Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
1 Naitomachi, Shinjuku,
Tokyo 160-0014, Japan
09:00 – 16:00 Daily except holidays
Shinjuku Gyoen is a calm oasis in Tokyo’s bustling in Shinjuku. Definitely worth a visit as it was originally an imperial garden for Lord Naito -, a “daimyo”(feudal lord). Strolling through, you can experience the lovely landscaping that translates the earths peace into your body. A rare occurrence without traveling far outside of major cities! Cherry blossoms and rhododendrons in spring and chrysanthemums abound in summer.
Shinjuku Gyoen is considered to be one of the most important gardens from the Meiji era. It shows the expansion of knowledge and culture as it divides into three main areas: a French formal garden, an English landscape garden and a Japanese Traditional Garden.
(81) 36. 427.9238
Fuji Building, 2-23-8 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0011, Japan
18:00 – 24:00 Monday – Saturdays
Close to Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, one finds Washoku Nada, a gem of a neighborhood restaurant. Yoko Araki opened Washoku Nada in 2009 after training at the Honke-Owariya soba restaurant in Kyoto, along with her brother, chef Tetsuya Araki (who also trained in Kyoto).
Washoku is the term for traditional Japanese Food and is recognized by UNESCO as an “intangible way of life” that helps define the island population. The 4 key elements present are:
1. Ingredients: rice, vegetables, mushrooms, fish, sea dwellers and seaweed
2. Culinary approach: raw, steaming, boiling or stewing
3. Nutritional content: balanced nutrients seen in the many dishes being offered
4. Hospitality: in the full sense of the experience and how it effects your life
The Hospitality above is a much more total concept then what may come to a typical western thought on the subject. One should include Yoko Araki’s background, as it is present in every detail. From the artfully displayed dishes to the carefully paired ceramics and cloths that accompany each dish. Each dish that is made lovingly and with a wholesome deliciousness that you feel in your soul.
above photo – owner Yoko Araki, with chef Tetsuya Araki © Tokyo calendar
Reiyukai Shakaden Temple
1-7-8 Azabudai Minato
Tokyo 06-0041, Japan
One can count the space age the black star temple of Reiyukai Shakaden Temple among the many places in Tokyo that seem straight out of a Science Fiction movie!
Completed in 1975, this red and black granite complex sheathed in electrochemically coloured black-steel shingles, is home to the Buddhist sect Reiyūkai (霊友会 Spiritual-Friendship). Reiyūkai emerged as an offshoot of Buddhism in 1925 by Kakutarō Kubo and Kimi Kotani, focusing on ancestral worship without a priesthood.
The temple is open to explore and consists of: the Main Hall, the Plaza, the Kotani Hall, various conference rooms, a cafeteria, a child care room, and a nurse’s office.
In Japanese, “Shakaden” means the “House of Shakyamuni.” It is a place where anyone can seek to further practice the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra.
Note: As this is an active Temple, no photo are allowed in the expansive interior.