Sakura in Tokyo, 2018

It felt like this spring was the best sakura (cherry blossom) season in Tokyo since I had moved here 7 years ago. The blossoms started early, but the weather during the full bloom was warm and less windy/rainy than I had experienced in the past.

I fully enjoyed the flowers by taking many walks and going hanami picnics.

March 17

Early blossoms outside of the Imperial Palace, where I biked along with my new battery-assisted e-bike.

First fully bloomed tree I saw this year, near Iidabashi Station.

March 23

Another one right above the railroad of Sōbu-Chūō Line at Iidabashi Station.

March 24

Walked around Akagi Jinja/Shrine.

The darker pink kind I spotted while my daughter Lisa played in a park.

March 25

This was the best day of the season for me. Sakura at their most beautiful time.

March 27

I took kids to a quick night picnic. Lisa liked it so much she kept saying she wanted to go again. Hopefully, we can do that next year!

March 31

Back at the Imperial Palace area — picnic at Kitanomaru Park with some local families.

April 1

Last hanami for the year at Koishikawa Botanical Garden. It was a windy day, and the fallen petals looked like snowflakes.

Sakura season is so short and unpredictable, but that makes it even more precious. 🌸

WordCamp Kyoto 2017 swag: Wapuu Keychain & sticker

WordCamp Kyoto 2017 Photos

WordCamp Kyoto 2017 took place on June 24-25. Around 350 people gathered at Kyoto University and enjoyed the time togeter as WordPress enthusiasts.

Day 0: Travel & Speakers Dinner

On the day before the event, two of my colleagues and I took a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. We walked around Kiyomizudera Temple and Nineizaka, then went to the Speaker’s Dinner in Sijō.

Day 1: Session Day

Saturday was a session day. We arrived at the venue early to set up Automattic (Jetpack/WooCommerce) tables. All went by fast – I gave a talk about WordPress.com (video/sildes), attended a session about translation, and mostly talked to people at the sponsorship table.

The organizing team did a great job excecuting the event, closely focusing around session while keeping a relatively simple overall setup. They had beautiful and very original swag too!

I received some more Wapuu stickers and postcards from Tachibana-san, who went to WordCamp Europe in Paris.

At the after party, I talked some more people… For someone who work alone for most of the days and use typed words as the main means of communication, it felt as if I was intensely training my vocal cord during these WordCamp days.

Day 2: Contributor Day

Then on Sunday, about 100 people participated in the Contributor Day. I helped as a mentor for the documentation and polyglots teams.

It was a very well-organized setup and each team got a lot of things done in a day. There were many first-time contributors — it looked like they had a good time while learning how to get involved in many aspects of the WordPress project.

Day 3: Coworking

On the final day, some of us met up at Tenrō-in Bookstore (天狼院書店) for a little bit of coworking. It’s a renovated old house with two floors of coworking/café space.


This trip made me realize it again that the WordPress community in the Kansai region (= Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, etc.) is very strong. With multiple local leaders that have experience in organizing WordCamps and meetups, the team is diverse and giving good infulence to each other.

I’m sure they will put together a great WordCamp next year – you should come and see it yourself, and get to know this part of Japan too!

Kamakura, May 2017

We took a day trip to Kamakura, which is a town in Kanagawa prefecture 1-hour train ride away from Tokyo Station.

First, we arrived at Kamakura Station around 11:10 and had lunch before it gets crowded. ROOFTOPS near the station was a hit (though you need to be prepared to get really messy!).

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Avocado & grilled tomato burger at ROOFTOPS

Then, we strolled Komachi Dori Street to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (鶴岡八幡宮) Shrine.

From there, we walked more to see the bamboo grove in Hokokuji Temple (報国寺). The quiet zen garden was a nice contrast to the vivid shrine. Some bamboo shoots and young stalks

We took a local bus and Enoden train to the Great Buddha, then walked by the Yuigahama beach.

Kamakura has so many places you can easily visit within a day. We picked some of the major spots to visit since it was my first time there (Keita’s second), but it felt like I only saw a small portion of this old town. We kept walking around until it’s time to go home.

It’s a great destination to take a short trip to while in Tokyo. So much closer than Kyoto but you still get to see & learn the historical parts of Japan.

Kamakura Travel Guide (japan-guide.com)