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Monday, March 28, 2011

Flophouse Favorite #6 - Cherry Blossom time in Tokyo

Put aside for a moment the headlines, the videos and all the discussions on the Net about the natural disaster in Japan.  Current events are transitory.  What has us all a'flutter today will be a note in a history book tomorrow.  Today I want to think about the Japan I remember.  Some things, like great cities and their citizens, endure.

Japan is the most amazing country I have ever lived in and Tokyo is, in my opinion, one of the world's most beautiful cities.   Founded in 1603, it has been Japan's cultural, business and administrative center for over 400 years.  During that time, the city has experienced a few earthquakes.  On average about 50 a year.  Last time I looked, the city was still standing and I predict that it will still be there long after you and I are dust.

Right now they are getting ready for one of the most beautiful seasons of the year:  the Sakura or Cherry-blossom time.  Not only can you see acres of gorgeous blooming cherry trees, there are also outdoor parties and picnics everywhere (some fairly sedate and some quite wild) which makes it the perfect moment to walk through the city, along the canals, and through the parks.

Tokyo: Exploring the City of the ShogunIf you do go to Tokyo (and I strongly urge you to go at least once in your life) think about a getting a copy of Sumiko Enbutsu's book, Tokyo:  Exploring the City of the Shogun.  She proposes a number of walking tours though different historic parts of the city, all of which are wonderful.  I personally love best the walks through traditional Japanese neighborhoods - the small gardens are heartbreakingly beautiful.


Unknown said...

Tokyo is one of my top targets, especially if I can eat some 5 pounds cherries with 3 eyed tuna sushies.
Kidding ;)
I'll get there ASAP for sure and I've noticed the book!

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Let me know when you decide to go and we'll see what we can do to get your fantasy fulfilled. :-)

On the cover of Sumiko Enbutsu's book you'll see the entrance to a restaurant called Tofuya Ukai. It's located right under the Tokyo Tower. I had a memorable meal there with my Japanese colleagues. It's tofu like you've NEVER experienced it before. It will change your entire outlook on soybeans - a nice change from sushi.

The locale is gorgeous. We had lunch in a private room overlooking the most stunning garden. Here's a pretty good photo (at night)
And another that shows the garden during the day