Thursday, July 1, 2010

Arakogawa Kouen (Arakogawa Park)

Yesterday I went to the Aichi Arts Center and saw an amazing exhibit of some traditional Japanese silk paintings, but there was no photography allowed. And the woman at the ticket booth made me pay full price because she didn't believe I was a high school student. What a b----. But if you want to see some amazing paintings Google Watanabe Kazan, or for some really vivid woodblock prints look up Kawase Hasui.

Most of the pieces in the exhibit were of nature, and if not nature, they ere portraits. It seems that everything in Japan is full of and surrounded by nature. Even here in Nagoya, a port city that earned 70% of Japan's trade surplus in 2003 and whose automotive industry is comparable to Detroit, there are trees and parks everywhere you turn. When I walk out of my house I can see a park down the road, and there is another park about a mile away. These parks aren't the playground kind of park either (although they have those too), these parks have things like traditional Japanese gardens and castles in them.

Arakogawa Kouen is about a mile away from house. The journey to the park isn't exactly the most scenic route, but it's interesting.

My house (the kanji by the mailbox reads 'Itani') My entire family loves gardening, so there are flowers and plants everywhere. My host dad even has a farm alittle ways away where he grow potatoes, onions, bitter melon, and everything else that you could possibly imagine. We eat a lot of vegetables for dinner.

The neighbors: one side is a parking lot, in front of the house is some sort of industrial building that is always unloading or loading something from a huge truck and a lady speaks a lot over the intercom, and on the other side we have these:

The pachinko place and the baby store right by my house. I feel like these two buildings shouldn't be right next to each other, but I guess this way they don't have to compete for customers. I hope.
The streets in Japan (if they're not major) are so narrow that two cars could not fit together side by side. It's a good thing that the cars in Japan are small, or I, and anyone else, who walked on the side of the road when there wasn't a sidewalk would be dead. Also, the streets here do't have names, certain areas have names, and in those areas are different blocks. It is really confusing.

Weird cartoon characters on the kindergarten wall. I think I'm actually watching this cartoon right now.

A sign for Arakogawa Park Garden Plaza. There's a fork in the path at one point where one way will lead you back to the road that crosses over the park, and the other way will lead you into a traditional Japanese garden that is absolutely amazing. I think that's the garden plaza, but I'm not positive because there are flowers and gardens everywhere in the park.

The trees hanging over the path all have cherry blossoms on them in the spring. I can't even imagine what that would look like.

The picture isn't great because my camera isn't great, but these are all lavender plants. the Japanese are really into their foliage, and right now it's all about lavender and 'ajisai,' or hydrangeas. The only downfall of this area of the park is that there are enormous bees attracted t all of the plants.

Bridge over Arakogawa (Arako River). there are four or five bridges, but this is the only bridge that's really elevated so that you can see a lot. Also, it seems that all of the bridges in Japan have the same design on the railings. The vertical poles of the railing are twisted ninety degrees so that there's a wave pattern in the railing.

Bridge and Arakogawa from another bridge. The first time I ran across this bridge I had a terrible urge to jump in the river. That urge quickly passed when I saw two enormous fish swimming by. There are birds that like to sun themselves on the trash barrier, turtles that pop up every now and then, ducks that swim around, and huge fish that swim around. Every day there are at least two old Japanese men who have parked their bikes and are fishing off the edge of the river.
There's also a group of old people playing croquet every day and it is absolutely adorable.


hokgardner said...

Great pictures. Ella and I are enjoying reading about your adventures.

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