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October 2013


Koishikawa Korakuen #3 in Tokyo Japan


This is Oi river.

It was named after a river running through Kyoto Arashiyama region.

Gabions were put on both sides of the river,

and water was drawn through a ditch from Kanda water supply system.

It is said that the 3rd Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa, a good friend of Yorifusa,

advised the plan.



↓Byobu iwa (Rocks like picture screens)


The rocks were called "Byobu-iwa", rocks like picture screens,

because they rose vertically like picture screens.

It is said that the 3rd Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa often visited this place

and sat on the stone by the river.



Tuten-bridge (the bridge to the heaven)


This bridge was built imitating "the Tuten-bridge" in Tofuku temple in Kyoto,

therefore this bridge was named "the Tuten-bridge".


The beauty of this bridge is enhanced by color of autumn leaves in mid November.


Koishikawa Korakuen #2 in Tokyo Japan

Koishikawa Korakuen is a Japanese garden,

but it has several Chinese style sights, such as

"Seiko-no-tsutsumi", "Engetsu-kyo".


The reason is that the 2nd ruler of Mito clan, Mitsukuni was interested in Confucian.

He invited the Chinese Confucian scholar Shushunsui of the Ming dynasty.

Mitsukuni adopted Shushunsui's advices into the garden.



↓Seiko-no-tsutsumi (the dike of West lake in China)


These stone steps were made to imitate a famous sightseeing spot in China.

A lot of Japanese people admired the scenery of the lake in those days.

Many gardens of feudal lords followed this style.


↓Engetsu-kyo(the full moon bridge)


The reflection of the bridge in the pond produces a full circle

with the appearance of  a full moon.

The design of this bridge is said to have been created by

the Confucian scholar, Shushunsui.

It has survived in its original form, and provides a glimpse of the early Edo period.


Koishikawa Korakuen in Tokyo Japan

Koishikawa Korakuen is one of the major feudal lord's garden.


The garden was constructed in the early Edo era.

Yorifusa Tokugawa started to construct this garden in 1629.

He was a son of Ieyasu Tokugawa, first Shogun of the Edo government, 

and the first ruler of Mito clan.



The garden was completed during the reign of the second Mito clan's ruler ,Mitsukuni.

↓:A man at the left side  is Yorifusa, right side is Mitsukuni.


This garden is a circuit style pond garden, which is a type of garden

where you walk around the central pond in order to enjoy the changing scenery.


In 1952 the garden was designated as a site of special historical significance

and a special place of scenic beauty in Japan,

under the new law for the preservation of cultural assets.



Website of Tokyo Metropolitan park association.



Ueno-zoo in Tokyo Japan

Ueno-zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan. It was opened in 1882.


You can see giant panda, okapi and pigmy hippopotamus in this zoo,

these animals are called the three rarest animals in the world.



giant panda




pigmy hippopotamus


Ueno-zoo website


Access map


photo: October 2013


Tokyo SKYTREE in Tokyo Japan

This tower is TOKYO SKYTREE.

It's a broadcasting tower with restaurants and observation decks in Sumida-ward Tokyo.

It's the tallest structure in Japan. It's 634 meters tall.

The height was decided on for two reasons.

First, it's the tallest free-standing tower in the world.

Second, "634" can be pronounced as "MUSASHI" in Japanese.

"MUSASHI" is an old name of Tokyo area.

It was completed in 2012.


They have two observatories.

The height of the first observation deck is about 350 meters. 

The second deck's height is 450 meters.

↓The view from the deck at 450 meters.


↑This photo was taken by my English teacher.

Thanks, Cindy!

You need to buy tickets to go these decks..

It's a very popular sightseeing spot,

so I recommend you to book the ticket on their website.

Tokyo SKYTREE website




Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT "DOHYO-IRI"

This is a scene of "DOHYO-IRI", it means "enter the ring".


They are high ranking wrestlers,

but Yokozuna wrestlers, highest ranking wrestlers, do "Yokozuna dohyo-iri",

so they don't join this ceremony.

The ceremony is done for purifying the area.


They put on beautiful aprons. It's called "Kesho Mawashi",

it means "an apron decorated beautifully".

They are made of silk and are very expensive.

It is said that the cost of an apron is over ten thousand dollars.

"Kesho mawashi" is usually given to wrestlers by sponsors.

Therefore the names of the wrestler and his sponsor are embroidered on the aprons.

photo: September 2013


Grand Sumo at Ryogoku kokugikan in Tokyo Japan ABOUT YUMITORISIKI

A sumo wrestler gives a performance with a long bow

after the last match of the day.


The performance used to be given by a champion wrestler of the grand sumo

tournament as "a winner's performance".


However, nowadays it is given by a wrestler who belongs to the sumo stable

which  has a Yokozuna rank wrestler.


In addition, it used to be performed at the end of the tournament,

but now it is performed after the last match of each day.


If the wrestler drops the bow in the performance, he needs to pick it up with his feet,

because  touching the ground with his hand means "defeat" in sumo rules.

Actually, however, performers are well trained, so I have never seen a wrestler drops

the bow in his performance.


This wrestler is SATONOFUJI. He belong to the sumo stable

which has a YOKOZUNA rank wrestler, "HARUMAFUJI".

He performed the with the bow very well.

photo: September 17

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About me

  • Hi there! I'm Lala. I'm a Japanese living in Tokyo. I'm an English speaking licensed guide and authorized tour conductor. If you have questions, please leave comments on this blog or send me e-mails. lalalamumin☆yahoo.co.jp (please replace ☆ with @ when you send me e-mails)

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