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. 🌸

A Day in Ueno Zoo & Children’s Library

It was a sunny Saturday yesterday and we went to the Zoo & the International Museum of Children’s Literature in the Ueno Park area.At the Zoo, Lisa and her friend Hayato enjoyed a monorail ride as well as watching elephants and monkeys.

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Ueno Park, full of lotus leaves

We had lunch at Park Side Cafe, then walked to The International Library of Children’s Literature. The reading room on the first floor had a section of transportation-related books, where both of the kids spent some time opening several books one after another.

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The International Library of Children’s Literature

After saying goodbye to Hayato and his parents, Lisa went on playing at a playground across the zoo. Then we walked by the Shinobazuno-ike pond and head home. She fell asleep on the way back – it was a fun day!

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#上野公園 #紫陽花

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WordPress Meetup Tokyo: November 2015

Last night, I co-organized the 24th WordPress Meetup Tokyo. This meetup group for English speakers hosts smaller and more intimate get-togethers compared to WordBench Tokyo, which is in Japanese.

Toru did a presentation on the upcoming WordPress version 4.4 with an emphasis on the responsive image feature, based on his talk at WordCamp Tokyo last month. I showed a couple quick demos on how WordPress post embed works and the new Twenty Sixteen theme.

WordPress 4.4 embed test post

A screenshot from my test site, displaying a WordPress post embed on the Twenty Sixteen theme.

Next speaker was Sarah Cada from the Philippines. I met her when I was at WordCamp Philippines 2012 and kept in touch through our mutual friend (now a coworker) Andrew. Sarah came in as a special guest to this meetup while she’s visiting Tokyo as a part of her first trip to Japan. She talked about her involvement in the Philippine Web Designers Organization, the state of local web communities, and painfully slow internet connection there 😛

Jeff Crawford shared his experience building a business site using a theme from Thrive Themes. Jeff had shown me his site Connect-Local with another choice of a theme at a previous meetup, but this time he said he’s really happy with the ease of customization.

He also mentioned other WYSIWYG customizable themes he had tried: OptimizePress and Beaver Builder.

Junko from Kagawa joined us, and Ichi from Meetup.com Japan was also there

The next meetup is not yet scheduled, but be sure to join the meetup group if you’re interested in getting a notification about it.