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Posts tagged inokashira

Inokashira cherry blossom shower

inokashira cherry blossoms kichijoji

井の頭池

An artist surrounded by his subject

Kichijoji's Inokashira Park sakura artist

Sakura artist in (Tokyo) Kichijoji’s Inokashira Park (井の頭恩賜公園)

As today’s blog entry posts, I should be in the air between Medford and Los Angeles. From there I catch a plane to Tokyo. And at Narita I will be transferring on to Fukuoka. This will be a very long day, but I’m excited to soon be back in Japan.

Inokashira sakura

japan cherry blossom viewing tokyo

A lovely park in any season, head to Inokashira Park (井の頭恩賜公園) in early April for best results.

Benzaiten fountain in Inokashira Park

benzaiten shrine

This little, moss-covered, hand-washing station, complete with jizo, can be found on the back, water side of the Benzaiten Shrine in Inokashira Park. I wonder if it was hidden behind the main shrine almost 200 years before when Hiroshige drew the same spot from a bit more distant vantage point?

歌川広重 名所雪月花 井の頭の池 弁財天の社雪の景

Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ) @ Ghibli Museum

mitaka kichijoji tokyo japan

There are plenty of reasons to visit Inokashira Park near Kichijoji. The reason that took us out there a week ago was the Ghibli Museum.

I saw my first Miyazaki (宮崎駿) movie way back in 1989. He was virtually unknown outside of Japan at that point, but I was in Japan. In fact, I was living in the setting of his current movie at the time, My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ), on the edge of Tokorozawa in Saitama Prefecture.

Ellie and Ryan also became big fans, as well as most of the rest of the world, so we have been wanting to check out the museum for a while. Tickets aren’t easy to come by if you want to go on a weekend. With Ryan and Ellie in school on weekdays we finally landed some Saturday tickets by purchasing them within a day of their going on sale more than a month in advance.

Shown above is a picture from the top of the museum. This is one of the robots from Laputa: Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ).

Manga reading dude in Inokashira Park

toho rikimaru manga reading comics japanese

While walking through Inokashira Park (井の頭公園) last Saturday we stumbled upon Rikimaru Toho (東方力丸), who I recognized from a piece I saw about him on TV. I asked him if he was the guy I saw on TV, and he said he was. We spoke only in Japanese, and he said he only does his manga readings in Japanese (while offering to do one for us). As Ryan contemplated which manga he would like Mr. Toho to read to us, he did one of his dramatic readings for another couple.

read manga reader inokashira koen shimokitazawa eki station

Above is his collection of very faded manga which customers can choose from. If you’d like to experience 東方力丸 in person I understand he can usually be found in Inokashira Park on the weekends during the day or at Shimokitazawa Station on weekend nights. He looks like he could be homeless, and I hear he started in this line of work by selling used manga that others had thrown away, but who knows if these things are true? I will chat with him in more depth if I ever see him again.

Even if you don’t understand Japanese, this guy is entertaining. I only took one video (below), and it isn’t great, but you can get a bit of an idea of his different voices and sound effects he uses to bring the manga to life.

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