Winter is packing its bags.

I wonder where winter goes.  I will miss it.

A little.

Outside a chiropractic clinic in Nishiogi, I noticed a handwritten sign announcing today, February 18th, as the start of 雨水 (usui), the second stage of the Chinese calendar.  Despite it being another freezing cold day, it felt like good news; we are now well into spring.

The two kanji in usui represent water and rain.  During this usui period, the sign explained, falling snow turns into rain, and ice melts into water.  Fittingly, the weather today was mizore (sleet).

I can`t work out the connection between usui and a chiropractic clinic.  I suppose I did tweak my back a little bending down to read the sign.  If they had scattered fig rolls on the ground, I`d have happily tweaked it even more.

The best blog posts come with high quality, relevant photographs.  Unfortunately, while I have an excellent eye for a pastry, I have a poor one for a photo.  So to represent Tokyo in February, please make do with Hirosaki castle in May.



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6 Responses to Winter is packing its bags.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was surprised to see the blossom in full bloom!

    • tomointokyo says:

      Thank you for your comment,
      I am impressed you were able to make out the blossom. The distance was deliberate. I am not that confident it`s a plum blossom; to be honest I am not even certain it`s a tree.
      I plan to get some more plum blossom photos on the blog soon. Any ideas welcome.

  2. Rurousha says:

    Winter is packing its bags? That’s not what it feels like when you’ve just returned from a blissful 38 degrees in South Africa! (>_<)

    I tell myself I should go hunting plum blossoms, but then there's my jet lag. How long can I use jet lag as an excuse for sloth and stupidity? Would six months be pushing it?

    PS: Plum blossoms are tricky to photograph, because you can't get that en masse effect of cherry blossoms. I usually just zoom in on one tiny blossom.

    • tomointokyo says:

      Thank you very much for your comment and welcome back Rurousha,
      Yes, winter is packing its bags. In fact the cases are already in the boot, stuffed full with longjohns and grey cardigans.
      6 months is certainly not pushing it; in fact, it might not be enough. We were born in a different time zone. The Japanese have an inbuilt, 8 hour headstart on us. Anything that we can achieve in daylight should be considered a bonus.
      The plum blossoms are still eluding me. The other day I went to Yushima Shrine and had an experience similar to one you recorded in a previous post. Far too early, the blossoms still had their longjohns on.
      Glad you are back and had a good time.

      • Rurousha says:

        I wasn’t born in merely a different time zone, but in an African time zone. I’m congenitally incapable of keeping up. 😀

        The blossoms at Kameido Tenjin are looking good. They’ll be at their best next weekend, methinks, if you feel like swapping the grit of Akiba for that of Kameido. (I can’t quite get a grip on Kameido’s atmosphere, but Futako-Tamagawa it’s not … )

      • tomointokyo says:

        Thank you very much, Kameido sounds perfect. I definitely need a break from Akiba`s jumble of junk technology and often slightly sinister, sordid atmosphere.
        In other news, I saw sakura on PET bottle lables today. Surely spring has now arrived – the commerical version anyway.

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