понедељак, 9. април 2012.

April ・ Happy, sad, but mostly sunny!

And the month of April came and many things are starting a new! In Japan it is the start of a new school year! My university also started and we had an entrance ceremony for all first graders, which I happen to be now!
Cherry blossoms are blossoming without a moment to waist! It is all very beautiful and very sad. Quite wonderful for contemplation, which Japanese have been doing for centuries underneath the magical blossoms.
Being in a very special and melancholic mood yesterday I decided to go outside of the city centre, a bit longer train ride to the western Tokyo, to a beautiful park in Tachikawa, which was recommended by my friend! In this first picture is just a tiny, tiny bit of this huge and beautiful park!
I haven't been paying attention to monuments nor anything that involved reading, as I said I was in a special mood, so I can't provide you with details what this fountain represents. But I did enjoy what I saw and took photos of it to share it with you!
The park had a big lake where people relaxed rowing boats or were just lazily floating on the surface of the water. Wish I had the courage to venture on my own!
Japanese koi, one of omnipresent themes of Japanese paintings for centuries!
Walking for another ten minutes or so, I passed the pond and came to this huge plane where people were playing all sorts of games, chasing each other, laughing and screaming, sitting on the blue plastic sheets drinking and eating... And at the centre of all that was this big tree, more than a hundred years old tree.
I passed them too, I was heading toward the other end of the park where they have a Japanese garden. Japanese gardens are always a haven of peace, beauty and elegance, a place of balance with man and nature, and that is exactly what I needed!
Along the way I passed over several bridges from where I could see cherry blossoms. I was surprised to see that unlike central Tokyo's sakura which is in full bloom, sakura in Tachikawa was only maybe half way to the full opening of the flower.
Finally entering the realm of the Japanese garden!
There was another pond here, but this one didn't have koi fish in it. It had two houses on the water edge, like two resting places, or places from which one could quietly enjoy the look over pond and beautiful flowers that surrounds it.

On my way back I passed next to the tree this time. I was always attracted to the big old trees! This one could be bigger, but still it felt good being in the centre of the field with no other trees to surround it.

Feels kind of wrong if I don't make at least one close up photo of sakura while in Japan during this time of the year. :)
Beautiful colours!
Ah yes, winds are quite strong here. It was colder than Tokyo, so maybe that is also the reason of the late blooming of sakura.
On a way back to the station I wanted to take a photo of the monorail train passing over this high railway between buildings, but was too cold to wait for the train to come. I see this and think - sasuga Japan. I expect no less from Japan than having trains with no drivers on levels much higher than the ground!
Ah no, wait a min, I got one! :D Brrrm brrrrm, ode voz!
Close to the station, on a level above the ground of course, there was this bench! Didn't check who made it, but looks like Miyazaki himself! ;) Also opeller moves when the wind blows!
Waiting for the special express train that will take me back to bustling Tokyo.
As I said, April is when the school starts. So here are some photos from our entrance ceremony. All undergraduate, master and doctor first year students attended the ceremony. And by the university gates people would line up to take photos in front of that sign on the left pillar which says Entrance Ceremony of Tokyo Geidai.
It was all held in this big concert hall, with all the students dressed in suits. And occasionally we would see a girl dressed over the top. In fact, there was this one girl who just came from the ball from a neighbouring kingdom! She had the most elaborate princess dress with tiara on her head. We thought she'd be out on the stage, but nooo, she sat in the audience the whole time.... Funny girl. Me and my fellow-students.
On the stage there was our dean who held a very inspiring speech, though I couldn't really listen to what he was saying because I was too busy admiring the gargantuan organ in the back, which was more like the front from the sheer size of the thing!
After the ceremony we took a stroll down to Ueno to treat ourselves with some sweets. Ueno park was full! It is one the the popular hanami spots. People come there to watch cherry blossoms.

Ueno park at the start of the hanami season.
Sakura close to the Taito ward office.
My favorite tree in front of a gate of Tokyo National Museum. It's not an entrance gate, it's just a gate without its usual function. It's more like a gate to another realm.
Because when they open the gate - time stops for me. :)
Farewell until the next time!