Snow, Plum Blossoms and Gardens

During the many months I lived in Tokyo we only had snow for one single day. Me and my room mate woke up one morning and noticed that there was snow all over our laundry outside the window – it didn’t take us many minutes to get dressed and go outside. It had felt a bit strange to celebrate Christmas without any snow, so now when the snow finally arrived we got so excited! We went to the small square in front of Nippori station and built a snowman. While we did so, some children who passed by also started building small snowmen and having snowball fights. The two of us then went inside “our” café Tully’s right by the square to get a little warmer. The staff had enjoyed watching us play like children outside their café… But we happily told about the Swedish winters we grew up with. Then we sat there and had fun watching the Japanese walking around outside with umbrellas in the snow storm. By the way, in the fourth photo you can see them lining up, waiting for the bus… I don’t think there would ever be such a nice line in our Western countries.

The snow didn’t remain for long. The next day it felt like a nice sunny Swedish spring day, and when we walked home from school almost all snow was gone already – except for a huge snowman that had been built by someone by the side of the road. That snowman remained for several days before it finally melted.


When talking about Japan, many people think about the cherry blossoms. But something equally beautiful and not as famous are the plum blossoms. The plum trees blossom earlier in the year, usually during February-March. During the first week of March I took a walk to the Yushima Tenmangu shrine in Ueno, which is famous for its plum blossom festival, ume matsuri. I arrived shortly before twilight, and since it gets dark very quickly in the evenings in Tokyo, many of my photos were taken in low light. But I’m still very happy with them, I think they are nice!


In the middle of March it had become a little warmer outside, so I went to Komagome just a few stations from Nippori. There is a garden called the Rikugien Garden. It’s a famous and very beautiful garden which was built at the beginning of the 18th century. In the middle there is a very big pond, and surrounding it are numerous manmade hills and paths for walking. There are also a few teahouses but I didn’t stop by any of them. When I visited the park, many of the trees and bushes hadn’t turned green yet, but it was still very beautiful to walk around the park. Just imagine what it would look like later in the year, with all the green trees and all the flowers!


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