Ahhhhhhh! I’ve tried parking this blog post for the longest time even if I had a lot of thoughts and reflections while I was in Japan.
Before giving birth, I’d honestly thought I’d never be able to bring Riley anywhere until he’s a certain age. Also, in this trip, I wasn’t really expecting to visit a lot of places with the little one in tow. Actually, I didn’t Google much until I got there. Surprisingly, I got to do a bit of mommy me-time and shopping with my sister or by myself at night thanks to Google Maps and 3 units of Japanese classes in college. Hahahaha. Since most of our trips were tours and Riley is used to roadtrips, the trip was surprisingly manageable! I was also under the assumption that Riley might not remember a lot of things from this trip years from now so I took lots of photos and videos too (which I have yet to edt). The general assumption is that kids don’t really get to appreciate the things they see in trips but as I’ve personally observed, trips to new places definitely helps in expanding Riley’s vocabulary and it makes him realize that there is a world beyond our house and the places we usually go to and that he needs to be the one to adjust to our new environment wherever it may be.
There are a lot of things I enjoyed in my trip such as how Disney has been open to reinterpretation in terms of branding. As usual, I was attracted to brights, pastels and solid colors.
I realized haven’t been to any Disney Theme Park since I was 12. I also enjoyed shopping for art materials in Sekkaido and checking out the fabric exhibit in Itoya–a stationery store. Well, you’d also find me shopping for coffee jelly or dark chocolate in 7-11.
It was spring time and even though we arrived past the peak of the Cherry Blossoms seasons, a lot of flowers were still in full bloom.
Pocket Gardens in Tokyo Disneyland
Golden Hour in Tokyo Disney
Sleeping Beauty Mosaic inside the Disney Castle
Foggy Hakone Ropeway
Colorful Poppies in Disneyland
Spot the hidden Mickey!
Did a mini mini project of capturing lights and the bokeh they produce. ?
The recurrent theme in my trip that really struck me was how much the Japanese loved their country as manifested in different ways.
First, they’re very particular about segregating trash and keeping their country clean.
Second, I was so surprised to have been able to buy a lot of art materials–mostly their local brands–which are so affordable. The hubby explained to me that their economic policy includes making sure that their imported goods are properly taxed making you want to patronize the Japanese goods. They’ve also built a lot of international brands.
Third, even if Disney is technically an American concept, they still managed to come up with their own set of characters and their penchant for visuals and patterns, and even their local brands have been incporated into the theme park: They have UCC & Meiji sponsored restaurants inside Tokyo Disney to boot.
Fourth, they do have a lot of merch and materials relating to their own culture. Have you noticed that emojis have icons referring to Japanese food and holidays? Do you ever imagine things like Sapin-sapin, Suman, Halo-halo, Mayon Volcano and the like becoming mainstream in our messaging apps and social media sites?
Posing by the paper swatches in Itoya, a 12-floor Stationery Store.
Thanks to my mom and sister fro bringing us here!
Every year, a lot of tourists flock to Japan to see the Cherry Blossoms. Years ago, I was thinking, if I had my own land, I can probably plant Golden Showers too (that tree with bright yellow flowers) . Locally, they bloom in the summer. Randomly, I came across an article about Filipinos wanting to plant Cherry Blossoms in the North. The problem is, that will definitely distort the local ecosystem aside from the fact that it doesn’t promote love for country in any way.
Perhaps if we can plant more Fire Trees and Golden Showers, embrace more of our culture then we can start helping people from around the world learn to embrace our culture and story as well.