La dolce vita with a Japanese twist

May is one of my favourite months, be it in France or in Japan. In France, May is the month with many national holidays, which often means long weekends. In Japan, it is the best month to spend outdoors. The weather is warm but not yet too hot or humid as in summer, allowing to enjoy lazy weekends and coffee in multiple terraces around the town. Rainy season is yet to come by around mid-June, thus, crowds of Tokyoites go to visit numerous flower parks, do sports or go hiking.

Tokyo is a good place for that, as there are many mountains suitable for hiking within one or two hour train ride, giving both beginners and advanced hikers multiple choices. I have tried hiking, but still get surprised to find many people at the top no matter what mountain you choose.

Lunch break with a view… and (unexpected) company…

I also have tried parks and enjoy lazy weekends in outdoor cafes, while some Japanese out there seem to be suffering from the so called “May syndrome” (also known as May sickness or Gogatsu-byo). According to my Japanese colleague, after many changes in April (remember, it is the start of a new school year, financial year, new job, new life and maybe even new love), people start getting tired, nervous, anxious or depressed, some suffer insomnia, loss of appetite, or interest in life and similar. Apparently, all these symptoms magically disappear by the beginning of June.

Sunny terrace in Ashikaga flower park

It is my second May in Japan and I am happy of not yet falling in that trap. And how could I, when wondering along the backstreets of one of the Tokyo neighbourhoods, I come across such a beauty…

Little Venice in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo

You may recall my love for Venice (if not, read here), thus finding a miniature copy in Tokyo makes my day.

Little Venice in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo

The only thing that is missing is a café by the canal, so I could sit down and spend my Saturday afternoon fully enjoying farniente (Italian phrase for “doing nothing”), a smell of freshly brewed coffee and sun playing in those beautiful European style windows…

Little Venice in Tokyo

La vie est belle…and full of surprises, isn’t it?

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