If you speak more than one language you know that “meow” in English is not the cat meow in another language/country. It’s “Nyaa-Nyaa” or “Myaa-Myaa” in Japanese in case you want to be bilingual in cat talk:) In fact, Japanese language has refreshing variety of Onomatopoeia to capture the sounds of heart thumping to rivers flowing to birds chirping… My personal favorite is “waku-waku!” for hearts pounding with excitement and anticipation ! Another fav might be “uki-uki” – a feeling of anticipation, looking forward to something – that feel of spring:) We want that daily in our lives, don’t we?

Cat lovers’ store is open only on weekends… then this store named simply “S” is only open on Saturdays. Tucked away in one of these narrow alleyways.   It’s a quaint retro throw back to Showa era kind of town.  

The shopkeeper is like a curator of a gallery. She tells a story on each of the display items that are whimsical and rather …unique.

Nostalgic air fills the narrow streets where new space is emerging – charming “shitamachi”* here off the grid from the “Monjya” main street.
What’s “Monjya”? It’s a signature dish in this parts of town consisting of a grill for table, and pancake like batter to be grilled with all kinds of savory morsels of meats, shellfish, veggies, mochi noodles and even … cheese and the latest new ingredient option … tortilla. It’s a total mix-up, thus, “monja”! Japanese are a master at incorporating foreign ingredients and making it their own … whether be curry, mayonnaise or demiglaze sauce  

It’s Moon Island of a place …  we recognize so much can co-exist and still be traditional and harmonious.

* “shitamachi” – what is “shitamachi”? Usually points to an older part of town that’s more a commoner’s merchant district vs. the more upscale and fashionable or polished uptown areas such as Aoyama, Hiroo, Daikanyama, etc. Contrast to the more elite areas, there’s a more vintage feel to this area as the area tends to be untouched or left behind in the rapid architectural commercial development taking place in rest of the city. For that reason, it’s charm is undeniable.

Thank you to student

Ah … for me?
I am lucky to be blessed with students I have much to learn from in terms of kindness and generosity. The lovely Ms. M always knits these yoga socks I can’t live without these chilly mornings (lets the toes and heels be free- kind) and then …  Here’s another example.   (Once upon a time:) After one yoga class, a lovely (cute) lady comes up and says “I have something I want to give you.”

Then gives me this cute little button of a flower … ? What is it?

Pomogranate or Beets juice? What!!!?? A handmade lipgloss made from only natural ingredients, colors from plant juice – nothing artificial.  She tells me she makes all the soaps, lotions etc for the family and does not buy any cosmetics because she makes them. What !???  I am so impressed.   Here’s to true ageless nature girl:)

Spring is in the air – cannot wait to try this sweet scented color from such a sweet being.  Namaste.  oxox

Last Friday in Tokyo

Bunny meditates:)

My mother was born the year of Rabbit so whenever I see a rabbit … I am a bit drawn to its image. This is a Rabbit mask with lotus on the third eye. The artist was there but the mask was not on sale as it was a gift she gave to this studio/gallery/dining space owner. It’s a retro vintage time slip.

Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970 … minus 12 is the formula:)
Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968

This is a Rooster year. What is your year? It probably comes as no surprise that I am a ______ 🙂

A riverside section of Tokyo (isn’t it hard to believe this area too is part of Shinjyuku … the quiet residential section, not that Times Square-ish mega neon craziness of Shinjyuku downtown) where silk/cloths for kimono are dyed the old-fashion method. It was a venue reintroducing this tradition through a Walk through Artists Gallaries and shops … Kimono wearing was encouraged for the young and old, a tradition fast disappearing but revived just for the weekend.

I will miss this town, the people where always there’s a pleasant blend of the old (this) and the new; the formal vs. the whimsical; the stress vs. peace and serenity. Everything was delicious to the five-senses. Sayonara. Thank you for the mini-tour C-san. Returnng to California next week.