There was an error in this gadget

Jan 28, 2013

32景 柳しま View 32 Yanagishima


This is near Oshiage, at the foot of Tokyo Sky Tree today.
In the late 17th century, Tokugawa shogunate started building towns in this area, and made an elaborate water system of crisscrossing canals.
The canal in the front is Yoko-jyukken, and horizontal one is Kita-jyukken.
In the distance, far beyond the rice field, is Mt. Tsukuba.


The bridge is Yanagishima Bridge. 
   Right by the bridge stands the three-star restaurant called Hashimoto.
Next to it is Hosshoji temple, surrounded by a red wall.  The temple was famous for its Myoken-do Hall. 

 This area was very popular among Edo people.  They took a boat up the Yoko-jyukken Canal, visited Myoken-do and enjoyed good food at Hashimoto.
(Hey, that's something I did last month!  I took a water-bus to Asakusa, visited Senso-ji temple and ate dinner. (*^_^*) We haven't changed, have we?)


The restaurant Hashimoto is gone now, but Myoken-do is still there. 
 So, I started off from Oshiage station and headed for Myoken-do.


On the way, I saw these people.  
What are they looking at, I wondered.

This is where they were.
北十間川にかかる十間橋 Jyukken-bashi Bridge over Kita-jyukken Canal


Oh, I see.  
They were looking at this.  
逆さスカイツリー! Upside-down Sky Tree!

I learned this bridge is now famous, as you can see "Upside-down Sky Tree," the reflection of the Sky Tree on the water.


When I came to Hosshoji temple, I couldn't believe my eyes. 
法性寺 Hosshoji temple


This temple was first established in 1492.  Its Myoken-do Hall houses an image of Bodhisattva Hokushin Myoken, the deification of the North Star. 
This is Myoken-do today.  It's on the first floor of the building.
妙見堂 Myoken-do


Edo people had great faith in Myoken-do.
For example, the famous ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai was a big devotee.  In fact, he named himself Hokusai (北斎) after this temple.


And his faith paid off.  Once, he almost gave up his career, having been dismissed by his master. He made a 21-day visit to Myoken-do, and on the final day, was struck by lightning.  
He survived, and after that, became very successful. That's what they say! 
Hokusai monument in front of the building

(10時から15時まで 200円。 集会などで使われているときは見られないと思います。)

Though the temple doesn't look temple-ish, I liked it a lot, because of its hospitality.
 Go enter their office.  They'll show you their ukiyo-e collections. (Open between 10:00 to 15:00  200 yen  But it's not a museum. So, if they are busy, they can't. )


I was surprised this area was depicted in a lot of ukiyo-e.  For example, 
北十間川から見た橋本、法性寺と柳島橋 Hashimoto restaurant, Hosshoji temple and Yanagishima bridge looking from the north
柳島の松とかけた美人画 Beautiful Woman and Yanagishima pine tree
Jolly people at Hashimoto restaurant and Yanagishima bridge


The priest was such a nice person.
He even showed me inside Myoken-do Hall.
I saw the statues of Bodhisattva Myoken and Benten.  I even saw the white snake, which he said, will bring me good luck. (^^)

どうもありがとうございました。Thank you!
百度石 hyakudoishi stone from old days
これも古そう。This looks old, too.


This is today's Yanagishima Bridge.

横十間川からみるとこんな風にみえます。Yanagishima bridge 


Yoko-jyukken canal was flowing gently.
Imagine, in the time of Edo, many boats were going up and down this canal.


It's time to compare now and then.

でもスカイツリーが入りました! \(^o^)/

There is no way I could get Mt. Tsukuba.  
But instead, I got Tokyo Sky Tree!! \(^o^)/

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ

Jan 22, 2013

隅田川で水上バスに乗りました Water Bus Ride on the Sumida River


In Edo era, in Hiroshige's time, there were only five bridges that crossed the Sumida River.  They were (from south to north)  Eitai Bridge, Ohashi Bridge, Ryogoku Bridge, Azuma Bridge, and Senju Ohashi Bridge.   Tokugawa shogunate didn't want to build many bridges because they were afraid of the invasion.


Today, there are a lot of bridges over the Sumida River.
Each has different forms and colors.  
It's fun to see them from a water bus on the river.  Last month, I took Sumida River Line from Hamarikyu to Asakusa, and passed under 12 of these bridges.


  Let me show you those bridges. (^^)

レインボーブリッジ (798メートル、1993年竣工)


Rainbow Bridge (798 meters, completed in 1993)

I didn't pass under this bridge,  just saw it from afar.  But if you start from Odaiba, this is the first bridge.

