2014年07月23日

'Kitanomaru Koen' park is located in the very heart of Tokyo to be an urban oasis thickly covered with green.

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Being adjacent to the Imperial Palace and the main building site of Edo Castle, Kitanomaru Koen park used to be the premises of the Tayasu Tokugawa family and Shimizu Tokugawa family in the Edo period in the 18th century. After the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century, when Japan's modernization started, the Imperial Guard Division was established here. Present Kitanomaru Park was built to be opened to the public after the second World War, through these historical details.
This park is the important green in the very heart of Tokyo together with the Imperial Palace East Garden and Hibiya Park. However, as shown in the first picture, this park features thick green as if in a countryside even though it is in the central part of Tokyo. Furthermore, luminous moss designated as a national monument grows naturally.
'Tayasu-mon' gate as shown in the second picture stands on the north side of this park. This gate, built in 1636, is the oldest gate among many existing gates of Edo Castle. 'Shimizu-mon' gate, rebuilt in 1658, is also found on the east side of this park, both of them are designated as important cultural assets.

Licensed tour guide/travel asssistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 07:21 | Tokyo-gardens | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年06月25日

"Roppongi", well known as a nighttown, unexpectedly bears the full atmosphere of Japan.

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Within walking distance of the center of "Roppongi", The International House of Japan is found. This land belonged to a "daimyo" feudal lord in the Edo period, then the ownership came into Baron Iwasaki Koyata, the fourth head of Mitsubishi conglomerate, in the 19th century. After the second World War, this institution was built in the very place, where the old mansion of Baron Iwasaki once stood, in 1955. This building was designed by Japan's well-known architects of the day, Maekawa Kunio, Sakakura Junzo and Yoshimura Junzo.
On the other hand, the garden of this institution was originally built in 1930, by Ogawa Jihei the seventh, a top-ranking landscape designer in Kyoto, in response to the request from Baron Iwasaki. This garden is renowned as a masterpiece of modern Japanese garden which retains traces of the early Edo period.
* See the picture above.
As the institution has lodging facilities, a restaurant and teahouse, and you are welcome to enter the garden, just dropping in on this place on the occasion of visiting "Roppongi" is highly recommended.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:18 | Tokyo-gardens | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2011年09月26日

Kyu-Shiba-rikyu-Gardens or the Shiba Detached Palace Garden in Minato Ward, Tokyo, features a Shioiri Pond with a path around it.

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A Shioiri Pond means a seawater pond filled by nearby bay, that is designed to enjoy its transformation in line with a tide range. Many gardens of this kind had been built by daimyo feudal lords through the Edo period between the 17th and 19th century. But sad to say, most of the gardens with this sort of pond have been disappeared thanks to the modernization since the end of feudal days.
This garden is a rare sample which maintains the original look of old time.
Okubo Tadatomo, then senior councillor of the Tokugawa Shogunate, built this garden in the 17th century. After many hands of other daimyo feudal lords, it is now opened to the public by Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It takes only 30 minutes to appreciate it because the area of this garden is one fourth the adjacent Hama-rikyu Gardens.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:02 | Tokyo-gardens | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする