domingo, 18 de agosto de 2013

And love

You gotta love this city. There's no way anyone would go to Tokyo and won’t fall in love with it, and its…
 Gardens, real lungs producing oxygen to all the inhabitants of the largest city in the world

All those tall and avant-garde buildings

 And the hip shops in the Ginza district (designed by some of the most renowned architects)

 The Mori Tower (and the energy of the Roppongi Hills in general) and its amazing views 

 The rainwbow bridges that connect the several parts of this city made of more than 200 islands, small or big, each one of them with an unique identity

 The lights and colors of the "Electronic" district

 And of Shinjuku, once the night falls!

viernes, 16 de agosto de 2013


In Tokyo praying is easy, because in every corner you can find a temple. The most famous is the Sensōji, also known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, but you can find them everywhere. In the corner of Shibuya and Dogenzaka districts, in the middle of all the enjo kosai, there is one of the most beautiful temples I saw while visiting the city. In the middle of Akihabara, the colorful electronic district, next to shops from well-known gadgets brands and posters of video games, there was another one. Seriously, no matter in which direction you walk the chances of finding a new temple are huge! Small or big, more or less colorful, they are always open, inviting you to pray… Even if you are a kid, at 7 a.m., and you are on your way to school! 

Next to the Fish Market there is, of course, another temple. I guess that it is there to serve the people that work in the several areas of the market, so they can pray before going to work, or even during (I don’t know much about the Shinto and Buddhism cult schedules), but on the morning we visited the market and found this temple the most enthusiastic prayer there was a little kid that literally dragged is mum there. Before going in I already saw both of them coming down the street. I noticed because the image of the energetic seven year old boy pulling is mum by the hand, while she could barely put up with his rhythm due to her high-hells, made me laugh. I couldn’t know, though, that some minutes later, the image of those two would make tears come to my eyes. So, I was already in the temple yard, in front of a red arch, a kind of door all the temples seem to have, just contemplating and enjoying the novelty of everything in there (at this point I have to explain that I’m a catholic and that was my first time in an Asian country, so it was the first time I ever visited a temple), without knowing very well what to do, when the kid and his mum came in. He was dressed with an uniform and had his backpack, but before going to school he wanted to pray for a bit. He came directly to the door, crossed it and went left, crossed it again and went right, came to the front of the arch, jumped several times and clapped his hands. And he did all that with such an innocence and enthusiasm, that I couldn’t help to shake. The entire scene was absolutely lovely. So full of joy, of energy, of childish simplicity and, from that moment on, I became a fan of the japanese openmindedness and freedom of cult! 

miércoles, 14 de agosto de 2013


Can you believe that 10.758 kilometers away from home one of the hardest things on us was breakfast?! Well, it is true. On the other side of the world, where obviously everything is so different, breakfast was no exception. So in Japan (and afterwards in China) we had to get used to the heavy breakfasts. It was new to me because I hate breakfasts and rarely have them while I’m at home, but you know what they say, “when in Rome do as the Romans do”… The day we went to the Fish Market, the biggest in the world and a well-known market for its early fish actions, was the most difficult. Not much food option to start-off the day followed by fish and seafood sightseeing it’s not a good mix. Believe me! 

Hey, but don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. The early heavy breakfast, in a typical place near the market, full of locals that got in and out without saying a word and after having eat a tall bowl full of udon in only 10 minutes and the visit to the market were a lot of fun and two new perfect experiences (sociologically speaking) that allowed us to see how the Japaneses are incredible people; so respectful, so organized, such hard workers. Truly, one of a kind!

lunes, 12 de agosto de 2013


The Shibuya crossroad is the epicenter of Tokyo and the biggest crossroad in the world. Per day thousands of people coincide in here. But the most incredible thing is how, when the lights turn green a sea of people start walking from one side to the other, passing only a few centimeters away from another human being that happens to live or to be visiting the world’s largest city, without touching each other. Not even slightly! And the Shibuya crossroad is just another symptom of how Japanese people are: super respectful. For a Portuguese-living-in-Spain-for-a-while, where everyone talks and talks (not to say screams and screams), touches, hugs, collides, crossing in Shibuya meant much more than a simple act of crossing a street. It was over all a great experience! So good that I couldn’t keep myself from crossing again and again, just like a little girl that can’t stop herself from sliding a toboggan. Over and over! 

sábado, 10 de agosto de 2013


And talking about Japanese artists… There you go some pictures from Tokyo, the first city we’ve visited during our 2013 summer tour in Asia. But if some of you (and by “you” I’m actually referring to my friend Ivan [you asked to be mentioned in my blog, and so you were]) are already getting confortable in the sofa, preparing from what is about to come, I’m sorry to tell you… not so quick! The rest (and the best) is yet to come. Just not today! Today I only bring you a taste of the capital of Japan. 

Despite the briefness of our stay in Tokyo we were able to see the “All You Need is Love” exhibition in the Mori Art Museum (this very cool modern art museum is inside the Mori Tower, one of the tallest buildings in town and the best sightseeing point, which is exactly why we went there in the first place), where I came across with this art installation. It is called “Love is Calling” and is from the Japanese visual artist Kusama Yayoi. You can learn more about her in here and about the piece in here and hopefully feel what I felt… how it perfectly reincarnates the spirit of that amazing city: colorful, vibrant, fun, slightly childish, modern, interactive… perfect from anywhere you see it!