Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sumida River Cruise Pt 3

Flood gates? Maybe. I am unsure of the purpose of these gates, but I figure they would be lowered in times of storms, high tides, tidal surges and typhoons. I would imagine they would stop all the tide surges going up this small channel of water and possible causing damage to buildings, homes, businesses etc.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sumida River Cruise Pt 2

Along the banks of the Sumida River there were many buildings and not much parkland, at least not on the section the we travelled on. This building was a little different to most that we saw, but in reality very similar to some  that we would find at home. Those lovely large windows would capture an amazing view of water craft as they travelled up and down the river. A club perhaps, or a restaurant maybe? Hopefully it is something that the public could go to to enjoy the view.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sumida River Cruise Pt 1

Our river cruise had finally begun. Over to the right we can see part of the KachidokiBashi Bridge. It has two of these white arches, with a straight section in between. Unfortunately I only got one of the arches in my photo.

The bridge was built in 1940 and the flat section is a drawbridge. This bridge is the only draw bride along the Sumida River, and it has not been raised since 1970.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Water Vessels

Still on the Hinode Pier, we were getting close to this lovely red vessel. We were all still secretly hoping that this would be our river cruise transport. Alas this was not to be. Instead we were led on board some kind of flat bottomed, fully enclosed   river cat vessel.

We were towards the end of the queue when boarding, so by the time we got on board, all of the good viewing seats were gone. I had to make do with avoiding heads and hands in all my photos.

Back to the above water vessel, I never did find out what it was for. possibly a floating restaurant? Whatever it's use, there is some lovely decoration at the front on the side. My mind is thinking lace.......mmmmmm .......... will have to think long & hard before starting another piece. It is pretty to look at though.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Across the Sumida River

A view now across the Sumida River to construction happening. I found the shadows interesting on the buildings, and have come to the conclusion it is painted that way, or has something to do with the construction of the building. It appears to have sections protruding outwards, forming the curved line. It can be plainly seen on the sides of the building too, making me think it is construction rather than paint. I wonder if this is just a design feature of if there is some functional purpose?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Rainbow Bridge

Still waiting at Hinode Pier I snapped this pic of The Rainbow Bridge. This is a suspension bridge completed in 1993, crossing the northern section of Tokyo Bay. The towers are white during the day, but at night they are illuminated into colours by lamps powered by solar energy. We only got to see the bridge during the day.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A River Cruise Begins

We were back on the bus with our tour guide and transported to the next part of out tour of Tokyo. This was to be a river cruise, departing from Hinode Pier.

This was the view of Hinode Pier as we played follow the leader to board our vessel that would take us on this trip. In the background we have the Intercontinental Hotel, and in the foreground we have a gorgeous boat. Was I hoping too much that this would be our transport up the Sumida River?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Pretty Fence

This decorative fence was adorning the driveway up to the Imperial Palace. It was actually quite high, maybe a meter of so, with those sharp little pineapples on the top. Obviously there to deter people from going into the moat, I found it very decorative and full of inspiration for my lace work.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Renovation Work

Part of the Imperial palace was under renovation work while we were there, once again stopping us from exploring further. The gardens are open to the public and I believe there is a museum on site as well. This was as close as we got, and our last look at the Imperial palace before moving on to the next part of our tour.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bonsai In The Park

Across the road from the Imperial palace is a park. Check out the full grown bonsai trees! All beautifully pruned and clipped into shape. We didn't see the tree workers doing their stuff, but I am sure we would have if we had time to go for a walk in the park.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Sweeper

On the roadway in front of the moat around the Imperial Palace I found this sweeper keeping everything clean.

Also, please note the gutter and fence over on the right hand side. All 14 of our group gathered over here for a group photo opportunity. One of our members stood on this gutter and was very firmly told off by security guards. If the gutter was off limits, I guess the lawn was too. We didn't try to find out.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Park View

Just a view of the park across the way from the Imperial palace. I green space to come sit in the sun and soak up nature. All in the heart of Tokyo.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A City View

This is the view across the park towards to city of Tokyo, as taken from the car park for the Imperial Palace. Notice the lack of windows above a certain height? we were told that this is so the occupants of these buildings cannot look down upon the Emperor. Mmmm......... Interesting.

Note the blue sky, the typhoon had gone and the day was beautiful, warm and sunny.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Imperial Palace - Tokyo

The next stop on our tour of Tokyo was The Imperial Palace. This is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. We did get to walk up the pathway to the right in this pic, but the views were actually better from the grounds on this other side of the moat.

