Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tokyo and Wisteria...

The first bit of May is peak time for the wisteria in Japan. It's also Golden Week...essentially a series of holidays so significant that the majority of the nation is off work for a week...the last of the holidays is Children's Day (Komodo no-hi) on May 5th.  

We headed up to the Nezu shrine in Tokyo to attempt to see the gorgeous azaela...but we were too late.  I suspected that we might have been as the blooms in Yokosuka were waning...

The shrine was beautiful, regardless of the azaela.  Torii gates, turtles and just a very nice place.  Not entirely peaceful as there were (what I've noticed) the normal food vendors for festivals at shrines.  

After the shrine, we headed to the Midtown area of Tokyo.  I had read about a festivals that was going on and some really unique koi no bori that were being displayed.  I had no expectations, so was pleasantly surprised with what we saw.  We got a little lost coming off the train and found another shrine and temple in the heart of Tokyo. 

Tokyo Midtown park was great.  There were dozens of carp streamers along a small water feature that the kids could play in.  This was or perfectly timed because Logan was on the verge of a meltdown.  Playing in the water helped immensely.

At the back of the park is a huge picnic area. So I whipped out our blanket (which has been invaluable over here...we've done so many picnics!), we got some snacks from a festival booth, got the rest of our lunch out and enjoyed the beautiful day!

Crazily, after we were done with lunch, we realized we still had a good chunk of the afternoon...so we went back to Yokosuka and made our way to the Yokosuka Iris Garden which was identified in some online article for being one of the top 10 places in the Tokyo area to check out wisteria arbors.  Hmmm...ok!

The iris garden is an east bus ride from Kinugasa station.  If we would have paid attention, we would have known there was a direct bus from Shioiri. Oh well...

We made it here and I can really say that we were blown away. I now want wisteria. They are such a fragrant flower and the arbors make it drape so beautifully...really stunning.  There are a few places in Tokyo that look amazing, but they were 2-3 hour trips.  This was perfect for what we wanted. 

We wandered and explored all the nooks and crannies of the garden.  

Once Logan saw on the map there was a water wheel, we had to find it.  He needed to take a picture of it...

  We really lucked out when we wanted to head back to the apartment.  Based on google maps, I thought we were stuck with a minimum 20 minute walk and then some other means of the rest of the trip...but we spied a bus loading, ran to it and, lucky day, it was a direct bus to Shioiri!  Bazinga!  

We made it back. Enjoyed the roses in Verny park and called it a day....

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