Sunday, April 08, 2007

Just a walk in the park.......

For Ishihara-san today-he won the Tokyo Governor's election!

And it was a nice stroll in the garden for the S.O.and I yesterday, getting our last chance to look at the Cherry Blossoms amid the beauty that is Sankeien (三系園).

Click on the images to see them much better!

Sankeien is a traditional Japanese style park created by Sankei Hara, a wealthy silk trader. Inside the park he had buildings reconstructed from Gifu and Kyoto as well as nearby Kamakura. The park was opened in 1906. At the time, from the pictures in the museum the park was near the ocean front. That is no more. Now it adjoins a rather large and ugly refinery, at its southern gate and high end residential district at its northern entrance. The park has also changed a bit internally since the second world war, owing to the fact that several of its buildings came out on the short end of American bombs. However its beauty remains. The park consists of four main features, The Outer Garden, the buildings of the Inner Garden, the Kakushokaku ( former residence of the Hara family) and the Old Yanohara house-which shows what life was like for the Shoguns of the Edo period. Over looking the entire park is a pagoda on a hill:

The Yanohara house is interesting in that , once you remove your shoes, you can walk through it. It is the only building whose interior is open to the public in the park. Thanks to a fire that is always burning in the kitchen area, there is a smoky, hunting lodge feel and smell as you walk through both stories of the house.

The park has different flower viewing seasons all year long and for Cherry Blossom season they have night viewing for folks who want to come out for Hanami in the evening. The blue mats come out and so does the yakitori and the beer. One can easily see why:

I'm looking forward to going back in the fall and seeing it when the leaves turn. I think its got to be beautiful then as well.

If you are in Japan or coming, simply go to Yokohama station by train. Take the Negishi line to Negishi, then to platform seven and catch Bus #97. Get off at the South entrance of the park. Its 500 yen to get in.

For me it was a peaceful and interesting day. It is Easter weekend after all, and being among natures beauty is a good way to spend it. (It does not feel like Easter here-it just feels like another weekend truth be told. That's sad I know, but its the way it is).

The trip in and out was interesting too, mainly because the Yokohama station was packed. All kinds of people in a hurry and that always makes for interesting viewing. Also makes for some good eating if you get to the right Chinese restaurant in the basement of the Lumine store.

We took a different bus ride back which took us through some of the more yuppified neighborhoods of Yokohama. When I learn to make some real money-I need to come back and look again!

Happy Easter!


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