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
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The autumn colors are finally showing up in Tokyo, The city streets now display the beautiful tones of the season.
After many raining days we are finally having a few days of good weather to enjoy the colors.
After a record-breaking long and very hot summer, autumn is expected to be short and followed by a very cold winter.
Monday, November 15, 2010
An exotic looking Christmas tree has just been unveiled in front of Parco store in Shibuya.
The tree is a production of Japanese cosmetic brand Majolica Majorca, a brand of Shinseido, as part of a promotion for the release of the brand new fragrance.
I am not sure if you can call this a Christmas tree, but I definitely agree that is original.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The Yanaka/Uenosakuragi area in Taito ward, is one of the few old areas to survive the Kanto earthquake (1923) and the bombs of WW II. Walking through the narrow streets full of temples, old stores and old houses is full of unexpected surprises for a major area in Tokyo.
Although many of the old houses are now being rebuilt with modern structures, many of the old houses still stand in a stubborn defiance of modern times. A store in Uenosakuragi invite customers to come in to appreciate the house (and buy something while you are in).
Hanaju flower shop in front of the Yanaka cementery, founded in 1870 it has been designated an important national cultural property.
Izakaya osen in kototoi dori, is attended by the more that 80 years old owner, who up to this day cheerfully shares drinks and cigarettes with the regulars.
Enjuin, founded in 1652, is one of the remaining temples of Kaneiji, a quiet area with a beautiful garden in Kototoi street.
Tsuijibei (earthen walls) of the Kannonji temple, the temple has a small pagoda dedicated to the 47 ronin, who avenged their master and then committed suicide.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Temple buddhist Kan-eiji in Tokyo is one of the funeral temples of the Tokugawa shogun family (the other is Zojo-ji), The temple complex used to have great wealth and power and consisted of more than 30 buildings. The temple was the battleground of the battle of Ueno in 1868, where the last stronghold of the Tokunaga troops barricaded, after a fierce battle, the revolutionary troops finally took kan-eiji. Most of the temple buildings were destroyed in the battle, some of the few remaining buildings are in what is now ueno park, the thosho gu shrine and the kan-eiji pagoda.
The main hall of this historic place, Konpon-chu do stands quietly on the backstreets behind the Tokyo National Museum. There are no so many visitors, with the exception perhaps of history buffs and visitors to the adjunct kindergarten. The wooden structure of the main hall was moved from Kawagoe, after the original was lost in the battle fire.
Around the main hall, there is a bell tower, a set of jizo statues, and a monument to ryououdoukaku.
Behind the main hall, the temple offices are of a more contemporary design and neatly kept but contrast starkly with the main hall building.
Konpon chu do is the keeper of an historic temple that saw the final battle that of the shogun period.