sacred nature
sacred nature

way out to the universe
These photos are from Seifa-Utaki from the southern part of Okinawa main island and it's a UNESCO world heritage site. "Utaki" means a "sacred site" in Okinawan dialect better described as a spiritual groves, and this Seifa-utaki is the biggest sacred site in Okinawa. (Seifa-Utaki is written as 斎場御嶽 but it's impossible to read right for most Japanese natives, it doesn't even sound Japanese!)

Visiting this site was totally out of our plans but I'm glad we got there. The beauty of the nature was truly unbelievable and being in this deep forest-like surroundings was really healing... I was amazed to find myself really enjoying being there. I wouldn't say that my knee was healed because of this place, but it was well enough that I was able to do a little hiking there and I was so grateful for that ;)

I have so many photos and so much I want to tell/share about Okinawa and I don't really know where to start, but I guess Naha would be a good start. Naha is the capital city of Okinawa prefecture and I think everyone would go past it when visiting Okinawa main island. We didn't spend that much time in Naha but had a nice lunch at the Makishi Market on Kokusai-dori street and then walked around the back of the market into cute small streets which I really enjoyed.

Among the quiet neighborhood with old buildings and shops, we reached an aubergine coloured lovely looking shop. It's one of the places I wanted to visit in Okinawa - a truly charming little shop called GARB DOMINGO owned by my friend who moved to Okinawa from Tokyo and opened this shop last year. It is filled with so many lovely ceramics and glassware made by local designers/artists or the ones who have some connection to Okinawa, and it's an absolute gem this shop! I wanted to buy the whole shop if I could, but I only got a beautiful hanging glass vase and a sea-green coloured bowl you see in the above photo which reminds me of Okinawa so much, both by local young artists. (He has a good collection of ceramics by Makoto Kagoshima too! Apparently he has studied in Okinawa.)

I so wish there was a shop like this near me but if there was I might go broke? So now I can't wait to go back to Okinawa and visit there again. If you are ever in Naha, do make sure you stop by and say hi to my friend, you will not regret it ;)

1-6-3 Tsuboya Naha-shi
Okinawa 902-0065 (google map)
open- 9:30-13:00 / 15:00-19:00
close- Monday & Wednesday

maru x orange

a quiet afternoon
nilai beach
Despite the worries I had leaving right after my horrible accident, my mini holiday in Okinawa turned out to be a fabulous one! My knee is all well and I could even walk around in the bush and run around the markets without feeling any pain but only joy. The only time it bothered me was when I had to sit on tatami floor at a little gorgeous restaurant one night, but that wasn't so bad anyway.

I was incredibly lucky to have my lovely dear friend C to travel with who showed me all the wonderful places she had been in her previous visits to Okinawa. This trip was about endless food-eating, photo-taking, pottery-shopping and lots of laughing, and it was such a delightful trip.

Random photos from Yomitan area.
More to follow.

P.S. Thank you again and again for all your thoughtful comments after my bike accident, but I am very well now!! Arigatou & Happy weekend to you all ;)

Thank you so so so much for your kindest comments and emails (and a phone call!!) about my scary accident last week! I once again realised that I am really fortunate to have such sweet people around me on and offline. I still need to keep going back to the dentist to see how my broken-and-now-being-glued-together tooth will go for the next few months, but there seems to be a hope that I can keep this tooth so that's good. My bruised knee is also so much better and now I can walk around and climb up/down the stairs almost all smoothly so I'm all genki now thanks to you :) おかげさまで元気になりました!

After the "tooth break", now it's time for a break from work and I'm off to Okinawa! Lots of nice food, the sun and the great nature should heal me completely! I will be back with lots of photos to share next week. Have a jolliest weekend to you all!!!!


Unexpected things always happen to you doesn't it. Unexpected happiness makes you smile big but what happened to me this time didn't and rather it did me cry.

Before I tell you this, I want to say that I am okay now so there is no need to worry. But...... how could I expect to fall off my bike and break a front tooth!? Yes it did happen and it was awful. I had a big bag full of packages carrying on my shoulder while riding my bike (yes that new bike i've been showing/telling off, no not the one you see in the above picture) to go to the post office, and somehow the bag got stuck in the middle of the handle and the front tube and I fell. Hit my chin and knee really hard and obviously the tooth hit the concrete ground. Luckily I picked up the piece of broken tooth and went (almost) straight to the dentist so it could be glued together and it's looking okay now. My palms are wounded and I have bruises here and there and it hurts but I must say I was lucky that even though my tooth is broken, I have no obvious scars on my face so I will not need to worry about being in the photos during my Okinawa trip coming up next weekend thank goodness!!

So, this is going to be remembered/talked/laughed about forever and even I can laugh about it already so that means I'm really fine! Just hoping the pain will go away soon.

I just cannot help mentioning, but when I posted about this happening on facebook/twitter I got a sudden call from someone who just saw my tweet and guess who!? It was Ebony calling from Sydney!!!!! How sweet is that of her to call me on my mobile to see if I was okay!? Seriously she's the sweetest person in the world I was so touched! Many many good things will happen to her for being such a lovely girl I'm sure :) ありがとうエボちゃん!!!!!

Well, I was planning to go see my favourite sakura in Nakameguro but I couldn't make it, so these photos are from earlier this week and will be the last shots of sakura you will see here this spring. Take a look at these beautiful shots of Nakameguro by Narumi who is visiting Tokyo from France right now, her other shots of Tokyo are really amazing too!

Have a wonderful (and safe) weekend to you all!!!! Good night, oyasumi!
den en chofu station

sakura @ tamagawa

It was a perfect spring day in Tokyo today, sunny and warm finally! It was too good a day to work sitting in front of the computer so I decided to take an afternoon off and went out with my camera. I rode my bike to Den En Chofu which is next to Jiyugaoka, and then to Tamagawa-dai Park -one of hundreds of hanami spots in Tokyo, it's a beautiful big park located on the hill overlooking the Tama River.

When I was taking photos of sakura like a crazy girl, a gentleman talked to me and said "I used to have a camera that looked exactly like the one you have there many many years ago" pointing at my old canon. We chatted about sakura and camera briefly it made me smile even more :)

I love Japan more than ever, so I thought very strongly this afternoon. But to be honest, I must think and say that every Spring.

The last shot is a tribute to Ulrika. See also this wonderful new post here and enjoy!

V O I L A !! We had a few warmer days (and a couple of extremely windy days) this week and Sakura is finally in full-bloom! The photos would've turned out a lot nicer if it were not so cloudy, but here they are my first sakura shots of this year, fresh from this afternoon. I rode around on my bike with sparkling eyes, it was so so pretty!! And that memo on the chair says "Please use this to sit on and enjoy watching sakura." How sweet! It made me smile even more :)

P.S. There is a "SAKURA" giveaway at Fine Little Day!! You might win some pretty sakura items such as a masking tape, dish cloth or paper balloons! Yay!