Tag Archives: winter

gift ideas: for the cold hands




{Images via Yanko Design}

If your hands are always cold during winter no matter where you are (inside or outside) you might want one of these Macaron Hand Warmers (designed by sty!epie). If you just cup your hands around them and blow (like a whistle), the heat will activate inside and warm your hands up..! They come in four different brightly ‘flavors’ and about $45-$50 a piece.

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japan, lately.

It’s been so cold the last couple of weeks that I thought snow might come early this year. But the closest thing we had was slushy snow-rain for a couple hours last night. Whenever winter and cold weather is here, my memories always return to the long winter in Japan back in 2007-2008. There was snow, harsh dry air and a lot of walking outside. This weather also brings me back to the cold days and nights in my old apartment. Insulation was nonexistent. Walls and windows were either grim- or thin looking. Miso soups, hot teas, a couple blankets and a space heater were my loyal companions (besides my two lovely roommates, of course).

I worked at several branches, and most of them are at a least 5-10 minutes walk from the subway/train station. It was the same routine 6 days a week, walking alone between point A to point B, often with ample time for my mind to wander and enjoy the surroundings of holiday lights and decorations from the ground to the glass windows of skyscrapers above train stations and shopping buildings.

Though this was not during winter time, one of the branches I commuted to that stood out the most was the farthest from the train station. It was an easy 15 minute trek to get to that branch, where it is located next to a nice supermarket in Kani city. During the summer, there was no shade for me to hide under so I would have to walk through the fields under the burning sun. After a couple weeks did I finally learn to appreciate this long walk despite the unyielding heat. I loved cutting through the small neighborhoods with old-style houses and bonsai gardens, imagining myself being planted in that environment, living like a true Japanese local. After the houses came acres and acres of farm fields, neatly lined and squared with an occasional farmer or two tending in the muddy grounds. It was so peaceful–a nice break from the city life that Nagoya has to offer.

It was over 5 years since I left Japan and returned to Seattle. The trip back last December was much needed and definitely impulsive. But it was all worth it given how much I had missed the country. Seeing old friends, eating local foods and walking around the same (and even new) places brought a rush of memories back to me. I promised myself that I will return and live there again. Someday.






{Images circa Japan 2012}

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