May in Tokyo is really lovely. Flowers all blooming and young leaves shining, we get hot summery days with cool evenings that are perfect for night walks and drinks out on the balcony. I just keep wishing Tokyo's summer will always be like this. But... I just heard on the radio that the Rainy Season has settled in Tokyo today. No way! It's still May :( Like how cherry blossoms started to pop out weeks early, rainy season came weeks early too! I love hydrangeas in rainy season though, they look so pretty in the rain, don't you think?

Instagram photos:
01. Dash of red - I had to stop my hands to get my phone to take this while sweeping the entrance of my shop. / 02. Anthology magazines sent for my shop for people to browse through by the kindest Cookie-san!  / 03. Adorable card set designed by Michelle who came to visit me in my shop :) / 04. Mexican Embroidery in the afternoon sun. / 05. Gorgeous gift from Mogu-chan - she sent me the original artwork of what she did from seeing that cat on my instagram as a surprise! / 06. Beautiful paper cords from

the most incredible "secret beach" of Bouno-tsu

Sakura-jima at dawn.

beautiful satsuma-kiriko glassware museum

Digging through some old photos, I found these I took in my trip to Kagoshima nearly 5 years ago. It's such a sweet memory, this trip was one of the best trips I've ever had within Japan.

I met up with my friend who had flew in there earlier visiting her grandma at the Kagoshima airport one early December morning where our fun journey begun.
In case you wonder where Kagoshima is, it's a prefecture located at the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu in Japan. It was a great 4 day road trip, we drove around (well my friend did all the driving and I was in charge of the DJ-ing as I don't drive) Kagoshima from Kagoshima City to Chiran visiting the War Museum and Samurai Houses then drove down past endless beauty of the green tea fields to the southwestern tip of the Kyushu island Ibusuki

It was beginning of December and leaves were changing colours in Chiran but in Ibusuki we could still see bougainvilleas flowering everywhere. We tried the famous steam sand bath getting buried in the naturally hot and steamy sand at the beach with only our heads sticking out, we kept on laughing and was fun but I don't think I will try again. We also went into this gorgeous onsen (hot spring) near Kaimon-dake mountain overlooking the ocean, it was fantastic!

We kept on driving through the coast line towards Makurazaki, a small fishing town heading even further down to this most amazing beach called Bouno-tsu. After we drove past Makurazaki, we saw nobody around. It was so quiet and somehow felt pretty scary, there were smuggler warning signs everywhere. "Call police if you see suspicious boats or persons". When we finally reached our destination, Bouno-tsu, my heart started beating so fast. Half with excitement and half with fear. It was the most beautiful and most spiritual sight I had ever seen. I was scared not just of the smugglers but was scared of the beauty, I never felt like that before or even after that until now. I hope one day I can go back there, in the summer time.

We drove back to Kagoshima City, then took a ferry to Sakurajima - an active volcano. The power of nature is really incredible, I felt so a lot while travelling around Kagoshima. Other things I must mention about Kagoshima is their sweet and gentle people and gorgeous food. Everywhere we went, we ate. A lot. They had so much to please us. I was really sad to leave.
I parted with my friend at the airport and flew back to Tokyo.

Now I wonder how my friend is, the one I had this amazing trip together. Since she moved out from Tokyo 3 or 4 years ago we kind of grew apart. And it turns out her birthday is coming this weekend, what a good reminder. Time to be reunited I think.

I always thought you were a HE, but I was wrong and you are indeed a SHE. So sorry pretty miss, I kind of understood the reason for your kind-of-grumpy look. Hope I can see you later love!
Some photos from the exhibition "VIEW POINT" by Aiko Fukawa at Gallery Speak For in Daikanyama. I got to go see it on the very last day back in February, I meant to post this a lot earlier but anyway....

Aiko Fukawa is a lovely Tokyo based illustrator who does client works for magazines, books, advertisement and more. She also has her own stationery brand called "ai," which I stock in my shop for some time now. You may recognise the lovely squirrel seen in the first photo above, Aiko has turned it into a really sweet cut-out card. It was so nice to see the original art work of this card at her exhibition as well as to finally meet the lovely Aiko in person :)

If you like, you can see the lovely collection of Aiko's paper items at UGUiSU here.
And check out her wonderful works here on her website.

Good news is that Aiko will be having an exhibition in Melbourne later this year so if you are in Melbourne you should check it out. I will let you know of the details when I have it!

Happy May to you all!