Wednesday was a national holiday here in Japan (labor day) so I made sure to use my day off to check out some fall leaves! I met up with my friend Nathalie who just so happens to be a California girl, loves SYTYCD, Jesus, Photography and has two beautiful kids...uhm, hello perfect friend!
I met up with Nathalie and her husband Tony at Connel Coffee in Akasaka. I had seen photos of this place before and knew I wanted to check it out, and it was just as fancy and high end as I imagined! The coffee was really good too. After fueling up on caffeine, we left Tony to do some work and Nathalie and I went out for our photography adventure to see the magical land of Ginkgo trees right in GaienMae.
ALLLLLL. THEEEEE. HEEAAARRTTTTT. EYEEESSS!!! This guy agrees.
One side was bright yellow...the other still green. stunning. God is amazing!
Cute tiny children in winter coats everywhere.
We got there around 11:30 or 12 and spend a good 30 minutes in ONE SPOT taking so many photos. It was crowded, obviously, so we had to get creative with our shots which made it fun.
Real photographers/true friends get on the ground for the shot needed haha!
A little lady and her grandpa :)
Trendy hipsters everywhere with their compact mirrorless cameras, beanies and backpacks...psshhhh so cool.
Carpet of yellow! At this point I could not stop taking photos...every single direction I looked was magical. A true photographers dream.
"boots and coatss and boots and coatssss." oh wait, that's not how it goes
Thankfully they closed the main street down, creating THE MOST EPIC photo spot. The trees from the center of the street look suuuuuper orange, while inside the trees they seem more yellow.
Love this one!
Two old grandpas walked up to me and said, "お姉さん、写真？Sister, photo?” And took this awesome photo of us! We chatted for a bit and they told me they were from Chiba too, and that Nathalie looked 23 and too young to have kids - I agree!
After taking some photos it was time to grub on some shake shack. Tony came back to meet us for this part...aka to stand in line while we took more photos...he's the real MVP!
rad chick with a rad bike. aka #lifeandstylegoals
This dude was sitting on his tiny chair and painting the most stunning picture of the trees. I didn't want to disturb him so I didn't take a photo of his artwork...but it was a mix or watercolor and pencil and it was so legit. Like, what type of amazing human just casually sits on a small chair in the middle of Gaienmae whilst painting a masterpiece?! THIS GUY.
AND. THIS. EPIC LADY WITH GINKGO ON HER OBI!!!!! This might be one of my favorite photos I've ever taken, and I've taken a lot of photos...
Definitely felt like Disneyland at moments. I will say this...although Tokyo is an extremely crowded place, people are so courteous and kind that it never feels stifling or too chaotic. Even at a place like this, where thousands of people are all holding selfie sticks and taking photos...people would be ducking in and out of the frames like "ohhh I am so sorry!" "excuse me, i'm so sorry!"
Had to do the classic leaf photo.
Being the natural people watcher that I am, I am always admiring people's fashion choices. Coming from CA, I never knew what people wore in winter so now I just freak out every few steps when I see some cool Tokyolite with an epic fashion sense. #nevernotinspired
cute old man.
Ok so we ended up waiting about 45 minutes or so for shake shack...but the good thing is we played it like a team, taking turns in line to maximise our time taking photos so it wasn't that bad. The line moved fast and we got a table no prob.
CHEESE FRIES. ICED TEA. SHACK BURGER. Although in&out will always dominate in the burger+price game, shake shack is pretty bomb and I am a fan.
The burger is really good and juicy...and the sauce they put on it (garlic aioli?) is VERY VERY GOOD.
Nathalie got the "walk in the park" concrete which had some gnarly mix of matcha+yuzu+miso??? She said it tasted even better than it looked!
LOL when your mom forces you to take photos in your puffy jacket.
Then, before we headed out, we did an impromptu photoshoot! How cute of a couple are they?!
love this one. I'm gunna give myself props for only getting like 4 people's heads in this photo considering there were about 927319 people walking around.
when you bring your fabulous child-dog out to play
You're not a true Tokyo family until you have an electric bike with multiple kids seats on it...and you take a photo in front of the ferrari store lol
In honor of Thanksgiving (which is today and I am at work) I am so thankful God brought this beautiful and wonderful family to Tokyo and let our paths cross. My heart is very FULL because of the good Lord and all He is doing!! I am also thankful for all of my loved ones back home, for a wonderful job, a Holy Spirit filled Church, and a blessed community here in Kashiwa. God is a good good Father and He orchestrates everything in magnificent ways - far better than we could imagine.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth
serve the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His loving-kindness is everlasting
and His faithfulness to all generations.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you reading this. May you sense the presence and grace of God so richly as you celebrate this holiday season :)