14 November 2016

Blustery Afternoon at Kokyo Gaien National Gardens

November 9th

Looked up to the crystal clear blue sky.
Bathed in bright sunlight.
Walked hand in hand with Maruti.
Conversed about our friend's belly dance performance,
next travel destinations,
leave shape, 
and all little things that mattered.
We giggled, and shivered, and giggled again.
Embracing all the things that we could do together,
while we still had the time.

We then put our hoodie on, 
as it was blowing a gale at Kokyo Gaien.


Kokyo Gaien means "the outer garden of the Imperial Palace". Well, basically not so many things you can do here. Except laying down on the lawn, having a picnic with your loved ones (do not litter <3), inhaling as much clean air as you can, looking at fellow park visitors that mostly foreigners, getting awed by the vivid autumn blue sky (only if you come in this very season), and.... other sorts of laid-back, hustle-free outdoor activities that you can invent by yourself. Umm wait... this sounds many then? :D

Oh, did I forget to mention yoga? yeah, this place might be a perfect place to exercise yoga and having some zen moment with your cliques. This one is definitely my future goal once I'm back here again with my yoga mat. 
Anyone wanna join? :)


Fact: Kokyo Gaien National Gardens are extremely vast on scale! They cover an area of approx. 115 ha. So the places that you see in this post belong to only a very small piece from that hundreds hectares.

On the official name it is written as gardens, why plural? Well it's because this place is actually consisting of three major sections of gardens. In which I forgot which section I've been to the last time.

And, to a historical note, these gardens were first opened to public in 1949 and became national gardens ever since. Prior to this year, they were part of the Imperial Palace grounds. 


This huge stone foundation is actually the remnant of a construction destroyed by great fire. Unfortunately, there was no picture showing the original condition of the construction before the disaster hit. I am pretty curious to see how grand and imposing the construction looked like back then, as it was supported by such a huge foundation like this.

All the remnants here, including the foundation above, moats, gates and stone walls are the remaining relics of the Edo Castle, known as the largest castle ever built in Japan. To whom that still don't know yet, Edo is the former name of Tokyo :) 


If you're keen about history, historical architecture, Japanese gardens and such, probably this place deserves a visit! Or maybe, you still have one day left on your itinerary but still left undecided about where to go and you don't want to end up in shopping splurge, you can totally consider this place! As the admission is FREE! 

To reach Kokyo Gaien, you can get off at Otemachi Station and get out from C10 exit. From here, you'll only need to cross the street and voila, it's Kokyo Gaien right in front of you. So easy, right!

Well, I guess it's enough for this time. 
I'll see you guys on the next post. 
Meanwhile, eat good food, walk a lot, and don't forget to snap pictures along the way!

xx,


Shabrina

p.s: I got accepted in a graduate school and will officially start studying as Masters student on April 2017. Before life gets too serious, all I wanna do now is to go places, have fun as much as possible, and... in between those, studying hard to prepare the Masters dayssss. Good luck to me, good luck to you too! <3

01 November 2016

Thank God It's Fall // A Visit to Massive Kochia Field in Ibaraki

Rather than a visit, it actually feels more like a pilgrimage to me. No exaggeration, I do have a serious obsession with Kochia, one of God's most pleasing masterpiece on earth. Green kochias are very refreshing to see. But the crimson ones are just out of this world. Think I can proclaim them as my spirit plant, my totem.


Bottom: Buckwheat, middle: Cosmos, top: Kochia



They're totally worth my 3-hours train ride. Yeah, that was all it takes from Tama Station, Tokyo to reach the majestic Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture. I know it was a long, long journey but it has always been a seasonal tradition for me to be in train for hours, getting out of Tokyo to enjoy flowers. To purify my sights.

And yeah, flower otaku does exist everybody. And Japan has been facilitating us flower otakus with numerous wonderful destinations, spreading all over the country. Making flower enjoying activity to a whole next level of seriousness. And the term "Hana Meguri", or I'd rather translate it as "flower pilgrimage", does exist in Japanese. Equipped with flower calendars to keep us updated about the kinds of varieties to enjoy every month.

So happy :)

Hey, meet my new friend, Marie-chan!



Apparently it wasn't only kochias that showed up at the party. This vast bed of pink cosmos were flirting with us too, by dancing nonstop to the wind. So cute, I know <3 
We were so lucky because all the beautiful flowers were in perfect bloom at the same time. Totally can't get enough of this view. This view reminds me to that famous quote about flower by Zen Shin, 
"A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms." 
Totally correct.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering about how the green kochias look like,
here it is,
Location: Oishi Park, Kawaguchi Lake, Yamanashi Prefecture.

This picture of green kochia was shot on Summer, exactly on mid July when I went to enjoy the lavender season in Yamanashi. How time flies! Now I just realized that I haven't shared anything on the blog about my lavender story. I will, I will! 


After all, I'm very grateful to be able to witness this natural splendour. Every trip was indeed a treat for the soul. And I'm so looking forward to the next hana meguri. Well, haven't really planned yet on what kind of flower I'm going to see next. Moreover, when it comes to Fall/Winter, the varieties become very limited.

But, one thing for sure I can't wait to enjoy the soon coming autumn foliage and will of course, share everything on the blog! The earliest one is gonna be this weekend, as I'm going to have an excursion to Mt. Takao with my Japanese friends who are majoring in Indonesian. And the second autumn trip is going to be a bit far, as I'm flying to southern part of Japan for the first time! Woohoo... Can't be more excited :)

Well, see ya on the next post guys!
It's the first day of the month again, hope you had a great time today.

xx,

Shabrina.

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