The Palace is situated in approximately 3 and a half acres of garden in the center of Tokyo. We could only view it from  outside the grounds, and was surrounded by a moat.

I just loved the bridge over the moat. It reminded me of the old European bridges that i have seen photos of.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Stairway

The walk that we did to lunch through the garden at the Chinzanso Hotel was down hill. We started at the top and followed our guide down the path. That meant that the walk back to our bus at the top was up-hill, including this stairway.

We needed the walk back as lunch was delicious and very filling. Japanese BBQ including onions, carrots, okra, sweet potato, red capsicum and thin morsels of meat all cooked on a flat topped BBQ in the center of our table. The staff cooked for us this time, and all was served with steamed rice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Pagoda

This pagoda in the garden of the Chinzanso Hotel, Tokyo, is a three story one. Known as "Entsukaku", the pagoda is registered as a "tangible cultural property" of Japan. Originally located in Chikurinji Temple, Hiroshima Prefecture, the pagoda was relocated to the Chinzanzo Hotel Garden in 1925. it is believed to be one of the oldest pagodas in Japan, estimated to being built around the 1100's. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Another Bridge

Still another bridge to cross on our way to lunch, walking through the garden of the Chinzanso Hotel in Tokyo. This was a little curved stone bridge, complete with signs. No doubt the bridge came from somewhere else before hand, the signs would have told us where. Unfirtunately I didn't get a pic of the signns or I could have told you all.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Garden Art Pt 3

This is the Koshin Stone Monument, and according to the sign beside it, is believed to have been made in 1659.

The garden of the Chinzanso Hotel is full of historical artifacts from all over Japan.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Garden Art Pt 2

A close up of one of the stone statues in the garden of the Chinzanso Hotel. There were twenty of them all scattered around the garden.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Garden Art

Part of the "Stone Statues of Rakan", these little fellows were found in the garden as we walked through the grounds of the Chinzanso Hotel for lunch. There are 20 of them in all, created by Jakuchu Ito in the 1600's. Originally they were in Seikhoji Temple in Kyoto, and were deliverd to this location in Tokyo in 1925.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Red Bridge

That little splash of red turned out to be a red bridge going across a little creek, though we couldn't see any water below, it was way to overgrown. We had to cross this little red bridge to get to lunch.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Walk Through The Garden

We were dropped off at the entrance to the Chinzanso Hotel and had to walk through the grounds, down the hill to the restaurant where we were to have lunch. As we walked down the path. this was the first view of the garden we had. I just loved that little spalsh of red in amongst all the green.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Tour Continues

Our Dynamic Tour of Tokyo continues. So far today we have visited Tokyo Tower, the teahouse garden, and experienced a tea ceremony. Our next stop was the Chinzanso Hotel for lunch and a walk through the garden of this hotel.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Tea Ceremony

This tea ceremony was what we had come to the garden for. It was part of our tour to experience this. We had done a tea ceremony before back in Kyoto, but this one was a little more formal. Our guide did all the talking while the lady in the kimono performed and we watched and  tasted. Green tea is still not my favourite. Give me a good quality roasted black tea made in a pot any day.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Pathway Down

We had walked up to the shine of yesterday's post to have a closer look, and this was a view of the pathway back down. I am assuming that the light at the bottom is to mark the junction of the pathways. The pathway at the bottom was the pathway to the tea house itself.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Another Shrine

Tucked away in a corner of the garden was a shrine. it was even complete with a Tori gate. If we look close we can even see the two protectors either side of the shrine.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Pathway

Another stone pathway and still more garden lights. Just another section of this stunning garden in the center of Tokyo.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

An Umbrella

I saw this umbrella in the garden of the tea house and wondered what it was for. In the photo there is a little plaque on the post but I missed this on the day. There is a rock that is flat enough to sit on, but the umbrella does not quite cover it and I think that the sitter would get wet in any rain. The umbrella isn't even high enough to stand under in any weather. I am sure it has a purpose, but I am baffled to see it. Maybe it is only there for decoration. We do have umbrellas in the gardens in Australia, but they are quite large and usually over seating areas for shade reasons. I have yet to see on purely for decoration

Check out the stone pathway! Is that not inspiration for some kind stitching?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Little Bridge

A View from the top now, back down the hill to the little bridge that crosses the exit to the lake.