Monday, May 7, 2007

Japan: Meiji Gardens

May 2005

Omotesando is a beautiful shopping area with a tree-lined boulevard of classy designer shops and chic restaurants. Even the side and back streets that branch out from it are perfectly kept and the shops and offices aesthetically designed and decorated. It's very pleasant to walk and examine the latest window displays in those super trendy stores, drop by in one of the waffles and ice-cream shops or alfresco cafes, or rummage for some ceramics plates and souvenirs. The boulevard will lead you to the Meiji Gardens and Jingu Shrine, which the Emperor and Empress visit. In the Meiji Gardens, you can see the many famous shrines, relax in the iris garden or walk the forest trails.


This area is fashionable, posh and modern and thoroughly enjoyable to browse around in. Despite the ultra-hip main boulevard, the back streets contain some old-fashioned Japanese restaurants that are very quaint and nostalgic of what you'd imagine Japan to be in the old days. I definitely find this a more pleasant area to walk around in than Ginza. Unfortunately we only spent a few hours there.


I just had to buy these beautiful ceramics. Meanwhile the boys found their treasure...

Samurai swords

They finally gave up when I told them it'll never get through customs...phew.

Meiji Gardens Entrance

It was a lovely spring day, not too hot or cold. Amazing to find such a beautiful and peaceful park in the centre of one of the busiest cities.



My whole family loves animals and as you can see Hubby even pets fish. What do you expect when his favorite TV program is National Geographic?


Not much irises left in the garden.

My sweet boys

Barrels of sake.


Another Mary, with her gothic friend. Guess its not cool to smile huh.

Prada building

This is the gorgeous new Prada building (but why does it look like the quilting on the Chanel bag?). Unfortunately I didn't bother to cross the busy road to check the store out (to hubby's relief) because the boys refused to walk any further and they were waiting for us at a McDonalds'. I recently read a write-up on the building and realised I've missed a lot not going in...


The area is dotted with all the buildings of the major designer houses, each trying to out-do the other.

Dinner delivered in laquerware.

Where else but in Japan do you get dinner delivered to your home in laquerware? The tempura was still light, crispy and almost hot. After eating, the dinnerware have to be washed and properly put in the box provided, and the guy will come on his bike to pick it up. Everybody seems so meticulous and considerate...


The kids had chicken katsu, unagi and the best pan-fried cod roe/caviar (from Tsukiji Market and fried by Daisy). Again we have never tasted any better unagi or cod roe than those.

He ate too much.


hongyi :o) said...

My Archi Theories tutor talked about the Prada building today...she loves it! It's by architect Rem Koolhas, a deconstructivist architect. The dude to designed the famous CCTV Towers in China.

My tutor said, "Why can't people these days just build simple, clean and elegant buildings like this one?!"

So different from my other tutor!

hongyi :o) said...

*The dude who

Terri Hong said...

Tt's b/c ur other tutor doesn't have CLASS. Simple and classy, tt's the Prada building. Not thrash like Fed Sq.

Terri Hong said...

When i first saw the Prada bldg, i wondered y they didn't build it higher since the land in Ginza is so expensive. But then i tried to visualize it taller n it becomes ordinary; just doesn't work. Some things (people too??) look better short!

hongyi :o) said... now what are you impying? Is that last sentense directed at someone, hmmm?

If you wanna visualise how it'd look like HUGE, look at Rem Koolhaas' other works, like this one.

He's famous for designing ginormous structures.

Terri Hong said...

wow. i love his work. but y is he always doing diamond criss crosses?

hongyi :o) said...

hmmm good question
i'll find out next week in tute

Po-chien said...

Home delivery in lacquerware? Impressive. I hope they are still doing this now in Japan. It's much better for our environment than using plastic and polystyrene.

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