1)勝鬨橋(かちどきばし) (246メートル、1940年竣工)


1) Kachidoki-bashi Bridge (246 meters, completed in 1940)

It is a bascule bridge.  It used to open five times a day, each for twenty minutes.  But it hasn't opened since 1970.
I crossed this bridge when I did the post, View 79

2)佃大橋(つくだおおはし) (476.3メートル、1964年竣工)


2)Tsukuda Ohashi Bridge (476.3 meters, completed in 1964)

It was built right before the Tokyo Olympics.  But up until then, from the time of Edo, for more than 320 years, people used Tsukuda Ferry to cross the river.

3)中央大橋 (210.7メートル、1993年竣工)


3) Chuo Ohashi Bridge (210.7 meters, completed in 1993)

In 1989, the Sumida River and the Seine in Paris became "friendship rivers," and for that reason this bridge was designed by a French company.  A sculpture, a gift from Chirac, the city mayor of Paris at that time, stands at the bridge pier. (But I missed it.)   


You can see that Tsukudajima (center)  is an island in the middle of the Sumida River. 

4)永代橋 (184.3メートル、1926年竣工)


4) EitaiBashi Bridge (184.7 meters, completed in 1926)

EitaiBashi Bridge is from the old Edo (first built in 1698). 
It's in Hiroshige's View 4.

5)隅田川大橋 (385.3メートル、1979年竣工)


5) Sumidagawa Ohashi Bridge (385.3 meters, completed in 1979)

It is a two layered structure.  Above runs the highway 9.  

6)清洲橋 (186.3メートル、1928年竣工)


6) KiyosuBashi Bridge (186.3 meters, completed in 1928)

It's an elegant bridge.  It is said the design was based on a bridge in Koln, Germany, which doesn't exist any more. 

7)新大橋 (170メートル、1977年竣工)


7) Shin-ohashi Bridge (170 meters, completed in 1977)

One of the bridges from the Edo period (first built in 1694).
It's the bridge depicted in the famous View 53.  

8)両国橋 (164.5メートル、1932年竣工)


8) RyogokuBashi Bridge (164.5 meters, completed in 1932)

Tokugawa really didn't want to build a bridge.  It was the second oldest bridge, built in 1661, 70 years after the first bridge, Senju Ohasi Bridge.
The area prospered very much. It's in View  69, 99.


I didn't count it for a bridge.  This is JR Sobu Line crossing the river.

9)蔵前橋 (173.2メートル、1927年竣工)


9) KuramaeBashi Bridge (173.2 meters, completed in 1927)

Kuramae means "in front of storehouses."  Tokugawa used to have their rice storehouses on the west riverbank here.  So, the bridge is colored yellow, the color of rice husks.  

10)厩橋(うまやばし) (151.4メートル、1929年竣工)


10) UmayaBashi Bridge (151.4 meters, completed in 1929)

The name Umaya is also from the Edo period. It means horse stables. Just north of the storehouses, they kept the horses for carrying rice.  Before they built the first bridge in 1874, people used Umaya Ferry.
 It's in Hiroshige's View 106.

11)駒形橋 (149.6メートル、1927年竣工)


11) KomagataBashi Bridge (149.6 meters, completed in 1927)

The name Komagata comes from Komagata-do, one of the buildings of Asakusa Senso-ji temple.   It stands on the west of this bridge.  Komagata-do is in View 56. 

12)吾妻橋 (150メートル、1931年竣工)


12) AzumaBashi Bridge (150 meters, completed in 1931)

First built in 1774, AzumaBashi Bridge was the fifth bridge in the Edo period.  It's in View 39.  


And that was the end of our boat ride.
It was about 45 minutes ride from Hama Rikyu and costed 720 yen.


AzumaBashi Bridge is very close to Asakusa Senso-ji, and these days there are many people on the bridge, as it has a good view of Tokyo Sky Tree. 


I enjoyed the ride very much.  I learned that, though it looks very different, you can still find many things connected to the time of Edo.
And if you are taking a water bus, it will be more fun when you know a little bit about Edo history. (^^)

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ

Jan 14, 2013

雪が積もりました  Heavy Snow


It is snowing heavily in Tokyo area today.
We usually don't have snow in Tokyo, maybe just once or twice a year.  So, it is such a rare occasion we have this much snow. 

This is my garden covered with snow.

めだかを飼っています。大丈夫かな? I have medaka fish in here.  I hope they are OK.


Unlike the northern part of Japan, this area is not ready for heavy snow.  So, trains have stopped, and cars are driving slowly. I saw an ambulance, a police car, and an NTT (telephone company) maintenance car. I'm grateful for all those people. 
And I feel sorry for the people who attended their Coming-Of-Age Day Ceremony today.  It's our national holiday, and those young girls wear their beautiful long-sleeved kimono (furisode) for the ceremony.
I hope they were OK.


