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05/31, Arts Culture Tourism from Tokyo
Hamarikyu Gardens, Chūō ward
Welcome to NOTEBOOK, a cultural guide to art, design and architecture, along with a resource of local news and information in English giving a realistic view of Tokyo and further afield.
05/31 – Typhoon Mawar is forecast to approach the southwest of Okinawa later this week, with high tides and violent winds near the Sakishima Islands. With the hay-fever season almost upon us, the Japanese government says it will speed up its plan to cut down cedar trees known to exacerbate the allergy. Toyota’s global production in April rose by almost 14 percent. And, the world “yakko-negi” championships took place in Kochi Prefecture, seeing just how far the local vegetable could be thrown.
We drop by Hamarikyu Gardens in Chuo ward. Unable to enter as the park closes at 5pm with last admissions at 4:30pm, we stand outside and listen as the nearby Tokyo Expressway snakes past, deadened by a wall of trees and the surrounding waterways.
Once belonging to successive members of the infamous Tokugawa family, Hamarikyu Gardens on the edge of Tokyo bay near Shiodome and the Tsukiji Outside Market features a seawater pond that changes with the tide, and two kamo-ba, or duck hunting sites, within the grounds.
It originally functioned as a dejiro, or fortress, part of the old Edo Castle. And at one point featured a falconry, later filled in and replaced with a residence. The Kofu Hama-yashiki (or Kofu Beach Pavilion) later changed its name to Hama Goten (or Beach Palace). And from that point onward, successive owners took procession and developed the gardens.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the gardens became a villa for the Imperial family and the name was changed to Hama-rikyu. The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and World War II bombings rendering the gardens almost unrecognizable. And by late 1945, they were donated to the city, repaired, and reopened to the general public the following spring.
Now officially designated a place of special scenic beauty & historic interest, we drop by and listen as the nearby Tokyo Expressway snakes past, deadened by a wall of trees and the waterway surrounding the gardens.
The San-ai Dream Center in nearby Ginza is in the process of being dismantled, a building mentioned in a previous episode.
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