Sunday, 13 April 2014

Asukayama, Nanasha jinja & The best late blooming sakura in Tokyo?

On Friday (my preparation day.. in theory) I met a few friends for lunch and an has an extremely interesting guided tour of the Eiichi Shibusawa museum, which is located on the edge of the Asukayama park precinct. Shibusawa was one of the powerhouse movers and shakers of the Meiji era. The old buildings there are impressive, particularly the teahouse which is an eclectic mix of Western and Eastern design.
The outing fortuitously co-incided with the Yae Zakura (sakura) season in Asukayama.  They Yae Zakura bloom later and last longer than the typical somei yoshino sakura that you see in most places in Tokyo.  They were magnificent.
They were so good that I took Hiro back yesterday. We wandered up from Asukayama to Komagome past Nanasha Jinja (shrine).  It also has beautiful Yay

The wisteria will bloom soon

A laid back day in the park. The regular hanami season has ended in most places.
This is a bit like a Tora-san movie that harks back to the Showa era.
It's like a 1970s timewarp. (pre-bubble Japan) except that almost every
group that was picnicking was drinking wine....

Shibusawa Museum

The Shibusawa museum building, built as a library, but the
documents to go inside were burned down in the Kanto Earthquake,
just before being moved to this safe house.

A juggler performing for kids in the park

Shibusawa Museum's teahouse

Varieties of Yae Zakura at Nanasha shrine 
Confucius and Mencius
Such beautiful sakura and almost no-one there.

Nanasha jinja is at Nishigahara 2-11-1 - just next to the Takinogawa police,  at little towards Komagome/Tabata from the Shibusawa museum.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Cherry Blossoms 2014

Sakura-zaka in Roppongi ichome

Sakura zaka going down towards the ANA

Sakura zaka

Kitanomaru Park



Kitanomaru Park

Escaping the crowds at Chidorigafuchi
Shakuji gawa

Shakuji gawa

The bloom on someiyoshino variety in particular is so short lived
By the Shakuji gawa in Itabashi
Shakuji gawa: blossoms and petals

Spring time flower collage

Out and about in the neighbourhood today.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Tokyo Fashion: matching shoes

Mother and son with matching shoes; perhaps my brother had a deprived childhood...

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Mr Donut and a spare tyre

I'm puzzling over this Mr Donut advertisement. The only way I can interpret it is ' eating Mr Donut will give you a spare tyre....'

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4・8 Happy Wrinkles Day!

Today is Shiha / Shiwa no hi!

For people who have no idea what I'm talking about, the word for wrinkle, shiwa (shiha) is a pun on  today's date 8/4, or as is written in Japanese (year, month, date).  Shi Gatsu (4 month)  Hachi Nichi (8 day - usually pronounced you-ka, but due to historical Chinese/Japanese pronunciations, it can be read either way.

I will keep an eye out for beauty salon advertisements trying to cash in on it.

Meanwhile,  Enjoy the wrinkles!

I've been trying to think of other dates that are puns but am coming up short even though there are several. One of the more famous ones is 29th of every month is "Meat Day"  ni (2) - ku (9) = niku = the Japanese word for meat. 11/11 has been dubbed Pocky day because the straight lines of 1111 look like pocky!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Blossoms: plums

I took a trip to the west of Tokyo with Rurousha in Mid March to see Ome's beautiful plums. Plums are usually solitary trees; they're not usually planted en masse the way that cherry trees are.  This is one of the notable exceptions. Kairakuan in Mito is another.  Plum pox has infected the trees though and all will be cut down at the end of the season.