Monday, April 30, 2012

il Pizzaiolo / イル ピッツァイオーロ

And now back to a favorite subject of mine - checking out new places to eat.  When I was hospitalized for my wrist injury and being fed a balanced diet for diabetics, I was craving me some pizza!  I told Mikako once I get out of the hospital, I want to go out for pizza.  Well, we didn't go immediately, but the following week I suggested going to the little Italian restaurant behind the Carrot Tower in Sangenjaya.  I was going to get my pizza, while Mikako would be satisfied with some pasta.

今回は僕の大好きなネタに戻りますよ。それはもちろん初めて行った飲食店。 手首の骨折で入院中糖尿食しか食べてなかったので、ピザが凄い食べたくなった。嫁に退院したら、ピザ食べに行きたいと言った。退院直後じゃないですけど、やっと僕の願いが叶いました。三軒茶屋のキャロットタワーの裏に小さなイタリアン料理店「イル・ピッツァイオーロ」に行きました。前から気になってた店です。やっとピザが食べられる!美香子はピザよりパスタのほうだな。

The first item we were served was some bread.


These vegetables are included with either the pasta or pizza plate  Very delicious.  I think I prefer this more than a salad.


I ordered myself the Salsicha e radicchio pizza.  That would be sausage with greens and mozzarella cheese!

僕が注文したのは“サルシッチャ エ ラディッキオ”(自家製ソーセージ、トレヴィス、モッツァレッラチーズ)。

Mikako ordered the seafood pasta.  


Bon Appetit!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Walk around the Kyu Furukawa Gardens (Part 3) / 旧古河庭園の散歩 (パート3)

My final walk around the Kyu Furukawa Gardens.


A nice view of Shinji-ike by the "Yukimi-type" garden lantern / 雪見型灯篭から心字池の良い眺め

"Karetaki" (Dry Waterfall) / 枯滝

This dry waterfall which incorporates stones to create an image of flowing water, is part of the traditional Japanese garden design tradition of using rocks to enable visual effects of hills and water.  To the rear of the indented edge of the pond there is a miniature river gorge that was constructed using Mikage-ishi, Ao-ishi and Gorota-ishi.


"Jugo-soto" Fifteen storied stone pagoda / 十五層塔

"Nuresagi-type" garden lantern / 濡鷺型灯篭

"Kasuga-type" garden lantern / 春日型灯篭

Back gate / 裏門

Another view of Shinji Ike / 心字池

And another look at the Western style residence / そしてもう一度洋館を眺める

So concludes my walk around the Kyu Furukawa Gardens.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Walk around the Kyu Furukawa Gardens (Part 2) / 旧古河庭園の散歩 (パート2)

Continuing my walk around the Kyu Furukawa Gardens.  The notes are taken from the guide provided by the park.


The Western-style Garden / 洋風庭園

Roses have been planted in the manner of a terraced garden and are in full bloom in the spring and fall (it appears I was a bit early to see the flowers in bloom).  This garden helps to set off the appearance of the Western-style residence and create the atmosphere of a foreign country.  
Banksia roses cover the walls.  They are a symbol closely associated with Mako, the daughter of Prince Akishi-no-no-miya (the younger brother of the crown prince).


From an observation point looking down into the Japanese garden.


You will find many different types of Japanese lanterns in the garden.  This is an Okunoin type garden lantern.


Shinji-ike / 心字池

The pond was designed in the shape of the Japanese character for "heart".  The pond was made using Kurama-Hira-ishi and Iyo-ao-ishi.  The points from which the pond can be seen best include, in the front, the "funatsuki-ishi" (boatloading stone), the "araiso" (rugged shallows), the snow viewing stone lantern, the dry waterfall in front and also from the hill in the rear of the pond.


Otaki / 大滝

The large waterfall is more than 10m in height and originates on top of the steepest point in the garden, the upper part of which was further built up to make it higher.  The front of the slope was dug away to make a cliff and the slope is covered with trees to create an illusion of a river gorge in the deep mountains.  The flow curves and divides into smaller, lower level flows before dropping into a chasm.


"Kuzure -shizumi" Wild Stone Wall / 崩石積

The sign reads "石を垂直に積む方法は数あるが、これは京都で発達した伝統的な工法である。石と石が噛み合って崩れそうで崩れない姿が美しいとされる。当庭園においても小川治兵衛(おがわじへい)の力作となっている”

Yet another Japanese lantern / また灯篭発見

A teahouse in the garden (reservations required) / 園内の茶室 (予約制)

Isn't hard to imagine that I'm in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo when you look at these pictures.


A closer view of the teahouse / 茶室に近づきました

Looks like I time-slipped to Edo / 江戸時代にタイムスリップした感じ

This garden isn't as large as Rikugien but it does make for a pleasant walk.


To be continued...


Monday, April 23, 2012

A Walk around the Kyu Furukawa Gardens (Part 1) / 旧古河庭園の散歩 (パート1)

And now for another walk around a different garden, the Kyu Furukawa Gardens.


