Monday, 11 January 2010

Kita no Maru Park

At the National Museum of Modern Art we opted for tickets to the permanent exhibition, inclusive of a ticket ot the National Craft Gallery up the road, within the grounds of Kita no Maru park.  It's an impressive old red brick building (1910), that was originally built as a barracks for the Imperial guard (symbolically by a Japanese architect) and in 1977 was transformed into the National Craft Gallery.

It housed an assortment of industrial art, perhaps there is a better word for it;  vases, bento boxes, plates and platters, clothing, columns, and a variety of of objects that I couldn't quite grasp the practical use for, though in many cases I could appreciate the aesthetic.  It was a relatively small collection of 6 small rooms and was interesting for a quick look but I would have felt short changed had I paid the 500Y entry fee (for an extra 80Y it was included as a bonus extra in the MoMAT's ticket).

We took a wander through Kita no Maru park before we headed for home.  I have a soft spot for the park, in part for the collection of instituions  - Craft Gallery, Budokan, Science Museum - that it houses, but mostly because most cherry trees here are different variety to most of Tokyo, blooming when cherry trees across Tokyo are covered in green leaves.  Here are some pictures.

A sitting spot

Winter in Kitanomaru Park

Winter in Kitanomaru Park

The Science Museum (the windows are star shaped)

A statute of Shigeru Yoshida, the pro-western, post-war Prime Minister who was the grandfather of the recent PM Taro Aso.

The Budokan (picture taken from Wikepedia). It was built as a martial arts hall and holds many judo, kendo, aikido and other martial arts competitions but  many concerts are held here as well.   (A glance through Wikipedia and I have learned The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam, Guns and Roses, Depeche Mode among innumerable others have held concerts here - pop culture isn't my forte....)  Anyway, yesterday Dir en Gray, a Japanese Rock group
were performing.  I have no idea if they are famous. Judging by the queues to get in at least some people have heard of them...

The Budokan


The gates to Kitanomaru Park on the Yasukuni Dori (road) side

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