Thursday, July 12, 2012

July Unleashed

Picnic in Yoyogi Koen
Cate has the best leisure sheet.

Summer slowly appeared, rainy season has gone and it's hot and muggy. The languid summer days in Japan make me feel slightly sleepy, and I enjoy lazy afternoons at the park, long aimless walks and soaking in some culture. The Japanese word for heat-induced sleepiness in summer is natsubate.

Sometimes I do things that are not considered exciting by most people. For example, I visited the Tobacco & Salt Museum last Sunday. I walked by, and I was curious to see what was inside, and for the mere sum of ¥100, I finally learned about the history of growing tobacco plants and the cultural significance of tobacco in Japanese culture, as well as internationally. I especially liked the old cigarette packages and adverts, from all over the world. I was quite impressed by the big block of salt displayed on the top floor, although I was hoping for more salt-related items. I liked visiting that museum, although I probably broke the record for fastest museum visit ever. I do recommend going if you walk by it in Shibuya.

Also this week, the Ueno Zoo panda gave birth to a baby, but the cub panda suddenly died from pneumonia. I felt quite sad, as I've never even seen the mother panda, I love pandas and they're almost extinct. I don't like the idea of a zoo, but I love animals and I wish I could see them more easily.

I quite happy basking in the sun (while it's hot but not unbearable just yet), and taking a few more bites of this city I only know a small fraction of, at a slower pace. The crowded trains and stressful stride of city life sometimes drive me out of my mind, and even though I've been living in Japan for over two years, I do feel bouts of culture shock reappearing when I least expect it. Yet, this weather is making me too sluggish to get upset, so instead I turn to parks, picnics, late night running, and cookies. 

Life savers.

Another poster I like, at Omotesando station

Sunday brunch at Nicolai Bergmann NOMU
in Aoyama, tuna sandwich and soy smoothie

My idea of excitement

Old tobacco adverts in Japan

The aforementioned block of salt, I was quite intrigued

Late afternoon at Yoyogi Koen

Post-picnic sushi feast,
and there's a delicious crab in my soup.

Sunny Tuesday afternoon Bear Pond iced latte

Mid-week avocado burger at Whoopi Goldburger
and spicy ginger ale

A reader recommended Pâtisserie Pierre
in my area of Ikenoue, it's such a hidden gem.
Thank you so much!

The Four Sec cookie literally melted in my mouth
I had chestnut and yuzu flavours

I saw a dog in Shimokitazawa
He was well-behaved and looked very alert and worried

A rainy view of Tokyo from Shibuya station
during a train transfer

Going nowhere in particular
(or waiting for a train?)


Komainulock said...


To me, today's lesson was the new word "literally" and why the cookie is named "4 sec".

Have a good night

Yuri said...

The Tobacco and Salt museum actually sounds interesting to me as well. I like photo you took of the old tobacco adverts :]

I also don't really like the idea of zoos, it makes me sad seeing them in a box/cage rather than where they are suppose to be.

Vivian said...

Komainulock: I think I made a mistake, now that I think about it! The "Four Sec" cookie means "Oven Dry" in French, so that makes sense too. Either way.... it was the most delicious cookie, hope you can come on a trip to Tokyo and eat one soon :)

Yuri: Thank you! Indeed, zoos are a sad concept. I wish there was some kind of national park more easily accessible to see animals in a natural environment...

Susie said...

Hahaha I love the train poster! Why on earth is the kid dressed as a bear though?!

Yum at both the crab soup (although it looks stressful to eat!) and Whoppi Goldburger. Last time I was in Tokyo I went and it was delish!