Saturday, November 12, 2016

Last day in Tokyo (and Japan)

November 5th, 2016.

Last night we had dinner in So/ra/si/o on the 46th floor of the Siodome building. Not only was it a lovely meal and impeccable service, but the views of the lights of Tokyo were spectacular.
Tokyo from the 46th floor, Shiodome building.

We went for a walk in the area around our hotel, Villa Fontaine in Roppongi. It is a decidedly upmarket area and home to various embassies and many expatriates.
High rise and little gardens in Roppongi.
More high rise and greenery.
Pampered pets in Roppongi.
Hope the dogs in the previous image are not guilty of this!
Gardens of the Spanish Embassy.
A little shrine tucked away in a corner.
A fairly austere church

but the stained glass is labelled in Greek?
We did not find this on the shelf in the supermarket and would have avoided it.
A bit hard to read, but sensible advice about mobile phone use.

Now back to hibernation after a most enjoyable and interesting two weeks in Japan. Everybody was so polite and helpful including the stranger who insisted on giving me his umbrella when it was almost raining in Ginza.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tokyo National Museum

November 4th, 2016

Bill and I got ourselves to the Tokyo National Museum, 3 trains and then quite a walk to the Museum, but there was a bonus. When we asked for a wheelchair we found it was free entry for Senior citizens.

The main building of the museum originally opened in 1872, but destroyed in the 1923 earthquake and rebuilt and reopened in 1938.
Interesting finial on the roof of the museum

Japanese sculpture. I think it dates from about the 13thC. Unfortunately no photography was allowed in the next gallery - swords. The swords were extraordinary - bright and shiny after 400 years.
An example of magnificent 16thC lacquerware.
Haniwa terracotta figure of a horse which would have been placed in a grave probably in the 6thC A.D.
National Treasure a bronze plaque.

Japanese Mr. Punch, originally in the Horyu-Ji temple near Nara. It is a Rikishi mask, used for Gigaku dances in the 8thC.
Beautiful Gardens around the museum.
I have a soft spot for sheep sculpture.
Dodging crows makes a change from magpies!
It was a surprise to find a statue of Edward Jenner, the English doctor who developed vaccination and the resulting immunity against smallpox in the museum gardens.


November 3rd (I think)

Today we went to the Ginza in Central Tokyo. This was named after the silver mint which was here from 1612 and gave the area its name 'silver place' but the whole area was burnt in 1872. The government employed an English architect to rebuild it. Today this is where all the high end international stores have their principal outlets. Also there are many striking new architectural buildings.

In the afternoon we went to see a master kimono lady who demonstrated how to put on a kimono. I had not realised how many layers there are and it is very important that the left side is on top. The right is only on top on corpses.

Impressive modern buildings in Ginza
As well older style buildings.

Window displays. Very important and window dressers are highly paid.
Exclusive boutiques
Over the top wig.

Coicorin or love cat in front of Le cafe Doutor. Pat it on the head to find a lost love.
Street lamps in Ginza
The Shoe shine person outside an exclusive department store, Takashimaya. It was opposite the kimono lady's premises.
Nov 3rd is a public holiday, Culture Day to promote culture and the Arts. These children are probably off to the Shinto shrine. At 3,5 and 7 years there are Shinto ceremonies to celebrate the good health and growth of children.
A seven year old girl came to show Haruka and Showa the kimono bought from them.
Haruka demonstrates how to put on a kimono.
A little gift from Showa for each of us. The bag is made from part of a recycled kimono. Japanese are frugal.
Other handmade gifts exchanged with new Japanese friends.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Fabric and Kitchen Stuff in Tokyo

November 2nd, 2016

On Wednesday we did Fabric Town and the Kitchen Street. Fabric Town is in Nippori district, a quiet residential area and has over 80 shops selling fabrics and associated sewing things such as buttons and braids. Tomato is bigger than most and is a bit like Spotlight with an overwhelming range of Japanese cottons.

Next stop was Kitchen Street or Kappabashi which has a whole row of shops selling everything you need to run a restaurant. As you might imagine it includes some lovely ceramics, an incredible range of sieves as well as the plastic display models of fruit etc. I was not convinced the apple peeler gadget would work well. Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures of specific displays or items..
Note the umbrella hook
Bit out of order. This was on the river cruise boat and it was no exaggeration. My head hit the ceiling and I am not tall.
Not quite St George. He has a bow and arrow.
Inside Tomato
Residential building in Fabric Town.
Quilt design?
Animals travelling on trains should be caged.
As you can see I am rather taken with the quirky signs.
Verandah Tokyo style.
No idea what these represent. There was a whole row of them.
Trees around the Imperial Palace.