There are many places I really love in my own city, not many of them are actually that difficult to get to but I never really get to visit them any more. You know when you know that you can visit any time you tend to leave it till later and then you would just forget. Or maybe that is just my excuse.
Hara Museum has always been my favourite, it's small, has a lovely garden, beautiful old architecture, and it's located somewhere that you really have to aim to get there. I visited there last summer after many years, nothing really had changed but one big change I noticed was that we were now allowed to take photos inside. Most of the Japanese museums didn't allow photography inside but it's changing and you'd notice that you can take photos at many of the places, often with some limitations.
I don't remember how hot that day was when we visited here but it looks like it was a very hot day, that light and shadow tell it don't they.

So I went looking through my old photos (and got a bit carried away actually) and found so many fond memories from the past years, of all the places I went to and all the beautiful things I saw and enjoyed. It seems nothing has really changed but so much has actually changed and I missed the good old days. I mean, we all know that things always look better in distance.

For many years I kept saying I am too busy, I have been working so hard and hadn't really had time to enjoy other things for a long time. And that was why I could not keep up with blogging, or so I thought, but maybe that is not true. It's not always so easy to keep doing something for a long time, to keep the passion and motivation. There can always be excuses, for not being able to keep doing something, I don't know for how many times I have thought but now I really want to come back here and start posting again whether or not anyone is still around to read it.

So JUNE. It's rainy season in Japan, it rains a lot but it doesn't rain hard like it does in the rainy season in the tropic. It's not my favourite season, but I like it because it is the season for the beautiful hydrangeas too. You would spot hydrangeas here and there and everywhere if you walk around Tokyo right now, on the side streets and in the parks, and these days there are so many varieties, different types in different colours - they are just so beautiful and the rain makes them look extra pretty. 

Another thing I always think of June is the Ume - Japanese plums. For many years until some years ago it was our tradition to make our own Ume-shu plum wine, we used to get the beautiful fresh organic ume delivered from the farm. I don't drink umeshu any more and we have no space to keep the large jars so I just stopped making it. When I see the fresh green ume which are only available at this time of the year I remember those days, maybe one day I will make it again.

Hydrangeas and Ume plums, they are the things that make me happy in the month of June :)

Happy June!

Hello BLOG! I have been thinking about you and wanting to come back but why is it so hard???? I have a lot that I want to say but I don't know what to post... Maybe I should just go back to when I first started this blog 9 years ago, how I didn't care or didn't even think there would be anyone who would want to read it.

So I am starting to dig all the photos I meant to post and share, hopefully they will make it here soon!

So, my last post was belated spring post and now it is time for belated summer. It's already October and is starting to feel so much more autumn.
This year we had a rather strange summer weather-wise, we had many really hot days but we also had many not-really-that-hot days and it was so much easier. (I mean when compared with previous years, summer had been insanely hot and intolerable.)

Anyway, this summer I had a mini brake and went on a little trip to this gorgeous onsen ryokan - hot spring inn. Our lovely friends from Melbourne Michelle and Steve were travelling around Gunma and R and I joined the two. I had been really looking forward to visiting this ryokan Choju-kan at Houshi Onsen and to see this beautiful architecture built in the Meiji period - 140 years ago.
This secret onsen is at the very end of the road so deep in the mountain in the Minakami area in Gunma prefecture. So quiet and peaceful surrounded by nature, it was just so incredible.

My favourite season, back in early April when it was all magical, cheerful and beautiful. I took the courage to go down to to Nakameguro although for some years now I have only seen the cherry blossoms in Nakameguro from the station platform but soon after I started walking along the canal I could not cope with the crowd so I walked away from it towards Meguro along the canal Meguro-gawa. It doesn't take so long before you are free from the busy area, the canal gets so much wider and it feels nice. (See my post from 2011 to see the Nakameguro sakura) It was meant to be a quick stop after my dentist visit but it was hard to stop and I kept on walking to Shirokanedai past Meguro taking so many pictures. It was really beautiful.