Hamarikyu Gardens on the bank of Sumida-gawa river are well known to Tokyo tourists as they are often visited in conjunction with the must-see Asakusa Senso-ji temple by way of boat taking one between the two places. When my sisters visited me during my first time in Japan we did this boat trip as its a nice escape from all the concrete not that the river is particularly interesting or nice.
I don’t really recall much about the actual gardens from all those years ago so with a late start at work two days ago I decided to re-visit the place to see the cherry blossom (sakura) trees. It was the warmest day of the year and not too crowded. The place comprises gardens, woods and water with the main Sioiri-no-ike pond having seawater flow in and out of it which is the only one of its kind in Tokyo
according to my pamphlet. That kind of fact didn’t impress me but the pond itself did with its couple of islands linked by a few very pleasant bridges. A teashop is situated on the bigger of the islands which serves powdered green tea and a sweet for 500yen but all that seems quite normal to me so I didn’t bother.
Its not often that I view the cherry blossoms once during season but after last Fridays bicycle ride along Kanda River I saw yet more cherry trees in Hamarikyu. They certainly didn’t dominate the place but there were a few of them dotted around the main pond being admired and photographed by the snap-happy Japanese if I can use that (slightly out-of-date) stereotype for a moment.