As for me, I enjoyed the snow.
I walked to a nearby swimming pool and enjoyed watching snow fall soaking in a nice, warm jacuzzi. (^_^)v

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ

Jan 8, 2013

初夢 Hatsuyume, First Dream of the Year


Hatsuyume is the dream seen on the night of January 2.
We say it foretells our fortunes for the new year.

So, every year, on the night of Jan 2, I'm like, OK, somebody, let me have a good dream tonight.


This year, I had a great help. 

It is called Otakara, a sheet of paper with a picture of the Seven Lucky Gods on a boat.


It is said, in the time of Edo, peddlers went around selling this picture in the evening of January 2, yelling "Otakaraaaa, Otakaraaa."
It was believed it would help people have a good dream, so they 
bought it and put it under their pillow .


Well, this custom is not so popular any more.  I didn't know about it very well until I got this sheet at Asakusa at the end of last year. 
But I found it very interesting. 


The most fascinating thing is a waka poem written on the sail.
There is a trick here.  Can you tell what it is?


na-ka-ki yo-no
to-o-no ne-fu-ri-no
mi-na me-sa-me
o-to-no yo-ki-ka-na


This poem has been known since Muromachi-era (1473~1573), and its meaning is quite blurry.  In fact, there are several different interpretations.   But word for word, it is something like;

A long world
A long sleep
Everybody awakens
Boat going on the waves
What a lovely sound!


Can you tell what the trick is?


Well, the poem is a palindrome.  
Read it backward and it is the same poem.  
Isn't this neat? (^^)
I wonder who thought of this such a long time ago?


I'm glad I learned about Otakara.
For Hatsuyume this year, I put it under my pillow and went to bed.
Did I have a good dream?


I woke up the next morning, sadly, remembering nothing. (^_^;)


But it's better than remembering a nightmare.  Right?
Thank you, Seven Lucky Gods!! \(^o^)/
玄関に飾った七福神さまです。 Seven Lucky Gods at my genkan (entrance hall)

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ

Jan 5, 2013

東京スカイツリー Visiting the Tokyo Sky Tree

We finally made it to Tokyo Sky Tree.


Opened on May 22 last year, this 634-meter-tall structure is the world's tallest free-standing broadcasting tower.
Ever since its opening, it has attracted so many, soooo many visitors.  Within 100 days, 1,620,000 people went up to Tembo Deck, an observatory 350 meters high.   Number rises to 16,660,000 if you include those who just visited the premises, within 100 days, that is! 


 Why is the tower 634 meters tall?  It was an intentional pun.  The number can be pronounced "mu sa shi" in Japanese and "Musashi" is the old name for the Tokyo area.  So, it is very suitable for this Tokyo's new landmark.


It has two observatories, 350-meter-high Tembo Deck, and 450-meter-high Tembo Galleria.  You first get a ticket for Tembo Deck and then, at Tembo Deck, you can get a ticket for Tembo Galleria.


We knew people have to wait in a long line to get tickets, so we got web tickets in advance.  But it means we are leaving it to chance whether we have a gorgeous night view or we just find ourselves in thick clouds.

当日の天気予報は雨。結構ガックリしていましたが、なんと、晴れました!     \(^o^)/

But we were lucky.  Although the forecast said it would rain that night, it was a clear night. \(^o^)/


The entrance is on the fourth floor.

When you come so close to the tower, it IS soaring!


We waited for the elevator, but maybe it was only for 10 minutes. 


The elevator brought us to Tembo Deck in 50 seconds.  It was surprisingly smooth and quiet.  I didn't feel we were going up at all.


But when the elevator door opened,  I was looking at......


I wish I could have taken better pictures.  It was much more beautiful than these.  I saw the Sumida river, the Arakawa river, bright bridges, boats, cars, lights, lights, lights, and dark Tokyo bay beyond.  

They display this folding screen of 1809, "Edo hitome zu byobu" by Kuwagata Keisai. The drawing is surprisingly similar to the view from the Tembo Deck, as if he was standing here on the deck and looking at the city of Edo.   

富士山と江戸城、霞が関 Mt. Fuji, Edo castle and Kasumigaseki

隅田川にかかる橋(現在の吾妻橋)とその向こうに浅草寺 Sumida-river, the bridge and Sensoji temple

I'm surprised how accurate he was on this drawing.  Was he a bird?


We went up to the 450-meter-high Tembo Galleria.


I'm glad I could go up there.  
Next time, I want to be there in the daytime, hopefully on a sunny day when I can see Mt. Fuji.


At the Skytree Shop, I found this nice and convenient bag.


It has a map around Tokyo Sky tree.  Isn't this useful?


Their mascots were all in the New Year's mood;
 Sorakara chan with star-shaped hair
Teppen-pen, a penguin girl of today's Tokyo
Sukoburu-buru, a bulldog in old Shitamachi 
Don't we Japanese love mascots?

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