“You are from a tropical island!” My Japanese friends laugh when I complain. Indeed, growing up in Singapore, I have been well protected within air-conditioned rooms (and vehicles, where actors hide away from the sun during outdoor shoots.)
I know I have a ticket back to Singapore sometime soon, I vaguely remember booking my return trip around National Day, but it does look like I have to push my trip back by 2-3 weeks. Plans are always up in the air. This year has seen a number of delays in projects.
There are many people I have to catch up with though back home, although the internet has made keeping in touch with friends and colleagues easier. It was nice being in SG when people from the film industry casually gather and bask in the camaraderie. Even my projects in Tokyo have been slow, and the summer heat is not making anything better.
Meanwhile my sister has gone back to Singapore for her summer vacation, so she gets sole custody of our dog for now. I realize now it is lovely to live in a country with seasons, but I really only like to of them, Spring and Autumn. My perfect temperature is above 12 degrees and below 20.
Perhaps the best part of Japanese spring is the hanami 花見客（はなみ）season. I saw my first Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) this spring. These beautiful, temperamental and fragile flowers have a very short window of time where they are in bloom. They bloom from the south of Japan first, where it warms up first, and finish their run in the north.
This spring, I chased the Sakura by heading south to Izu before returning to catch the Tokyo Sakura trees. Perhaps the best surprise was that huge, beautiful solitary tree with such a presence near where I live, that I had passed and stared at all winter soaking up its calmness, turns out to be a Sakura tree. Imagine my surprise when I returned to Tokyo to see soft, fluffy, stunning pink little cherry blossoms bloom all over those one bald and rickety branches. It looked extremely full of life! (These days, ‘he’ is just green wearing heavy big leaves and complaining to me about the sun when I walk by. I can still smell a waft of cherry blossoms from ‘his’ leaves though.
Adora did not come with me to Izu, because of school, but we spent a weekend chasing the cherry blossoms. I think she was shooting them for a school project. Come to think of it, I think she owes me some photographs.
Our first Tokyo Hanami stop was Chidorigafuchi, near Yasukuni Shrine. A famed nighttime hanami spot where some magnificent Cherry Blossom trees lined both sides of the river. They light the trees up for a week and held a festival during the weekend. Of course we had to go, guided by Aya.
The next morning, Ukes dad was taking her out on a Hanami drive. We tagged along. He was going to have the sunroof down so we had to dress warm. Lovely photos of my first Cherry Blossoms festival below.