Sunday, 13 April 2014

Tokyo Cherry Blossoms (Sakura ) walk

Starting from Kawasaki , riding train to Tamachi and then walking to Tokyo Tower seeing Zojoji Temple. After finishing there then towards Tokyo , emperor palace and then back to Tokyo Station. Left at 11:30 and then came back after long long walk around 16:00. So Around 4 hrs of walk...nice weather and great Cherry blossom trees... Best feeling...
At Kawasaki...

Zojoji was founded in 1393 as an orthodox and fundamental nembutsu seminary for Jodo shu in the Kanto (east Japan) region.

Zojoji was relocated to the present site in 1598 after Ieyasu Tokugawa, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, entered Edo (present-day Tokyo) in 1590 to establish his provincial governmnet. After the start of the Edo Period when the Tokugawa shogunate ruled Japan, Zojoji became the family temple of the Tokugawa family and an unparalleled grand cathedral was built. Zojoji also served as an administrative center to govern the religious studies and activities of Jodo shu. In those days, its precincts covered an area of 826,000 square meters which also contained 48 smaller attached temples and about 150 grammar schools. Moreover, as many as 3,000 priests and novices always resided here as students.

The Sanmon, the main gate to the Zojoji Temple, was built in 1605. It  is constructed in a Chinese Tang Dynasty style and is a rare example of early Edo-period architecture. All the other buildings on the grounds were destroyed during 1945 air raids. 

As the front face of Zojoji, this gate strikes passersby as majestic and magnificent. This wooden gate, measuring 21 meters in height, 28.7 meters in width and 17.6 meters in depth, was built in 1622, and today remains the only architectural reminder of the early days of the Edo Period when the original Zojoji was constructed on a prodigious scale. The gate has been designated by the State as important cultural property. Its name - Sangedatsumon - means a gate (mon) for getting delivered (gedatsu) from three (san) earthly states of mand - greed, anger and stupidity.

In the garden were rows of little statues with bonnets and windmills. They were statues of jizobosatusu, the protector of the souls of stillborn children and the Buddhist equivalent of an angel. Mothers who have lost an unborn child may dedicate an image of the deity and decorate it with baby clothes and toys.

Tokyo Tower is Japan's most famous observation tower.  It was built in 1958 and was modeled after the Eiffel Tower.  It is 1092 feet high, 30 feet higher than Eiffel Tower, but 3000 tons lighter due to advancements in steel manufacturing and construction technology. On a clear day, you can see Mt.Fuji and Mt.Tsukuba. 

The Temple gardens are adorned with statutes, flowers and trees. We also noticed tombstone like monuments with Japanese symbols carved in them.




Chidorigafuchi is one of the moats of the Imperial Palace. Located just 5 minutes walk from Kudanshita Station, it is one of the most famous cherry-blossom viewing spots in Tokyo. Cherry trees line both sides of the moat giving it a layered covered look. Every April, the Cherry Blossom Festival attracts thousands of people, who come here from all over to watch and enjoy the beautiful snow-white blossoms in full bloom. In the evenings the trees are lit giving the place and the water in the moat a glittering look. Boats may be hired for rides on Chidorigafuchi and food stalls line the paved road running alongside the moat. 

The entrance to Kitanomaru Park is right in front of Kudanshita Station of Tokyo Metro Tozai Line. Kitanomaru Park is one of the two areas of the Imperial Palace open to the public (the other being the East Garden), and home to the Science Museum, National Museum of Art & Craft Gallery, and the Nippon Budokan.

Kitanomaru Park is a beautiful park with lots of greenery, plants and trees. Meandering tree-lined paths and shady nooks fill the place. There is a pond with a grassy open area surrounding it, which is a popular picnicking spot for the local residents. The place becomes particularly crowded during spring when people throng for hanami parties to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

Back to Tokyo Station

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