Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Stairway

Still in the garden of the tea house, a set of stairs leading up and around the garden to view the lake from the other side.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Lake View

A view out over the lake now with another of those gorgeous garden lights. This would be so pretty at night with the light all on. A little tranquillity in the heart of Tokyo.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Supported Trees

Still in the grounds of the tea house, I found these trees nearly toppled into the lake. Of any of the lakes & waterways in Australia that  have see, these trees would definitely been no more. But here in Japan I have seen a lot of trees supported with bamboo. There are tree quite large supports here, helping to hold the trees in place. I wonder how many little children want to climb out on them and swing there legs out over the water?

The path in the garden continued around the lake to the left, and if we look closely we can just see another bridge in the center of the photo.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tea House

A view of the tea house it'self now from the garden. Set in the back corner of the garden, the roof is tiled and parts of it are heavily covered in moss. When we did finally get inside, we were to be careful not to touch the walls as they were paper. Apparently the structure is quite old.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tea House Garden Pt 7

Check out this version of a lake house. Built on rocks and extending out over the lake, this lake house has a thatched roof and great clear views into the lake of the tea house garden to see the resident fish.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tea House Garden Pt 6

Another view of the lake edge with another of those gorgeous garden lights. It would have been so pretty to see this garden at night with these light all lit up.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tea House Garden Pt 5

Further along the path around the lake and we found these stairs leading up to the tea house itself. The tour group had been split in two, half to tour the garden while the other half experienced the tea ceremony in the tea house. We were in the half touring the garden at this stage. Once again we see the beautiful garden lights.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tea House Garden Pt 4

A view down over the lake now, with it's own little viewing house. Such a quiet secluded spot.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Teahouse Garden Pt 3

As we walked down into the garden to cross the little bridge, if we looked to the right we saw this waterfall, well hidden up in a corner. For those that know me well, I love water, and to see this little waterfall in the center of all Tokyo's high rise was such a gem.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tea House Garden Pt 2

Another view of the garden surrounding the tea house. This time a view across the bridge to the steps and waiting area outside the tea house itself. We can still see those fish in the lake.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tea House Garden Pt 1

The next stop on our tour of Tokyo was to a tea house for a traditional tea ceremony. We walked though a modern building used for conferences, to a garden at the back. What a truly serene oasis this was compared to all the high rise that we had just travelled through, and still in Tokyo.

The garden was beautiful, complete with aged trees, stone footpaths, moss, waterfalls, lakes, and all the other features we had learned to love about Japanese gardens. If we look closely we can see the fish in the lake.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tokyo Tower Postcard 4

Postcard number four was of Tokyo Tower at dusk. We were there at mid-morning, so the sun was high in the sky and very bright. We would have no chance of getting any pics like this one with all the pretty lights.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tokyo Tower Postcard 3

This is postcard 3 showing Tokyo Tower with the cherry blossoms. We were in Tokyo in autumn, so there were no cherry blossoms to be seen anywhere. I had to have cherry blossom memories.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tokyo Tower Postcard 2

Postcard two is of The Rainbow Bridge. I did get a shot of this bridge from the observation deck of Tokyo Tower, but mine was taken  further away than this one, and this one was taken at night with all the pretty lights.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tokyo Tower Postcard 1

We were on limited time in Tokyo and this stop to the observation deck of Tokyo Tower would more than likely be my only one ever, so I had purchased some postcards as memories.

