Strolling Higashiyama, Kyoto

Higashiyama Sannei and Ninen slope (10 September 2020)

Onde of the most popular and typical Kyoto scene alleys, Higashiyama, from Kiyomizu to Yasha shrine. I was strolling through empty sunset streets, Sannei slope and Ninen slope.

人通りの途絶えた夕暮れの産寧坂、二年坂、以前は多くの人でにぎわいましたが、コロナ禍で寂しい夕暮れです。Empty sun-set streets, Sannei slope and Ninen slope, they used be very popular and crowded alleys even after sunset.

人通りの途絶えた夕暮れの産寧坂、二年坂、以前は多くの人でにぎわいましたが、コロナ禍で寂しい夕暮れです。Empty sun-set streets, Sannei slope and Ninen slope, they used be very popular and crowded alleys even after sunset.

人通りの途絶えた夕暮れの産寧坂、二年坂、以前は多くの人でにぎわいましたが、コロナ禍で寂しい夕暮れです。Empty sun-set streets, Sannei slope and Ninen slope, they used be very popular and crowded alleys even after sunset.

This area is usually very popular even after sunset, but currently very quiet because of new coronavirus.

Strolling at Kichijoji

Kichijyoji (30 7 2020)

Kichijyoji, only 15 min. by train from Shinjuku, has many faces loved by all generations.

Let’s start from a statue of elephant

Hanako, the oldest elephant lived in Japanese zoo, past away at 2016 at 69 years old, in front of the station.

Hanako, the oldest elephant lived in Japanese zoo, Hanako, past away at 2016 at 69 years old

Near the station, many customers were in lines in front of popular shops. Some popular old shops are in line on the streets

Popular shops in the shopping street

Popular shops in the shopping street

A little walk from the station, many stylish or eccentric looking shops are coming into view.

Stylish, eccentric looking shops a little far from the station

Stylish, eccentric looking shops a little far from the station

Stylish, eccentric looking shops a little far from the station

Near the shopping street, some temples such as Ensoji are locating but no Kichijyoji temple.

Ensoji Temple near the shopping street

Ensoji Temple near the shopping street

Ensoji Temple near the shopping street

In back streets, atmosphere is changed completely.

A sweet shop in back streets

A sweet shop in back streets

Small alley in back streets

Small alley in back streets

Small alley in back streets

Yakitori restaurants in back streets

Yakitori restaurants in back streets

Yakitori restaurants in back streets

At south exit of the station, crowded street is little bit castic.

Crowded street at the south exiy of the station

But, after the crowded street, a road to Inokashira park is cozy.

A road to Inokashira park

A road to Inokashira park

In the zoo, there is no elephant, but many small animals make us relax.

A goat

A squirrel
Playground in the park

In the park, we can enjoy very good quiet atmosphere.

A spring of the pond

A spring of the pond

A main pond in the park

A main pond in the park

 

 

One-day trip to Kawagoe

Kowagoe (05 7 2020)

Kawagoe, located about 50km north-west and the nearest castle town from Edo (former name of Tokyo).

Kawagoe castle was important castle as a defense fort and many important feudal loads, such as Matsudaira clam or Sakai clam were deployed.

Main buildings of Kawagoe castle

 I visited a part of former main buildings of Kawagoe castle, recently

Japanese rock garden, Main buildings of Kawagoe castle

Japanese rock garden, Main buildings of Kawagoe castle

Japanese rock garden, Main buildings of Kawagoe castle

Mitsuba aoi crest, Japanese gargoyle roof tile

Mitsuba aoi crest, Japanese gargoyle roof tile

Then I visited picturesque Hikawa shrine. famous for instagrammers.

Rows of Pinwheels. gate of Hikawa shrine

Rows of Pinwheels. gate of Hikawa shrine

Dancing stage, Hikawa shrine

Dancing stage, Hikawa shrine

Then I walked around traditional snacks street and watched a bell tower in warehouse district in short time.

Traditional snacks street block

Traditional snacks street block

Traditional snacks street block

Traditional snacks street block

Traditional snacks street block

bell tower in warehouse district

bell tower in warehouse district

This tourists spot 1hour from Tokyo starts getting visitors by and by after almost shut down by new coronavirus.

warehouse district

 

Spring comes to an Urban Oasis; Hibiya park

Hibiya park (19 03 2020)

Someiyoshino; the most popular cherry variety has just started blooming in Hibiya park.

Cerasus × yedoensis/ Someiyoshino (Cherry) ソメイヨシノ cherry beside a pond

Father variety of Someiyoshino, Osima sakura is also blooming with more whitish petals.

On the ground, many flowers such as Spring star, Grape Hyacinth, Baby blue eyes and Ranunculus are enjoying spring air.

Spring star and Grape Hyacinth

Spring star and Grape Hyacinth

Hibiya park,

Cherry blossom front (Sakura Zensen)

On March 14 2020, bloom of cherry blossom in Tokyo was declared by the Japan Meteorological Agency, based on 5-6 blossoms confirmed on the standard tree of Someiyoshino variety. It is the earliest record in Tokyo since 1953 when official observation started.

It is said 300-600 varieties are cultivated in Japan form early blooming (such as Atami-zakura start blooming January) to late variety (such as Kenrokuken-kikuzakura blooming in May ), but it is said the most popular variety “Someiyoshino” is sharing about 80% of planted cherry and grown in almost all Japan (except Okinawa and Hokkaido). If you are interested in cherry varieties more, please jump to my page on cherry where you can watch pictures of about 100 cherry varieties.

The all planted “Someiyoshino” are clone and blooming in same time, same place under given temperature condition. Therefore “bloom forecast” (cherry blossom front) can be possible and announced in March by the Japan Meteorological Agency every year.

Japanese people are looking forward to hearing “bloom forecast” and start to plan cherry blossom viewing parties. This year many Japanese are worried about unpredictable future by the new-corona-virus from Wuhan, but cherry blossoms blooms as usual.

Cherry blossom in 2019, Ueno park Tokyo 2019.03.30

 

 

Zenpukuji park and Inokashira park, cherry blossoms

Zenpukuji park and Inokashira park (15 03 2020)

As I heard a news that cherry blossom (in this case Someiyoshino) starts blossom,

I visit Zenpukuji park first .

Upper pond in the park

Upper pond in the park

This park is famous of calm ponds which water from a natural spring named Osoinoi (slow well). In the park many neighbors visit for relaxing.

Osonoi (slow well) fall

Osonoi (slow well) fall

In the park, kanhizakura (Taiwan cherry) blooms with eye-catching strong pink flowers.

Cerasus campanulata/ Taiwan cherry/ カンヒザクラ 寒緋桜

And a few flowers of Someiyochino variety has been opened already.

I stroll along a small stream between two ponds.

Small streem in the park

I can find many flowers of Japanese andromeda in the park.

And then I move to another park, Inokashira park.

Small streem in the park

train crossing in the park

Some flowers of Someiyoshino by a pond have also started to bloom.

Central pond in the park

Many visitors enjoy boating in a pond.

Main road to the park is full of visitors.

Yanaka, Tennoji and Yuyake-dandan

Yanaka  (29 02 2020)

At an edge of Yanaka cemetery, Tennoji is located.

Statue of Great Buddha, Amithaba Buddha

This temple is famous of sitting Amithaba Buddha statue.

In the premises, it used to have a five stories pagoda, but it was burned put in 1957

Scene in the premises

It was also famous as Tennouji lottery in Edo period, but currently very tranquil temple.

Cherry (Okame variety)

The temple is near Yanaka street, casual shopping street, pouplar Yuyake-dandan, sunset steps.

Yuyake dandan, Sunset gentle steps

 

Hakone (in a trainig course)

Hakone ((22 02 2020)

Hakone checkpoint

Hakone checkpoint

Shop of Yosegizaiku (fine art wood products)

Shop of Yosegizaiku (fine art wood products)

Tourists boat (pirate ship style) Odakyu sightseeig service)

Tourists boat (pirate ship style) Odakyu sightseeig service)

Tourists boat (nomal stable type) (Seibu sightseeig service)

Tourists boat (nomal stable type) (Seibu sightseeig service)

Hakoneshrine torii gate

Hakoneshrine torii gate

Hakone shrine

Hakone shrine

In a station of sightseeing boat (Evangellion figure)

In a station of sightseeing boat (Evangellion figure)