Christmas Trees

November 29, 2005

It's Christmas season in Japan, Christmas season in Japan seems to start around mid-November, which places it a few weeks before the start of Christmas season in the States. It is usually uneventful for myself, as I find myself not somewhat alienated by the completely secular nature of Christmas in Japan ("Who's Jesus?). Of course that is opposed to the pseudo-religious with Barney and Elmo nature of Christmas in the States that I feel comfortable with.

This year has been a bit different as I did go out for Thanksgiving dinner, the turkey was really tasty and since I ate the turkey and cranberry sauce (and the amazing mashed potatoes) I'm starting to get caught up in the holiday cheer.

This morning, as I headed out to work, I almost got ran over by a minivan, as for some reason, I forgot to double check when crossing the street. The minivan driver gave me a "you almost ruined both of our fucking lives you bastard" look and I gave back the best apology look I could. I felt kind of down the rest of the ride to work, and when I arrived at the office I noticed that Christmas trees were going up around the office.

Tokyo and the surrounding areas are dotted with all kinds of shopping malls/districts with each spot vying for visitors to come to their site. Because of that, when certain seasons arrive each area goes all out in trying to out do each other. When the Christmas season arrives, Christmas trees go up and/or the areas are illuminated. A shopping mall/hotel/office building that is the tallest building in Japan, has put up a HUGE Christmas tree in their atrium with artificial snow (using one of those machines used at ski resorts), UmiHotaru, a rest area in the middle of a bridge that crosses Tokyo Bay, has an impressive illumination show that goes on from sundown to sunrise. And Roppong Hills had wrapped up all their trees outside the buildings in Christmas lights. The illumination draws hordes of people everyday, which means that on my way home from work, I weave my bicycyle around many a happy couple staring at the illuminations. Then they had put up the trees last night, and I was skeptical. I was just thinking of the trees being another obstacle between my bicycle and the office. But, there was a massive tree in the atrium, and the area just smelled great. I felt like I should head out to the slopes immediately, or buy some pine scented car deodorant. Either way, it is just another one of those days where staring at the computer is a chore, but for some reason I'm even happy about that.

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