Postcard one is Mt Fuji. Yes, we did get to see Mt Fuji, and we were lucky enough to see this famous mountain on a clear day. But would we get to see it covered in snow? I didn't think so, so hence this postcard of Mt Fuji covered in snow.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tokyo Tower Views Pt 6

A little further around towards the south and we get still more views of Tokyo Bay. This one includes the Rainbow Bridge, a suspension bridge which crosses the northern section of Tokyo Bay.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tokyo Tower Views Pt 5

Looking more to the south now and we get glimpses of Tokyo Bay. Note the glare? That is the sun, and yes we are facing south. That was the thing that I found the hardest to get my head around. We were in the northern hemisphere, and the sun travelled across the southern sky. At home it is always in the northern sky. Interesting.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tokyo Tower Views Pt 4

Moving still further around the observation deck of Tokyo Tower is this view of the mountains as they stretch south west. The mountains are  part of the Japanese Alps, which run down this main island of Hunshu. They divide the island in half, and there are a few peaks ( including Mt Fuji) over 3,000 meters  high that are volcanic. Lucky there were no earthquakes or volcano's erupting while we were in Japan

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tokyo Tower Views Pt 3

Still further around the observation deck of Tokyo Tower we get a clear view to the mountains. The bump, just left of center, is Mt Fuji. It was one of those rare clear days and we got to see the mountain. There is also that constant sea of high rise.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tokyo Tower Views Pt 2

Further around the tower observation deck we get this view with the mountains in the distance. I can see some green spaces, and that building with the balcony gardens must be fairly new. Great idea.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tokyo Tower Views Pt 1

Tokyo skyline on a very clear day I am not sure what any of the buildings are but we sure can see the amount of high rise today. Like here at home, the next day after a storm is always beautiful. This particular day was the day after the typhoon that wasn't. Clear and a little cool.It let us see for miles.

As a stitcher, I can see some great inspiration in this skyline. I see some creative drawn thread happening sometime in the future.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Tokyo Tower

Stop one on our tour was Tokyo Tower. Opened in 1958, it is the second tallest structure in Japan. Standing at 333m, it is a communication tower which also houses an observation deck, an aquarium, gift shops, souvenir shop, cafe, Shinto shrine, and much more.

We were off to the main observation deck, which is that squarish section halfway up.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tokyo - A Street View

A street view of Tokyo taken from a bus window. We were now on a bus tour to see the city highlights. Another full day tour, so another busy day with a good night's sleep at the end.

This was the view as we left the tour company headquarters. Similar to most modern cities, tall buildings, fire escapes, new buildings being constructed. Also interesting to note the Japanese drive on the left hand side of the road the same as we do here in Australia.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tokyo Skyline

Finally a clear day! The typhoon had gone taking all the rain with it, and this was the view that we were left with. This pic was taken through  the window of the foyer in our hotel. Yes, that is a fairly clear Mt Fuji in the background. Mt Fuji, over 12,000 feet in height, the tallest mountain in Japan, and over 100 kms from Tokyo.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Station Artwork

While trying to find our platform to catch the train back to the hotel, this is what I spotted. Beautiful stained glass panels, all back lit, and all joined together to give this stunning artwork. This was just above one of the platform entrances inside Tokyo Station.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Vending Machines

We had had dinner, ventured outside in the rain to check out the fa├žade of the station, and were now back inside to catch another train back to our hotel. This is when I found this vending machine.

I didn't have time to play with it, and I really didn't need to, but it was interesting to see that that it was screen orientated, and the screen changed every few seconds. I have used vending machines before, but not quite like this one. Not quite sure how it worked, there was a button to turn that would obviously do something, or maybe it was touch screen?

It was also interesting to note that it gave the weather details ( check out the top pic). Yes it was still raining, that pesky typhoon was still hanging around. I might add here that the rain and wind intensified by the time we completed our three stop journey. It was quite heavy  and blowing at an angle when we had to walk back to the hotel. We did have poncho's and an umbrella which kept us basically dry. Though if this is a typhoon, maybe the Japanese should come to Sydney in summer and experience one of our thunderstorms. Then they may know what weather is really about.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tokyo Station

Tokyo  Station. We had been here a few days before, catching the train from Narita Airport to here, then a connection on the Shinkansen to Kyoto. We had also caught the Shinkansen from Kyoto back to Tokyo earlier that morning, and a number of local trains as well that afternoon. Each time we were on a time schedule, waiting to meet friends, waiting for ticket offices to open, waiting for connections, then finding hotels, so there had been no time to explore the station itself.

