Hoy voy a poner algunas fotos que he estado haciendo estos días por el las cercanías del hotel. De paso me gustaría hablar un poco sobre Ikebukuro, zona de Tokio poco conocida para los turistas pero que en realidad está muy bien situado, se puede llegar fácilmente al aeropuerto y a los puntos más importantes de interés (Ueno, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harayuku, etc) e incluso?con tren directo a?Yokohama y Kawagoe y muy bien conectado con Kamakura.
Ikebukuro no está tan focalizado al turismo, por eso en el extranjero no lo conocen como pueden conocer por ejemplo Shinjuku o Shibuya, pero Ikebukuro es la segunda estación más grande del mundo, y generalmente si un Tokiota queda para cenar con sus amigos los puntos de encuentro más frecuentes son Shinjuku o Ikebukuro. Ikebukuro tiene de todo, cines, restaurantes, salas de videojuegos, tiendas de todo tipo, grandes almacenes, tiendas de Manga y Anime, etc y al no ser tan turistico te permite ver un Tokio más "real" que el que se ve en Shibuya o en Shinjuku por ejemplo.
La cantidad de restaurantes de todo tipo que hay en las calles de Ikebukuro es apabullante.
Hay cafeterías por todo Tokio, y de la cadena Starbucks hay muchas, solamente en Ikebukuro ya hay unas cuantas.
Y para los amantes del Starbucks la bebida de estos días es el Sakura strawberry. Acompañada con un Sakura Chiffon cake está muy buena, el pastel tiene un aspecto de ser muy dulce pero en realidad no lo es mucho, tiene un sabor más a "sakura", un pelín amargo y la parte dulce lo pone la cobertura de nata, el frappuccino como siempre está tremendo.
Actually It is been 3 years since I worked for Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro. Surely time flies. I heve seen so many lovely guests from around the world, and they gave me happy moments a lot . That's why I could keep up the work here.
Well today let me show you our lovely guests who I met recently !
Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14. It is a festival of romantic love and many people give cards, letters, flowers or presents to their spouse or partner. They may also arrange a romantic meal in a restaurant or night in a hotel. Common symbols of Valentine's Day are hearts, red roses and Cupid.
ORIGINS OF VALENTINE'S DAY: A PAGAN FESTIVAL IN FEBRUARY
While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial-which probably occurred around A.D. 270-others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat's hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.
VALENTINE'S DAY: A DAY OF ROMANCE
Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed--as it was deemed "un-Christian"-at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine's Day should be a day for romance.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the?Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.
TYPICAL VALENTINE'S DAY GREETINGS
In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings.
Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the "Mother of the Valentine," made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap." Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine's Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for?Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.