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Day 2- Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden Part 2

August 22, 2011

Here’s the continuation of the ‘Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden’ post—mostly pictures, I’ll try to keep commentary to a minimum but we know how that can go ^-^. This is Atago-zaka: This slope with stone steps was an imitation of the one in Mt. Atago in Kyoto. There are 47 steps in all.

 

More commonly known as the stairs of Cirith Ungol. Long ago Frodo, Sam and Smeagol hiked these massive steps ^-^

 

 

Cthulhu’s tree.

 

 

Old Man Willow.

 

 

It probably says ‘Poisonous Tree Mucus’ but I’d like to think it’s a mythical warning against evil Yōkai…

 

 

If I could embed the Mario theme song I totally would…

 

 

 

 

 

The Great River Anduin. It eventually leads to the  statues of Isildor and Anárion.

 

 

The leaves of Lorien. Not so idly do they fall.

 

 

Kuhachi-ya, a thatched-roof hut standing in a pine grove, was once used for drinking sake. Destroyed in the war, it was reconstructed in 1959. Its name is derived from an Edo era saying: “Sake is best if the cup is 90% full in the afternoon and 80% full in the evening.”

 

 

 

 

Eiyo-hi: When the beloved falcon given to the 7th lord of the Mito-Tokugawa family by the shogun died, the 8th lord erected this monument. I’m actually not joking on this one, it really is a monument to a dead falcon.

 

 

 

 

This was an awesome island that, unfortunately, you couldn’t walk on >.<

 

 

So serene…so pretty…so…surprising loud not because of city noise but because of cicada’s. I mean really, we say we’re gonna’ go to the country for peace and quiet but if you really listen, all those damn bugs are just as noisy as and firetruck…I’m just sayin’….

 

 

How awesome would it have been to have hung out on this stone bridge, chillin’ with an onigiri–katana at your side as a geisha in kimono came across with an umbrella. Cue the shamisen.

 

 

Green Pac-Men!

 

 

In 2005, a “Pristine 10 grade” Beckett Grading Services graded a Beta Black Lotus card for the CCG game ‘Magic: The Gathering’ was bought by Darren Adams, owner of West Coast Sports Cards & Gaming Distributors in Federal Way, Washington, for a record $20,000. First thing I thought when I saw this lotus flower. Seriously. A haiku poet I apparently am not.

 

 

Mmmm…lunch…

 

 

 

 

 

Kara-mon traces: In this site, there used to be a gate of the entrance of Korakuen garden.  It was a gorgeous gate with colorfully lacquered carvings in the Chinese style.  A wooden plate with the name of the garden written by Chu Shun Shui was hung over the gate, all of which were lost in the 1945 air raids.

 

 

Horai-jima Island: The island at the pond’s center represents the Taoist paradise of Horai-jima.  The idea of placing a “heavenly isle” in the middle of a garden was first conceived by the Chinese Emperor Wu Di. The island is in the shape of a turtle, which is a symbol of longevity.

 

 

Benches…god…while they say you can check out Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden in about an hour, they neglect to mention that you’ll be sweating about 10 gallons of sweat, bugs will be nipping at your heels and you’ll want to take a photo every other step. All and all, I recommend a visit ^_~

 

 

Japanese stone lanterns were first used in ancient Shinto shrines where they served as votive lights. In the sixteenth century, Japanese tea masters included the stone lantern in Buddhist tea gardens as a means to light the way with their rustic beauty and rich light. Not sure if this is a Shinto lantern or an Oribe style lantern…

 

 

It is a Chinese belief that the lion is the animal representing authority and fealty.

 

 

 

A Weeping Cherry Tree–not in full bloom I’m afraid.

 

 

These were CRAZY. Like, 1-1 1/2 ft. in diameter, I kid you not. Pictures do it NO justice. Would be surprised by these buggers again in Ueno…

 

 

 

Cue ‘Fantasia’ soundtrack.

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite parts of the garden. which is actually man-made…I wonder what that says about me…hmmm…

 

 

Found out AFTER the fact that they offer you FREE bug spray…after Shiloh’s legs got covered with mutant mosquito bites…X_X

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Aedan permalink
    April 4, 2012 10:10 am

    Your photos of the Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden are amazing! I never took photos THIS awesome not to mention I’m not sure if I actually saw everything. This garden was just an accidental find when I was wandering.
    Beautiful imagery!

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