It’s Vernal Equinox, a national holiday in Japan, which means the duck and I don’t have to work and, instead, can laze around and think of how much we love spring (minus the pollen that even masks are useless against sometimes)! In celebration of our lazy day, let’s talk a bit about spring in Japan, that, depending on who you ask, has already started a looooong time ago.
Usually the duck and I go by our calendars when it comes to the beginning of a season so that around March 20th each year we do a little winter-is-over-dance and then pop some allergy pills because nature hates us. In Japan, however, there is no official first day to any of the seasons (which surprised the duck and me a bit, as Japan is so season conscious); instead, there are several opportunities to celebrate the change of seasons. A popular, rather traditional, winter-end-marker is Setsubun, a festival in early February that is connected to the lunar New Year – gosh, throwing roasted soy beans at demons sure sounds awesome! Another one, and the one we’re super happy about right now, as we’re slowly sipping our fifth cup of coffee to counteract the allergy pills, is plain old Spring Equinox Day, connected to the meteorological start of spring.
In our hearts, though, spring started in early March, when we went on a little trip to the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum which has easily become one of our favorite museums! Sporting lots of reconstructed buildings from the Edo period (1603-1868) up to the early Showa period (1926-1989) we consider this museum a must-see on any Tokyo trip itinerary! Because we were not too sure about the photography policy, the duck and I were a bit scared of taking lots of photos of the actual buildings; instead, we photographed the first signs of spring on this sunny day: lots of pretty plum blossoms in front of a blurred old-timey background (and the occasional building snapshot here and there)!
If you can’t make it to Tokyo you can even explore lots of the buildings virtually, though walking through them in person is a thousand times better because of the incomparable atmosphere and the incredibly friendly volunteers!
The duck and I sure want to come back rather soon – maybe we’ll be braver, photo-wise, next time!