Seeing Red

Why is everyone seeing red over Melania Trump’s Red Christmas trees? This is the question we asked ourselves in the past couple of weeks when new reels all over the country and the world, reacted to Mrs. Trumps unveiling of the White House Christmas decorations.

If you have been living in a cabin in the word without access to internet, you might not know what all the hubbub is about, so let us enlighten you.

Photo: @FLOTUS/Twitter

Yeah, that’s it. Every year the First Lady of the United States head’s up the White House Christmas decorations and this First Lady decided on including some red Christmas trees. It doesn’t seem that weird to us. I mean the colour of the Republican Party – red.  One of the two main traditional Christmas colours besides green – red.  Macy’s Christmas decorations from a few years back – red.

So maybe Melania Trump is a traditional Republican who likes to shop at Macy’s – what’s so wrong with that?

World media pundits came up with lots of wrong to throw at the poor woman.  For instance, Vogue magazine declared:

“This year’s decorations have taken a different dystopian tack: Walking through a strange assemblage of bloodred trees, Trump looks to be channeling The Handmaid’s Tale.”


While Vanity Fair echoed the sentiment in the title of its article covering this year’s White House decorations which read: Melania Trump’s White House Christmas Has a Touch of Menace Once Again.

Menace, really?

I guess neither are as bad as Vice which suggested that Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations came straight out of Hell.

Hell, Really?

We personally like to think that besides the fact that she could very well be a traditional Republican who likes to shop at Macy’s, she might also have been inspired seeing the Japanese Red Maple tree on last autumn’s state visit to Japan.

Ok, ok, it is not of the pine or spruce variety that usually serve as Christmas trees but maybe she took her inspiration from the stoic, breath-taking red maple and channelled it into a Christmas package?

I mean who wouldn’t be inspired by Japan and its beautiful trees, hospitable people and amazing food – sounds a lot like Christmas doesn’t it?

Granted she was only there for a day and stayed in Tokyo being hosted by the Akie Abe the Japanese Prime Minister’s wife, but she packed a lot into her day’s schedule. We personally wouldn’t recommend Tokyo in a day, but hey, if you are on a First Lady on a 5-day Asian Country Tour then what can you do?

If we were to suggest what to do with only a day in Tokyo, it would go something like this:

1) Tsukiji is a long-standing traditional food market that has served vendors and restaurant owners in Tokyo since the Edo period.  During mornings it is buzzing with activity and food products! If you only have one day in Tokyo, then you only have one day for eating amazing Japanese food!  We recommend to plan for 5 small meals and loose clothing. After you wander around the food stalls and take in the sensory delights you can line up at one of the many food vendors for your first (smallish) meal of the day.

2) Ginza is one of Tokyo’s the most upscale neighbourhoods and adjacent to Tsukiji market, so it is a convenient stop for boutiques, high-end department stores, art galleries and restaurants –which equal more food. Before you chose a restaurant though, take a peep down into the basement of the department stores. There you will find thrilling selections of prepared food, traditional Japanese sweets, European style pastries, along with sake and wine! These subterranean culinary Nirvanas will get your heart quickening and your stomach doing flipflops!

3) Now that you have your next meal tucked away in a shopping bag, make your way to the Ginza metro station for a short ride west where you will spend the rest of your day. Alight in the ward of Shibuya but before leaving the station, stop at the Hachiko Statue to pay tribute to the most loyal Aikido dog in the world. Hachiko used to meet his master at Shibuya station every evening until unfortunately his master died. Still, Hachiko faithfully continued to make the same trek everyday hoping to find his master again.

Now that your heart has been sufficiently warmed you can head to the famous Shibuya Crossing the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world!

A great place for a photo or YouTube video, seriously there are a bunch, because it is so atmospheric with the huge white lines, giant screens, colourful advertising, countless buildings and thousands of people. Once you have traversed the intersection you can wander through the streets and find a place to eat your third meal of the day – aren’t those Ginza goodies gone by now? After more delicious Japanese cuisine you are ready to make your way slowly towards the your next destination: Harajuku ward.

4) Meiji-jingu Shrine and Yoyogi Park

In Harajuku is Yoyogi Park and the Meiji-jingu temple it houses.  The park is large around 134 hectares large and there is always a lot of stuff going on, but since you only have a day in Tokyo and it must late afternoon by now, it’s best to immediately start exploring Meiji-jingu. The temple was built in 1920 in homage to the late Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken.

The site is steeped in indigenous Shinto beliefs still widely held by many Japanese who cleanse themselves before entering the sacred ground, write their prayers of thanks and wishes for the future on small wooden tablets, and bring offerings to the venerated couple. Tourists find these customs as fascinating and beautiful as the grounds and building themselves.

By now it is time to take in the more earthly sites of Harajuku, where you can see kawii fashion,cool boutiques, and spidery streets. Oh, and a restaurant to get your forth meal of the day.

5) By now the sun has gone down and you are ready for the intensity of Shinjuku at night. The lights, the crowds, the shops, the Robot Restaurant. Robots? Yes, robots. After you wander around some of the huge shopping malls, grab a bite to eat and a ticket to a Robot Cabaret Show. Although the shows can be sold out, there are multiple ones each night and going through a tour operator can also bag you a ticket in high season.  Tourists rave about this amazing show complete with flashing lights pumping music and expert robot moves!

By now you must be exhausted, we know we are by just writing about this one-day Tokyo itinerary.  We even forgot about the person who started us off on this track – Mrs Melania Trump.  We bet with her red Christmas Tree preference she would be totally into the Robot Cabaret Show and the rest of it.

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