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Day 2- Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden Part 1

August 21, 2011

Finally, our first (rested) day in Japan! Following the edict of Japan being a culture of complimentary clashes, we decided to hit up Koishikawa Kōrakuen Gardens (a peaceful respite in the middle of the city) followed by the crazy culture of Aki–well, I get a head of myself…


From the hotel it takes about 20 minutes on the Chuo line, getting off at Iidabashi Station. As soon as we stepped out it began to rain…argh…



There are quite a few suspended walkways like this across the city…as noted in the train post, see how everyone is on the left side…



If you can’t read/speak Japanese, no worries! At most ‘touristy’ areas there are signs pointing you in the right direction. For all those times you need to go to the Koishikawa Taxation Office, you’re in luck ^-^ Oh yeah, here’s Shiloh holding an umbrella.



Only 500 meters to go! 500m=1,640 ft.=19,685 in.= 50,000 cm. Just in case you needed to know.



I don’t think we heard a single car horn during our stay…heard about 20 yesterday in NYC…



Designated paths for bikers and walkers. It was a pretty quiet day when we visited, not a lot of people out and about. Normally most streets are packed with bikers and people–note again on the walking side, the division between people walking in opposite directions…do you remember what side you’re suppose to walk on?



Before too long here we are, Koishikawa Garden!



Here’s the modern day map…



…and here’s the 17th century one. Which do you like better?



“The construction of Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden was started in 1629 by Mr. Yorifusa Mito, the Daimyo (Japanese feudal lord) of Mito Tokugawa family, and was completed by his successor, Mr. Mitsukuni Mito, a very famous Daimyo in the early Edo period.” (Text taken from Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association.)



“Mitsukuni adopted an opinion of a Chinese scholar and named this garden “Koraku-en” (Koraku means “enjoying afterwards”) after a Chinese teaching of ” a governor should worry before people and enjoy after people”.” (Text taken from Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association.)



Note the tree branch on the right side of the frame; it’s supported by his dead cousin. Maybe it’s some sort of tree-organ donor system? Me wonders…



“Korakuen was appointed as the Special Place of scenic beauty and the Special Historic Site based on the Cultural Properties Protection Law of Japan.” (Text taken from Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association.)



“All through Japan, there are only seven premises which enjoy double appointments by this Law. They are Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, Sampo-in of Dogoji all in Kyoto, the trace of Nibo-no-miya in the third line of Heijyokyou left city in Nara, Isukushima shrine in Hiroshima and Hamarikyuu and Korakuen in Tokyo.” (Text taken from Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association.)



The sign reads: ” Togetsu-Kyo. This bridge is located in the southern part of the Oi River. It is named after a famous bridge in Arashiyama Kyoto. This type is called ‘earthern bridge” because earth is used to cover the wooden foundation.”



Tsutenkyo Bridge. I’m surprised a lot of the photo’s came out as well as they did– with a very white, overcast sky and very harsh shadows within the forest it was EXTREMELY contrasty.



Purty. Koishikawa Kōrakuen is an example of a garden meant to mimic iconic rivers, valleys and mountains. Often a hill, river or tree will be named after a famous counterpart located either in Japan or China. 



One of the hotter days…Japan is veeeery muggy in the summer months (July/August.) Early to mid-July is the rainy season and for the first part of the trip there were scattered rain droplets. The rain felt a little cool but not by much…all the skyscrapers and concrete has blocked the natural wind current from the ocean so know relief while outdoors. Thankfully there’s AC awaiting us in the city ;)



Wide shot of Shiloh…



…and now a medium shot. How many of you can guess what her shirt is from?



In case you haven’t gotten your fix for bridge photo’s, here’s another one!



I’ll let you enjoy the rest of the photo’s (but I may chime in from time to time) without too much commentary @-@







It was difficult to shoot this without having a Canon 5D and 200mm lens on hand. (All shots are on a Canon ELPH 3000 point and shoot camera.) Like the above picture says, it really looked like a waterfall made out of thread!





A manhole…in the middle of a park?



If you just looked at this photo quickly you may think it’s a research facility from ‘Jurassic Park’…can you spot the velociraptor’s in the tree cover?!



Paddy field.



Currently watching ‘Samurai 7’ which is an anime series loosely based on Akira Kurisawa’s “Seven Samurai.” A village decides to hire 7 samurai to defeat bandits that are stealing their rice harvest. The anime has giant mech-samurai bandits which I don’t think were in Akira’s flick…although it has been awhile since I’ve seen the original…



Bugs. Note to self, mosquito’s are killer here. More on that later…



I’m going to separate the rest of these photo’s in a second post because WordPress gets suuuper bogged down after the 20th photo so stay tuned!!!

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