Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nishiarai Taishi

Nishiarai Taishi
Soujiji, best known as Nishiarai Taishi is a Buddhist temple in Adachi ward in Tokyo.The temple was built in the year 826, and the main hall was built in the mid-Edo period. In 1971 it was rebuilt to his present form.

Nishiarai Taishi Main Gate
The beautifully carved main gate (sanmon) was completed in the late part of the edo period.

Nishiarai Taishi Shiojozou
ShioJizou close to the main gate. Worshipers believe that pouring salt on this Jizou cures warts.
Official site (Japanese)


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kyu Furukawa Gardens

Kyu Fukuhara garden
The Kyu Furukawa gardens in Kita Ku, Tokyo, is a national asset leased to Tokyo metropolis and open to the public. In 1982 it was designated a national famous scenic spot.

Tea house Kyu Fukuhara garden
The property is located in the former residence of the notable Mutsu Munemitsu, and then inherited by the Furukawa family. In 1917 the baron Toranosuke Furukawa started the construction of the site on the current form.

Residence Kyu fukuhara garden

The building was designed by the English architect Josiah Condor, who designed most of the buildings on the last part of the Meiji period and beginning of the Taisho period, and made many contributions to the architecture in Japan.

Shinji-ike Kyu Fukuhara garden
The Japanese garden was created by Ogawa Jihei, a designer of many Kyoto gardens and the pioneer of the modern Japanese garden (Ueji).

In 1956 the property become state owned and was loaned to Tokyo metropolis free of charge, restoration to the state started on 1982 and in 2006 a complete restoration to the previous form was completed.

Park Site


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

University of Tokyo

Yasuda Auditorium
The University of Tokyo, Japan’s premier national university. Founded in 1877 as the first national university in Japan. The university aims to provide its students with a rich and varied academic environment that ensures opportunities for both intellectual development and the acquisition of professional knowledge and skills.

Sanshiro Pond
The Main Campus is located in Hongo, Bunkyo Ku, on the Tokyo state of the former major feudal lord Kaga Yashiki. Parts of the seventeenth century landscape have been preserved.

akamon red gate
The former Kaga state Akamon or red gate is also preserved and it has been designated an “Important Cultural Property” by the Japanese government.

University of tokyo
Arches of the Second Building of Faculty of Law and Letters on campus.

Official Site


Monday, September 21, 2009

Electric town Akihabara

Akihabara is the Tokyo area in the chiyoda ward, also known as ‘electric town’. Is is a major area for shopping electronic, and computer equipments.

Akihabara chuo street
The area is also the main spot for the otaku subculture, there is a large number of stores that cater for these costumers, Manga (Japanese comics) shops, French maid dressed waitress cafés(above, café staff distributing flyers), Anime, and figures.

Akihabara station
The area is experiencing a expanded renovation, the station building is now closed and access to the station by the chuo street area is reduced.

Yodobashi akihabara
Access to the station on the Yodobashi camera building area has been completed and is now the main entrance to the station.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Gokokuji main temple
Gokokuji is a Buddhist temple in the Bunkyo ward, it was founded in 1681 in the Edo period. In 1873 the emperor Meiji declared the temple a mausoleum. He and several of his children are buried there.

The building with a single layer roof built on an aesthetic iki design, that has survived the big Kanto earthquake and the bombing of the second world war.

Gokokuji Buddha
The main temple is considered an important cultural asset by the Japanese government.
Official site (Japanese).


Sunday, September 13, 2009


Meet you at Hachiko

The faithful dog Hachiko statue in Shibuya station, is one of the most popular meeting points in the station, the statue is located very close to the Shibuya crossing.

Hachiko in Shibuya
The statue is dedicated to Hachiko, an Akita dog that in 1924 greeted every day his master return, a Tokyo University professor, at the shibuya station until 1925 when the professor didn’t return as it had suffered a stroke at the University and died, never returning home. The dog continued visiting the station for 10 years until his death, still waiting and searching for his master among the commuters.
The dog story has been made into movies several times, the most recent in the 2009 movie Hachiko: A dog story, starring Richard Gere.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Nihonbashi (bridge)
Nihonbashi bridge (the name translates literally to Japan bridge) in the Chuo district ,Tokyo. Is the bridge over the nihonbashi river. It is point Zero for all roads in Japan, all roads measure distance to this point when indicating distance to Tokyo.

highway over nihonbashi
The original wood bridge was built in the edo period in 1603, a reconstruction can be seen on the Edo period museum. A year later it was designated as the origin for the 5 main roads in Japan, becoming one of the most crowded areas of the edo period. In 1911 the current bridge was built in stone as the previous ones made of wood were lost to fire.
In 1963 in a rush to modernization due to the Tokyo Olympics, an elevated highway was built over the bridge, blocking visibility to the sky and losing the previous crowds crossing the bridge. In 1999 the prime minister at that time, Junichiro Koizumi created an initiative to restore the landscape of the bridge by moving the highway underground, but current Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has opposed the plan due to the elevated cost of the project.

The bridge is of a beautiful Art Nouveau design, that is greatly underappreciated, due to the obstructive highway on top, it has been designated an important cultural asset by the Japanese government.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gonpachi in Nishiazabu

Gonpachi in Nishi-Azabu
Restaurant Gonpachi is a casual Japanese cuisine restaurant chain, with subsidiaries in Tokyo, Fukuoka and Beverly hills.

The Store in Nishiazabu in the Roppongi neighborhood, was used by Junichiro Koizumi (prime minister at the time) to host an informal dinner for President George Bush.
It is say that Quentin Tarantino used it as a model for the restaurant in the Kill Bill movie.
Link to restaurant.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Roppongi crossing
Roppongi in the Minato ward is a popular entertainment area in Tokyo, especially for the foreigners living in Japan.

Roppongi night shot
The Name Roppongi literally means “six trees”, although the origin of the name is not clear, it is said that it originated because of six old pine trees that use to be in the area.
The area was not extensively populated, Until the Edo period when two towns where created there. After the WWII, the U.S forces occupied the military facilities in the area and many bars and restaurants open to service the facilities, starting the area reputation of foreigner’s neighborhood.

Midtown Roppongi view
The area has become popular recently after the construction of Roppongi hills, Tokyo Midtown and the museum triangle: The national museum of art Tokyo, the Mori Art museum, and the Suntory Museum of Art.