Friday, December 31, 2010
As every year, Tokyo Midtown set up an illumination display for the winter season. As usual, large crowds gathered to admire of the display.
This year the illumination was named startlight garden, with over 250, 000 LED representing the Milky Way and shooting stars.
Visitors avoiding the cold weather enjoyed the display from inside the building.
At the garden, the impressive display was sometimes difficult to appreciate due to the crowds but the combination of lights and music made it worthwhile to endure the cold.
Additionally to the lightshow, the trees of the surrounding areas were also decorated accordingly.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Nagoya station in the Aichi prefecture is the world largest train station by floor area. Most of the space is located in the JR Central towers; one of the twin towers is used by a hotel and the second one is used as office space.
The towers provide great views of the city. the night view specially showing up the beauty of the Nagoya castle.
The streets around the station, normally busy on weekdays, were mostly quiet on this holiday.
The illumination decoration on the lower floors attracted many visitors, giving the station a special holiday feeling.
View Nagoya Station in a larger map
Saturday, December 18, 2010
The Nanasawa forest park at the east of the tanzawa mountains in Kanagawa prefecture,is a popular leisure area for residents of the Atusgi, although is no so well known outside the area.
The area counts with several hiking paths, but we decided to stay on the main road, as we did not have a guide or a proper map.
The mountains in the area were showing some of the autumn colors, not so impressive this year due to the extremely hot summer, but a great change from the usual city landscape. Unattended stands offer local products, you take what you need and leave the money in the jar.
Rock climbers practice on a small slope by the road before trying the more challenging Nameri-iwa.
Along the road is the Okama benzaiten, a tori in the small stream running along the path.
The best part of the walk was the small restaurant along the path, were you could catch your own food (conveniently located in a small pond in front of the restaurant), and eat it in the open terrace.
Although we did not venture in to the hiking trails, the park was full of pleasant surprises to provide a pleasant walk; I surely will visit again and try the hiking trails next time.
View Nansawa Forest park in a larger map
Friday, December 10, 2010
Marunouchi has concisely set up impressive Christmas illuminations, for the last few years. However, due perhaps to the economic recession, this year the illumination has been strikingly scaled down.
To compensate, buildings in the area have set up illumination on their plazas and squares as in the newly constructed ‘Marunouchi brick square’.
Nearby bulding the ‘Marunouchi plaza’ has set up a nice decoration, notice how the meijiseimei building, designated as important cultural asset, has been nicely integrated into the background.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
The University of Tokyo logo is formed by two gingkoes leaves, a yellow one and a light blue one, the gingko leaves has been used as a mark of Tokyo university in many occasions of the university history.
Accordingly, the gingko trees are showing the beautiful yellow color of the autumn around the University.
The University is open to the public, and a large number of visitors are enjoying the autumn colors.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Ichigaya station is located on the plateau of the cut on the edo period damiyo area. A part of the original wall protecting the cut was discovered during the excavations for the Namboku line.
A small place inside the Namboku line, named “Edo historical walk”, reproduces some of the stones discovered and the marks inscribed in them by builders.
A Japanese folding screen displays a scene of the area in the edo period.
A period map is painted on the floor and a glass case displays a model of the area around the station as it is now, I would have liked the inverse, an edo period model and a current map better though.
View Ichigaya in a larger map
Friday, November 26, 2010
The old Otonashi water park in the Ishigami ikawa brook, a well-known scenic spot in the edo period, featured in the “one hundred famous view of Edo” by Ando Hiroshige. The park and it’s waterfalls, was a renowned site to enjoy the four seasons.
However, the brook later became too polluted and diapered below the thick concrete, to prevent flood damage, during the postwar development.
The city of Kita at the north of Tokyo, in an ecological project, reconstructed the park in the same spirit of the original one, reopening to the public in 1988.
The park is again a place to enjoy the seasons, being the most busy in the summer when is full of kids enjoying the once again clean stream’s water. At this time, it is great place to enjoy the autumn colors.
The park is one of the six parks in Tokyo in the selection of “100 Japanese urban parks”.
View Oji in a larger map