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Posts tagged 甘泉園公園

Yukitsuri in Kansenen

kansenen yukitsuri tree tent japan

Yukitsuri are common throughout Japan, even in areas that get little or no snow (like Tokyo). These “tree tents” are supposed to save the branches from accumulating heavy snowfall.

Nishi Waseda Park Tower

Today’s photo is from Kansenen, the nice little park near our apartment in Shinjuku Ku. The building is Nishi Waseda Park Tower, a building that we saw daily out the window of our apartment even though we were on the ground floor. This residential tower is currently the 35th tallest building in Shinjuku Ku. 25 of the tallest 35 buildings in Shinjuku Ku were built since I left Japan in 1989. Needless to say, things look very different in Tokyo and will continue to change at a rapid pace I’m sure.

Nishi Waseda Park Tower is either on, or right next to, what was once Waseda University’s baseball stadium (Totsuka or Abe Kyujo, 戸塚球場, later called 安部球場). Most of the baseball field now has the library sitting on it.

While looking at an old map of the area, posted next to an old shrine, one day I noticed the stadium on the map and asked the lady who was chatting with me how long ago the stadium was there. She had fond memories of watching baseball games there in her early years. Now Waseda plays its baseball games at Jingu Stadium.

Sakura

As promised, I took some cherry blossom (sakura) pictures of the Kanda River this morning. In the above photo some people are staking out a spot for flower viewing (hanami). Blue tarps are always used for some reason.

We sat on one of the blue tarps this past weekend at a hanami we were invited to attend. There weren’t many flowers yet, but the food was great, the company much more pleasant than the non-smiling faces above indicate, and we played loads of tennis with them too.

Everyone (except those suffering from allergies I suppose) loves sakura, but there are three groups who really love the cherry blossoms. They are the photographers, …

… the kids, …

and especially the (old) ladies (with a camera).

Kansenen Koen (甘泉園公園) has only one cherry tree. What it lacks in numbers it makes up for in magnificence as that one tree is really spectacular.

Basho’s hermitage is in the background of the above photo. The river is once again the Kanda.

Watching this guy try to get a picture of his bulldog along with the cherry blossoms brought a bigger smile to my face than the blossoms themselves. Everyone is happy when the blossoms are out. It’s a great time to take a walk and see everyone smiling, even if you can’t get your pet to grin.

Hide and Seek in Kansenen Koen (甘泉園公園)

Kansenen Koen koyo fall colors autumn foliage tokyo japan

I walk through Kansenen Park at least a couple times a week on my way to Waseda University. The college students haven’t discovered it as this oasis is always empty or nearly so. The colors have changed now that we have reached December so it is more beautiful than ever. These photos may make it look like the place was deserted, but there were actually about a dozen kindergarteners playing “hide and seek” so the place was a bit noisy (in a good way).

Kansenen Koen in autumn waseda university tokyo japan

I happened to be leaving at the same time as the kids. They all bowed to the park at the exit and said “また来るね” (which means something along the lines of, “we will visit you again”) which was my sentiment as well.

japanese kindergarteners playing hide and go seek near waseda university tokyo japan

Kids

japanese and american kids

The above picture is of my kids and the kids of my coworker. All four were really nervous before meeting and could hardly look at each other for the first five minutes, but then they ended up having a great time together even though they shared no common vocabulary. I think the event inspired all of them to try harder to learn the other’s language.

japanese boy eating a potato chip at baseball game

I spotted this little guy at the Marines’ game.

japanese girl playing in sandbox

And this little girl at the playground next to 甘泉園公園…

Japanese critters

蜘蛛 spider kumo

When you think of wildlife in a big city not much comes to mind outside of the zoo. Well, maybe you think of rats and cockroaches, but we haven’t seen either of those in Tokyo. (I saw lots of cockroaches when I lived in Tokyo 20 years ago, but my dwellings at the time were pretty grim too.)

At the nearby park, 甘泉園公園, there are tons of spiders. This park is immaculate. Everything is in perfect order except the spiders and their webs. I’m guessing the grounds keeper has either given up on the spiders or just likes them. It does add a certain charm to the place.

japanese beetle

We’ve seen lots of other little (and not so little) critters running about, like this beetle.

とかげ japanese lizard

This lizard had no problem posing for a photograph, but what made him really cool was where he was…

とかげ japanese shinto shrine lizard

…perched on a stone torii gate in the middle of a Shinto shrine (Mizu Inari Jinja to be exact).

蝉 semi cicada locust tokyo japan

I’ve heard a lot more from this last bug than I have had the chance to see. I’ve only seen a few, but it seems like I’ve heard millions by now. These are the ubiquitous semi (cicada) that fill the summer air with their cries.

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