Wonderful Day With Kazuko

 

Don and I are staying in the best area of Tokyo (at least we think so!): Tsukiji, home of the world's largest fish market.  We love  to traipse around and enjoy the shops, the people, the parks, the cute dogs (many people have little adorable dogs), the coffee shops.  We are going to show some of the early arrivals of our group this area today!

Don and I are staying in the best area of Tokyo (at least we think so!): Tsukiji, home of the world’s largest fish market. We love to traipse around and enjoy the shops, the people, the parks, the cute dogs (many people have little adorable dogs), the coffee shops. We are going to show some of the early arrivals of our group this area today!

Kazuko took us to the Tsukiji market.  Though Don and I walk the market daily, she showed us hidden corners and streets we had not yet discovered on our own!

Kazuko took us to the Tsukiji market. Though Don and I walk the market daily, she showed us hidden corners and streets we had not yet discovered on our own!

This huge board came in handy so Kazuko could identify the names of the fish in the market!

This huge board came in handy so Kazuko could identify the names of the fish in the market!

We walked over to this lovely historical park not far from our neighborhood.  The gardens are almost just as they were in the 12th-17 century when this property belonged to a shogun.  The Imperial Family gave this garden for public enjoyment in the 1940s. The old summer palaces were destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1923. Hama Rikyu Gardens

We walked over to this lovely historical park not far from our neighborhood. The gardens are almost just as they were in the 12th-17th century when this property belonged to Shogun. The Imperial Family gave this garden for public enjoyment in the 1940s. The old summer palaces were destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1923. Hama Rikyu Gardens and the ancient Tea House

Well, what has changed is that this water only used to reflect pine trees and tea houses.  Now it reflects the skyscrapers of the grand city of Tokyo!  The land used to be duck hunting lands and falconry lands of the shogun and imperial families.

Well, what has changed is that this water only used to reflect pine trees and tea houses. Now it reflects the skyscrapers of the grand city of Tokyo! The land used to be duck hunting lands and falconry lands of the shogun and imperial families.

Kazuko and me in front of one of the many ancient pine trees.

My precious friend Kazuko and me in front of one of the many ancient pine trees.

Beautiful Pine Trees!  There is a 300 year old pine tree growing in this park..but we couldn't find it!  Imagine that it was nowhere to be seen.  Don found a pine tree stump and we suspect that the pine tree may have been there?

Beautiful Pine Trees! There is a 300 year old pine tree growing in this park..but we couldn’t find it! Imagine that it was nowhere to be seen. Don found a pine tree stump and we suspect that the pine tree may have been there?

The day was cloudy and cool and so this photo makes me feel like we were at the top of a mountain. This photo came out beautifully.  The pine tree is wrapped and we found out that the reason for this is because in the winter, the insects will gather under the wrapping to  keep warm.  Just before the weather gets warm, the wrapping will be removed, along with the burrowing insects trying to keep warm...and the wrapping will be burned, the insects destroyed.  This is an ancient practice to keep the trees healthy and to keep the insects from harming the trees!

The day was cloudy and cool and so this photo makes me feel like we were at the top of a mountain. This photo came out beautifully. The pine trees are wrapped and we found out that the reason for this is because in the winter, the insects will gather under the wrapping to keep warm. Just before the weather gets warm again in the spring, the wrapping will be removed, along with the burrowing insects trying to keep warm…and the wrapping will be burned, the insects destroyed. This is an ancient practice to keep the trees healthy and to keep the insects from harming the trees!

Next, we boarded a cruising boat to go up the Sumida River.  We passed 14 bridges and Kazuko showed us landmarks of the city.

Next, we boarded a cruising boat to go up the Sumida River. We passed 14 bridges and Kazuko showed us landmarks of the city.

Cruising under one of the bridges!

Cruising under one of the bridges!

Then a re-visit to Tokyo's most beloved garden, the Sumida Garden, where we came with Yoko a few days ago. It is a peaceful oasis in the middle of a huge city. I could sit here all day.  The center pond is shaped in a KOKORO (a heart).  So beautiful!

Then a re-visit to Tokyo’s most beloved garden, Yasuda Garden, where we came with Yoko a few days ago. It is a peaceful oasis in the middle of a huge city. I could sit here all day. The center pond is shaped in a KOKORO (a heart). So beautiful!  Our first visit was sunny and hot, but this day was overcast and the weather gave a completely different feel to the garden. Lovely on both days.

Moss covered stone lantern

Moss covered stone lantern

Moss covered stone lantern

Moss covered stone lantern

Turtle comes to greet me!

Turtle comes to greet me!

Coi thinks I might have some food

Coi thinks I might have some food

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Leaving the park, we see the Sumo Wresting Arena.  Prints of original ancient paintings show the wrestling in action

Leaving the park, we see the Sumo Wresting Arena. Prints of original ancient paintings show the wrestling in action

Scenes from the ancient art panels

Scenes from the ancient art panels

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We got to meet Kazuko's grandson Yukichika!  He is adorable!  When I left Japan, Kazuko's daughter Junko was a little girl.  Now she is a mother of this beautiful little boy!

We got to meet Kazuko’s grandson Yukichika! He is adorable! When I left Japan, Kazuko’s daughter Junko was a little girl. Now she is the mother of this beautiful little boy! (blurry photo, sorry)

The perfect ending to a perfect day:  dinner with the Yabuki family!

The perfect ending to a perfect day: dinner with the Yabuki family!

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