The Last Autumn of Heisei

Here in Japan, we are coming to the end of an era. The Heisei era. The traditional way of counting years in Japan is based on the length of reign of the emperor. Emperor Akihito took over the throne in January 1989, marking the end of the Showa Period and the beginning of the Heisei Period. In Heisei 31 (2019), the emperor has planned to pass the baton onto his son, making way for a new era. Continue reading “The Last Autumn of Heisei”

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Kyu-Iwasaki-Tei: Ueno’s Secret Mansion

Tucked away behind Ueno Park is an exceptionally preserved piece of history. Unknown to not only many visitors but also local residents, the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei is an architecture-lover’s dream destination. With three beautiful buildings and a peaceful garden, this 19th century property deserves a lot more attention!

Continue reading “Kyu-Iwasaki-Tei: Ueno’s Secret Mansion”

Mid-Autumn: Tokyo’s Time to Shine

It’s such a great time to be in Tokyo right now. The whole city seems to be bathed in glistening sunshine. It’s like when you take out an old piece of jewellery and give it a polish–it transforms into something incredible before your very eyes.

Continue reading “Mid-Autumn: Tokyo’s Time to Shine”

East Meets West at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

The scene of roses in front of the beautiful brick mansion at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens has long been something I’ve wanted to see with my own eyes. Though it pops up often in my Instagram feed, this garden has somehow remained off the tourist trail. Continue reading “East Meets West at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens”

Akasaka Palace, the Versailles of Tokyo

In the very centre of Tokyo, hidden behind stone walls and a forest so thick it’s impossible to see through, is a place not many people know much about. Separate to the Imperial Palace, the Akasaka Imperial Estate covers about 50 hectares—almost the same size as Shinjuku Gyoen. It’s quite a chunk of central Tokyo! Continue reading “Akasaka Palace, the Versailles of Tokyo”

Ajisai-Yashiki: A Spectacular Hydrangea Garden in Chiba

The rainy season in Tokyo typically kicks off in the first week of June, bringing about 20 days of rain in one month. The humidity is a killer but along with the rain, comes one of my favourite flowers: hydrangeas!

Last year, I went on a massive hydrangea hunt around Tokyo. The highlight was a little place in the middle of nowhere that I found advertised on a local Japanese website. Continue reading “Ajisai-Yashiki: A Spectacular Hydrangea Garden in Chiba”