Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tsukijima

Day 15 (-16)
It is not only Russia that has great station art. This is Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station and the walls are all done with flattened metal work. It is stunning in effect and fascinating in the detail.




Today we explored the Kiyosumi garden and the Fukugawa Edo Museum. Along the approach street were half a dozen or more 'dolls' made with kimono and plastic bag heads; Perhaps part of some activity at the weekend. This is the same street where months ago I came across children's games activities set up.
The Museum is built like a small village with a cycle of lighting and effects that follow a day with sunrise, rooster crow, a cat meows on the roof, rain falls and the evening sets in with the fire warden calling for people to be careful of fires at night.
After lunch at the garden we went on down to Tsukishima which literally means 'moon Island" and is man-made just across from Tsukiji fish market. Though the area is modern some of the backs streets still retain some old world charm.The canal has fishing boats moored there and a new old style red bridge crosses the canal.
Fishing in the area dates from 1600 and before, when fishermen came from the Kansai district to supply fish to the Ieyasu Shogunate with the move of the Japan capital to Edo from Kyoto. Story has it some were granted fishing rights in exchange for reporting on activity in Tokyo bay. The Shogunate wanted premium fish, sea bream, carp, flounder and icefish. More common varieties were not for them!
Also it was estimated that the 18th Century Edo population exceeded 1,000,000 with the male population 1.5 times that of women. Many were unmarried so there was a huge group of men wanting food, and thus developed the pattern of small restaurants with a few dishes, setting up everywhere.
With fish being the most popular protein the range and style of fish is enormous in japan
In keeping with this Japanese trend we had dinner at the Sushi train in Meguro, and walked home so we could stop and get some mosquito repellent What we really wanted was one of these gadgets we saw on the gardener at Kiyosumi. Just as I asked what it was we saw the fumes drifting up from it.
Blogger refuses to load the picture so I will try another time. If you squint (or click on this picture) you can see the gadget on the backs of these women at the garden yesterday.

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