We finally got time to explore on our way back from an afternoon adventure to the suburbs. Six of us had caught a train to the Ghibli Museum. Once again I was playing follow the leader, but taking the time to look around to see if I could catch a train by myself. There we signs in English if we looked for them, and if I had done the research, then I could have found my way by myself ( I think!)

The Ghibli Museum is about a half hour train trip from Tokyo Station. It was raining ( compliments of the typhoon) so we were busy trying to keep dry rather than taking note of our surroundings. The museum is one to Japan's famous animation studio, ( and their answer to Disney) and was actually quite interesting. There are no pics from this little adventure as it was raining quite steadily and no pics were allowed inside. We did stop for a late afternoon tea with one of the best rhubarb tarts I have eaten.

Once again we caught the local train back to Tokyo, and this is when we got to explore. We had bought lunch here earlier in the day, and that was an experience in it'self. We had found what we thought was a small supermarket, but was actually a take-a-way food area. They sold all kinds of meals in containers, all with Japanese writing as to the contents. The idea was to purchase your container of food, then go to the back corner and have it heated for you. As we could not read the contents, and asking the locals with their limited English was no help, we had opted for the pre-cut sandwiches that we found.

The station is huge, much bigger than that of Sydney Central Staion.  There were east, west, north and south entrances just to get me even more confused. One of the girls had a map of the station to help us find our way around.

There were shops for just about everything, clothing, food, restaurants, bars, hotels, you name it. It would be very easy to live down in there & not have to come to the surface except for sunshine. We found a restaurant to have dinner, I forget the name, but very English upper class inspired. The food was interesting, English  type beef stews with slight Japanese flavours, all served with rice of course. It hit the spot well.

It was after dinner that we ventured outside in the rain to get these pics. The building is certainly not what I expected in the center of Tokyo. It looks like it should be sitting in the English countryside.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Functional Artwork

How it this for artwork? Functional too. This clock was on one of the buildings that we walked past to get to the station. I am not sure what it is made from, it looks like it is made from re-cycled parts of something, though I am not sure.

To me it resembles a house of some kind ( though nothing Japanese that I saw), with balconies, doors, windows, people, giant taps to get water from, They look like cannons on the right to ward off any enemies, and little covers over the doors to protect them from weather. I can see what looks like an oven with people cooking, and of course that old fashioned alarm clock.. What I don'r get are the chicken feet clutching at eggs.

This is just what I see, but in reality it is a functional working clock. Apparently at certain times the clock will chime, and it would have been interesting to see if any of the parts moved. I am sure that they did, so it would have been even more fascinating to see.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hotel Foyer

This was the view of the hotel foyer from the hall way window on our room floor. We were up on the 36th floor, but it only looked like we were on the 5th or 6th. The foyer was in the center of the building, with views out over the city and the mountains. Those potted plants were like small trees that we could sit under, making it appear to be outside. There was also a clear roof over the top so the current drizzle from the typhoon didn't bother us.

As I said yesterday, the foyer was on the 29th floor, and the rooms were above this. I am not sure what was housed in the lower 28 floors, possibly offices, and maybe even apartments or living spaces. I do know that the lifts went down to basement levels, and from there we could access all kinds of restaurants, 7/11 stores,  ( which sold everything! )and convenient stores . It was also only a few minutes walk to the train station.

I found  the lines in this pic interesting, and you never know, maybe they may appear in my stitching sometime in the future.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tokyo Skyline

This was the view from our hotel foyer window, with the wonderful Tokyo Tower in the background. As you can see, high rise everywhere. The foyer of the hotel was  on the 29th floor, so we could look down on just a few things. It was cloudy and damp because of the typhoon, so no view of the mountains. Mt Fuji was somewhere beyond all those clouds.

I knew the population of Tokyo was in the millions ( I believe somewhere around 13-14 million), it is supposed to be the most populous area in the world. I guess they have to house all those people somewhere!