Monday, September 5, 2011

Sankeien, Yokohama, Kanagawa (Picture heavy!)

Hubby and I had planned to see Sankeien way back in December when my brother was here visiting, but we kept pushing back, and back, and back until a recent afternoon when we finally dragged ourselves out the door ^.^

View of the Main Pond from the Outer Garden.
It was a beautiful afternoon with clear sky and a couple of degrees cooler, though it was still hot. The scenery was so lush and green, and if the place didn't close at 5PM and we weren't delicious mosquito food, I'd elect to picnic there all day!

Passing through the entrance gate, we were greeted by the garden's marvelous Lotus Pond on the right (though this picture was taken at the other end of the Lotus Pond and so you see it on the left...).

I spotted this beautiful lotus flower about to bloom and couldn't resist taking a snap of it.

I guess most of the lotus flowers had already bloomed and wilted, leaving behind their seed heads with some fresh looking seeds. It's really too bad they don't seem to pay much attention to lotus seeds here in Japan (or may be they do and I just don't know it) as it is edible and is quite delicious by itself, candied, or cooked and mashed into a sweetened paste used as fillings for rice cakes and other snacks, much like anko.

Yet another soon-to-be-blooming lotus flower.

Perhaps we should have waited for a few more days to go to Sankeien after all, as these few lotus flowers would have been in bloom by then!

With the Lotus Pond at right, at our left was the Main Pond with the top of Tomyoji's Former Sanjunoto Three-storied Pagoda visible. The pagoda was originally constructed in 1457 in Kyoto was "moved" to this garden in 1914. I have to wonder, the structure must have been disassembled for relocation, don't you think? How else would they move something like that? Can you imagine the kind of architecture that allows for such a structure to be taken apart and then reassembled? Pretty amazing if you ask me!

The Main Pond with view of Tomyoji's Former Sanjunoto. See a video I took standing at this spot.

Another thing hubby and I really loved about Sankeien was its resident cats! We met several of them on our visit, each a happy, healthy kitty either basking in the afternoon sun or taking a nap under the shade. It's always nice to know the people who care for the garden also care for the cats.

Here's a marmie who came to say hello and asked for a bite of hubby's sandwich. We had a mini picnic there with sandwiches and pastries bought from a nearby bakery.

Well hello human. What a tasty hand you've got there. Chomp! 

Pagoda and kitty in the same picture ^.^

The funniest part was that kitty never left us until we were done with our picnic, occasionally meowing asking for more food ^.^

Heeeeyy...let me haaaave some!  

Slurp, lick, slurp. 

How precious is this scenario? The heron and the ducks were minding their own business, the crow had its eyes on the duckling, and kitty got into his position, ready to pounce on the crow xD 

At one point, the crow actually picked up a duckling by the neck and we were like, "Noooooo!!!" but thank goodness the duckling escaped into the water unharmed.

The heron saw that I was stalking him and kindly posed for me. Want to go heron and fish watching with me?

After our mini picnic next to the Main Pond, we walked up a bamboo grove to see the pagoda. It was here that we became a feast for the vicious mosquitoes which stung wherever our clothes didn't cover. Hubby and I came home with numerous bites on our arms, elbows, ankles and feet T.T 

Tomyoji's Former Sanjunoto.

Trekking back down through the bamboo grove meant another round of bug bites :(

We actually only saw half of the garden and didn't get around to see the Inner Garden when the place closed at 5PM. More excuses to come back I guess, especially with the fall coming soon and the leaves will change color.

Yokobuean, a tea hut.

Tōkeiji's former Butsuden.

Entrance to the former Yanohara House, a wealthy family during the Edo period. It was brought to the garden from Shirakawago, Gifu.

See my video for an interior view of an authentic Edo era house. Some part of the video is quite dark because the lighting inside is really minimal. And also excuse my language at around the kitchen. Yes, those were miso vats in that kitchen, and just for comparison's sake, it takes me about a 6 months to finish my small tub.

Tools and sled at the entrance of the house.

The main room with the original hearth that was used by the Yanohara.

Hubby reading a book in one of the tatami rooms.

Stairs to the 2nd floor of the house by the entrance and shoe rack.

Going up the stairs.

On the second floor is an exhibition of old folk tools and articles. Here's a quick walk around, though some part is really dark and pretty much impossible to see.

We got to say hello to another kitty ^.^

View of the Main Pond from the back path leading to the entrance.

Kakushōkaku, the former residence of the Hara family who built Sankeien. Nowadays you can rent it for meetings and such.

View of the pagoda from Kakushōkaku's "drive way," if you can call it that :)


Citrine said...

This "blogger" stole a picture from your post and it's funny how she "credit" the sources.

D. said...

Wow, thanks so much for alerting me Citrine!

I followed the link and saw that she linked the "source page" to the picture itself and not the post where the it came from. So it's pretty much a dead-end credit. The most annoying thing is there wasn't a "contact me" link so I could politely contact her. I couldn't even leave a comment on her post without having to sign up for an account with that website!

...But your blog gave me an idea.. ^.^

Thanks again :)

Citrine said...

You can flag the post instead of giving the fishy website more traffic, the exact girl did that to me several times already (it used to be a link to where my picture is hosted/hotlinked, now she just steals the pictures, reload it and give credit to a made-up link) .

The first few times of reporting usually works but now the website stopped caring (at least for my site). It's a matter of time before I do another massive bitching post (speaking of which, I haven't done it for quite a while so I will keep it for the weekend, to do it right...).

D. said...

Hey Citrine,

We are dealing with a non-repentant thief I see. Alrighty then, I fixed my Hall of Shame :) Although I wonder if there is anything else we can do to protect our contents aside from putting watermarks on our pictures...

This is frustrating. Thanks again for alerting me!

Anonymous said...

lovely post, D! i really felt i was there traveling with you all. :D Sankeien looks so very peaceful ....

lovely pics of lotus....i didnt know those leaves get so big!

and the resident cats...awwww. kind of like the resident cats at the Hemingway house in Key West, FL. obviously i am a cat person. LOL

wow, sorry about the blogger theif. that website 'pays' its bloggers with incentives in the past for posting, making comments, etc on their website. i know this was true in the past but i dont know now though. :( btw, that VS balm is my fav (love the pigment pay-off and the 'taste').....then of course it gets discontinued! :(


D. said...

Hi there d,

How are you? ^.^

Oh yes lotus leaves are HUGE!! Even the flowers themselves are quite large when in full bloom. Hubby and I are cat people too, though our apartment right now is too small to keep a kitty. It feels like a prison to us sometimes T.T

You know, I've been eyeing this Ebay seller selling a bulk of 50 of these VS lip balms. I'm really reaaaally tempted, but I don't think I can come up with an excuse to buy 50 lip balms...LOL


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