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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Experiencing Japan's strongest storm since 1959

3rd of April 2012. It's been 4 years and 1 day since I first moved to Tokyo.

This special event was marked by Japan's strongest storm since 1959.

I got a phone call in the morning from a friend asking whether I wanted to hang out because a bad storm was coming.

I said yes, not entirely sure that the storm was going to be historically bad.

An hour later, I was at Ikebukuro station. It was starting to rain.

She arrived moments later, smiling gleefully.

"Everyone's hurrying home, but we chose to come out. Isn't this crazy (and a little exciting)?" She said.

I agreed. I noticed that she wasn't carrying an umbrella.

We walked through the streets of Ikebukuro. The initial plan was to go to a nearby cafe, but we wanted to eat first.

There was a restaurant that served lunch with all you can eat salad bar (and unlimited drinks). The rain was getting stronger, so we chose to eat there.

As we were finishing our meals, she looked at her iPhone and gasped.

"The storm is bad. 70% of the trains will be cancelled!"

"Oh my." I remarked.

My phone started to ring too, it was mom calling me via Viber.

"Hello." I said.

"Hello. Where are you now?" Mom asked.

"Oh, outside, having lunch." I said.

"There's going to be a huge storm in Tokyo. Why aren't you at home?" Mom said.

"Mmm... I'll be home soon." I said.

"Okay." Mom said. "All the planes to Japan have been canceled today, you know."

When I was on the phone with mom, I was indeed exiting the restaurant. We were heading back to the station, taking the train home.

The wind was getting stronger.

So strong that my umbrella broke when I was about to reach home.

Massive #storm came over #Japan. My #umbrella became a casualty.

I was a little amused. So I took a photo of it and uploaded it on Instagram, Flickr and Facebook.

I wondered whether my umbrella would have suffered this fate if my friend had accepted my offer to take it on her way home. She was stubborn and would rather walk in the rain.

"I'm already sick. How much worse can I get?" She asked as she dismissed my umbrella, just before she went into her train.

"Right." I said. I wasn't too sure.

Such a historic storm, I regret not taking any videos of it.

I was struck by this thought when I was in my room a few hours later.

The world outside was howling in madness.

I pushed open my window, letting in a large gust of wind.

And this was the view from my room, a cherry blossom tree in the middle of a tremendous storm.