Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hello all,

In this post I will refrain from writing about Ikebana for the sake of my non-Ikebana friends.

Last Monday, due to a lucky turn of events, I enjoyed a once in a life time experience.

After class I was talking with Ms Takahira about cherry blossoms and she inquired if I'd seen any and would I like to go with one of the other students, who was going to see some that afternoon. Of course, I said yes and I found myself in the company of Jacqueline Wyss, a lovely lady from Switzerland, going to visit The Royal Palace Gardens no less!

Fortunately, Jacqueline knows her way around and she got us there on the metro. From what I was given to understand, this was an event that hasn't happened before. The gardens of The Royal Palace were opened for the first time to the public for 5 days as a celebration of The Emperor's 80th birthday.

The only problem was that hundreds of thousands of Japanese also went there as some sort of pilgrimage. We queued for kilometres, the whole time fearing that the gates might be closed at any oment and people be turned away, as happened to Jacqueline two days earlier. However, luck was on our side and we made it through the gates and security checks.

(I now have the ability to crop out unwanted parts of a photograph such as the hand in the picture above. However I chose to leave it in to show how difficult it was to get a clear view past all the people)

So, now we're in this long and wide avenue bordered by magnificent trees of all description including the much revered Sakura. It was just as well that we were looking up at the trees because we could not see anything lower down other than a sea of people. This exercise took hours but was worth the effort. But as beautiful as the trees were in the Palace, I much preferred the trees hanging over the walls outside the palace and being reflected in the water of the moat.

If you look closely at the picture below, you'll get an idea of the number of people that walked through the gardens.

From there we walked around Tokyo Station and stopped for coffee to allow some of the hoards of people to disperse before attempting to board the train for our return home. Despite my very sensible walking shoes, I was very tired when I got home.

Me in front of a lovely water features near Tokyo station

I'm indebted to Jacqueline for this marvelous experience because without her I would not have been able to go there nor would I have known about it. As it was, we enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon and I am able to include her in the list of people I'm getting to know through my classes at Sogetsu Headquarters.

Bye for now,

No comments:

Post a Comment