dreaming With Your Eyes Open

Here are some photos taken from that Odaiba trip a few weeks ago!
It was my first time there, a really beautiful place.
Also, here are some thoughts to go with these photos.


"We are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible."
-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist 


Imagine that as a young child, you brought a seed home and carefully planted it in a pot. "This is going to grow into the most beautiful and magical flower," you declare without hesitation, and you truly believe it. 


As time passes, your family members and friends walk by the pot and say, "Don't be disappointed, it's only a dandelion. It's only an ordinary plant."
Eventually, your spirit and interest both die out, and so does the plant.
Meanwhile, you skip off to play with that shiny new toy everyone else seems to have.

The same thing happens to our hopes and dreams, unless we muster the strength to protect them.


"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
-Mark Twain 


Don't let anyone tell you that you can't, not even those closest to you.
You have to follow your heart, or risk wondering and regretting for the rest of your life,
"What if...?"


No one else truly understand the hopes and reactions inside your heart, except yourself. It's easy to be pulled and swayed by the strong opinions of others.
But what they say doesn't necessarily mean it has to be your truth.


Everyone has different needs and preferences in life, so it's hard to generalize.
But I think that more kids should be brought up with the mindset to reach for the "impossible" or not yet existing, to build and create and imagine... rather than to simply be told to follow some yellow brick road to guaranteed success in life. 


If you are only moving through the motions, going by someone else's formula, would you still be able to recall the feeling of pure joy and excitement at doing what you really love?


 Rather than measuring purely by amount of money, what about your relative richness - in the currency of happiness and sense of fulfillment in your life?


We only have one shot at this life, and the only thing we can't replace is time.

Friday, August 3, 2012












So last Saturday night, I got to see the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival - my first time to see a fireworks display since coming to Japan. I'm not one for throwing myself into the thronging crowds on fireworks night, so I settled for watching from a distance.. but the view turned out to be beautiful nonetheless. And armed with my camera, what could be better than capturing a few instants of the explosions of lights across the summer sky?

I never knew that the Sumidagawa Fireworks started from way back in the Edo period, in the 1700s. That's pretty amazing, how a tradition has been revived and lasted through the years. The fireworks lasted for over an hour, and because I was pretty far away, there weren't so much loud booms as gentle crackles and pops on the horizon. I could see the Tokyo Sky Tree gently pulsing with its blue glow, as if in encouragement and awe.