Thursday, May 19, 2005


With work starting at 5pm each weekday, you've got to wonder how I spend my days. Most of them have vanished with seemingly simple tasks, like working out whether you really are buying the smallest packet of rice or something that is just not rice at all.

With a little prompting and a lot of help from my Japanese language classmate, I went and checked out apartment options around town. It is true: You can rent an expensive shoe box - and Japanese feet are generally smaller than others!

umbrella in ShukkeienThe stable and subtle sandwich grabbed my eye in the convenience store, while my friend grabbed a sushi pack. We munched inside the entrance of the Shukkeien garden, while garden staff were trimming the lawn and massaging the soil around the roots of a small bush.

fish in ShukkeienCruising around the garden, it is very pretty and very peaceful. A tiny tea plantation and a small bamboo forest stand by the river in the back corner. In fact everything here is a miniature version of many scenic views, the name literally means shrink-scenery garden. There's a big pond in the centre modelled on Xihu (West Lake) in Hangzhou, China, with plenty of carp fish and a type of jumping fish. Shukkeien turtlesLittle islands around the pond are covered in turtles all praying to the sun god. All the animals here appear to be well trained and will approach tourists crossing the rainbow bridge, like Flipper, they put on a real show (probably more than 88 episodes worth).

Words can only begin to describe the beauty. I'm going back again soon to fork out another ¥250 and take some photos! A picture tells a thousand words, so get Flippr! - flickr wallpapers.

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