After more than six weeks’ free time dedicated exclusively to furnishing our new flat, punctuated only by brief visits to the temple grounds and their surroundings in our neighborhood, we finally did another bit of Tokyo sightseeing. This time we were headed towards the port district, a convenient subway ride on the Ginza line (which has a stop 5 minutes from our house) away. Since we felt like seeing a bit of green for a change, we went to see the famous Edo period Hama-rikyu landscape gardens.
But before getting to the green, we were dazzled by the modern skyscraper landscape of the Shiodome area, which on a nice day certainly would warrant a visit with the wide angle lens.
The gardens greeted us with a yellow rapeseed field, right after which one arrives at the Ume (plum) Orchard, which is in its prime at this season. I had to admit that the plum blossoms there looked somehow a lot nicer than ordinary plum blossoms.
Further on, one reaches the mouth of the Sumida river, where it enters Tokyo Bay. The garden has big tidal salt water ponds, full of exotic (well, here they’re not exotic) looking ducks which utter funny fluting sounds instead of quacks.
In the middle of a big pond, there is a tea house, built after its original pattern. We were tempted to go, but there was no time! Having seen that there was a stop of the Sumida river water bus which goes to Asakusa right in the gardens, we had taken a sudden fancy for a river cruise. Now we had to hurry back to catch our boat!
We went past the former duck hunting grounds (duck hunting having been a great hobby with feudal lords) and a bit of woodland to get to the boat stop. When the boat arrived, it was very crowded. The next (and only) stop of the boat is Odaiba, an artificial island in Tokyo bay, connected to downtown by the famous Rainbow Bridge.
Also Odaiba itself is certainly worth visiting, and I bet it’s great for night shots of the illuminated bridge. Here, luckily, nearly everyone got off and we found window seats. From there on, we went up river, passing countless bridges. It was a very pleasant ride. Since the day was a bit fresh, we were happy to be behind the panoramic glass. After 45 minutes, we were back in Asakusa. Visiting the Hama-rikyu gardens and going back by boat makes a wonderful afternoon trip.