City parks

 

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One of my favorite parts about Tokyo so far, is how easy it is to find a quiet place to get your daily dose of nature and Vitamin D. There are parks and shrines everywhere and they are quite large. Easily accessible little nooks where you can go and grab some peace of mind, meditate, pray, read, rest, and be alone before you carry on with your day.

 

Evangeline and I decided to take stroll down to Shiba Park to go on a search for some materials to build a still life drawing station for the studio.

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Shiba park is less than a mile away from the studio, in the shadow of Tokyo Tower and is home Zōjō-ji temple.

Zojoji_frontal_steps.jpgPhoto by SElefant, CC BY-SA 3.0

Wishing Tree

Wishing trees hold prayers and wishes that have been scribed onto colorful flags.

 

Waterfall


Yoyogi Park is located at the heart of Tokyo. It’s a little harder to get to, but from quiet paths, to large temples, small shrines, ponds, and sprawling lawns for social gatherings, it’s well worth the journey. Yoyogi Park is also home to Japan’s first powered flight.

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Amra and Yuvul take a brake in Chuo Hiroba, Yoyogi’s Central Plaza.

 

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By Kakidai, own work [CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Meiji Shrine is one of Japan’s most popular and visited Shinto shrines. It was built in honor of Emperor Meiji (1852-1912).

 

Yoyogi Wedding

Just after paying my respects, I was fortunate to turn around just in time to witness a traditional Japanese wedding in the courtyard of Meiji Shrine. It was so quiet that it was easy to miss the procession. Those who had their backs turned missed the entire thing. It was very beautiful.

Yoyogi Park 1

Prayers and wishes are written on these wooden plaques known as ema by Shinto believers. They are left near the shrine. This particular collection was large and a variety of languages was represented. Here is a well written post about ema boards.

 

Yoyoshi Sake

This is a large wall of barrels of sake wrapped in straw. These beautiful barrels are annually donated to Yoyogi in honor of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.

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