From the official guide:

This garden was designed using the slope of the Musashino Highland and the contiguous lower area. The Western-style residence was built on a small hill.  The Western portion of the garden was located on the slope and, on the lower level of the grounds, the Japanese garden was created.  This property was originally the location of the residence of a famous Meiji Period notable, Mutsu Munemitsu.  However, when his second son was adopted into the Furukawa family, it became the property of the Furukawa family (The buildings from the previous era no longer exist).

The currently existing western-style residence and garden was designed by the English architect, Josiah Condor (1852-1920), who, over the last part of the Meiji Period and first part of the Taisho Period designed the Rokumeikan, the Nicolai Cathedral, the historic Iwasaki western-style residence, etc. and made many contributions to the development of architecture in Japan.  Ogawa Jihei, alias Niwashi-Ueji (1860 to 1933), a designer of Japanese gardens from Kyoto, created the Japanese garden renowned for its beauty that matched the level of the residence.  The Furukawa garden is regarded as a valuable and typical example of the gardens of the Taisho Period.  In 1982, the garden was designated as a famous site.

The entrance fee is 150yen / 旧古河庭園の入り口 入園料は大人一人¥150

More cherry blossoms! / ここにも桜が咲いてます

Western-style residence / 石創りの洋館

The classic style of the building derives from the style used for the homes of the English aristocracy that used bricks covered with slate.  The outer walls are made from reddish stone, Shin-Komatsu ishi (andesite) from the Manazaru area.  When the stone becomes wet from rainwater, the color changes to a very subdued tone.


The walk continues...


Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Walk between Rikugien Gardens and the Kyu Furukawa Gardens / 六儀園と旧古河庭園の間の散歩

Leaving Rikugien Gardens, I headed back towards Komagome station but went past it walking in the other direction as I decided to check out the Kyu Furukawa Gardens as well today.  On my way there, I came across a couple of interesting sites.


Komagome Myogizaka Kodosodate Jizo-son / 駒込妙義坂地蔵尊

If you are not familiar with the Jizo in Japan, let me give you the extremely short explanation.  Jizo are the guardian of children.  The Jizo protects the souls of those who were miscarried, stillborn, or aborted.  You can check the internet for more details on the origin and myth of the Jizo.

Kame-no-yu / 亀の湯

This is a rapidly disappearing site in Tokyo but its still nice to know that a lot of them are still in business.  This is a sento (public bathhouse) built in that Showa era style.  There is a sento in our neighborhood as well that we sometimes go to.  Cheaper than an onsen but just as relaxing.


Kotobuki Jizo-son / ことぶき地蔵尊

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Walk around Rikugien Gardens (Part 4) / 六儀園の散歩 (パート4)

The final splurge around Rikugien Gardens before heading off to my next destination.


"88 Views of Rikugien" No.44 & 45 Mizuwake-ishi (rock splitting a stream) and Makura-no-hora (the rock above that)

「六儀県八十八境」 四十四と四十五  「水分石」と「枕流洞」(しんりゅうどう・まくらのほら)

Chidori-bashi / 千鳥橋

Takimi-no-chaya / 滝見茶屋

Takimi-no-chaya: The Teahouse for Watching the Dragon is next to an arbor on a stream that runs through a gorge.  The water falls down through the rocks, sending off a spray.  From the arbor, there are good views of he Sleeping Dragon Rock and other scenes and one can hear the sound of the water.

滝見茶屋:あずまやの横を渓流が走り、岩の間から落ちて水しぶさをあげています。あずまやからは、滝や石組(水分石 / みずわけいし)などの景色や水音が楽しめます。

"88 Views of Rikugien" No.22 Garyu-seki and Horaijima

「六儀園八十八境」 二十二 臥竜石 (がりゅうせき)と蓬莱島 (ほらいじま)

Garyu-seki: This name refers to the rock half submerged in the pond that it appears to be a sleeping dragon, hence the name, "Sleeping Dragon Rock".  You can barely make it out in the picture above.

Horaijima: This is a small island in the pond made of stones, created based on a form of mysticism aimed at attaining supernatural powers.



Closer view of Horaijima / 蓬莱島

"88 Views of Rikugien" No.14 & 15 Imo-yama / Se-yama

「六儀園八十八境」 十四と十五 “妹山・背山”

Imo-yama / Se-yama: These two garden hills are located on Naka-no-shima, an island in the pond.  In former times, vernacular terms for "man" and "woman" were "se" and "imo" and the two hills are reminiscent of Izanagi and Izanami of Japan's ancient origin myth.

Another beautiful cherry blossom tree / また素敵な桜の木

"88 Views of Rikugien" No.81 & 84 Suiko-no-e and Fuyou-bashi

「六儀園八十八境」 八十一と八十四 “水香江 (すいこうのえ)”と“芙蓉橋 (ふようばし)”

And so concludes my walk of the Rikugien Gardens.  Next, I will be heading to the Kyu Furukawa Gardens.