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Monday, 31 August 2015

Kew Gardens

To celebrate sending Issue #2 of Love Japan magazine to print, Emily and I decided to visit the famous Kew Gardens in west London yesterday. Of course we were mostly there to see the Japanese garden and its ten-storey pagoda but the whole gardens were amazing.

There was just so much to see and so much that appealed to me, as well as the Japanese bits: trees, a treetop trail, wood carvings, giant greenhouses, ponds, bridges, bamboo – it was literally the perfect day out for me! Aside from the fact that the weather was really quite dull, we did have a lovely day and I would highly recommend the gardens. I can’t wait to go back again on a sunny day!

The pagoda is about to go through some big regeneration work but it still looks impressive.
Certainly the most authentic Japanese gardens that I’ve seen outside of Japan.
Typically Japanese stone lantern.
And another with a little water feature.
A gatehouse-style structure inspired by a real part of a temple in Kyoto.
Great architectural details.
Raked gravel – an essential in any Japanese garden.
At the top of a giant greenhouse – very warm.
More typical garden spaces.
In the lily pad house.
Looking up at the treetop trail. Scared? Not one bit!
I love being up in the trees.
Minka house – sort of Japanese (a bit like a gasshō house).
Emily taking lots of photographs (on a real camera unlike me with my iPhone).
I love wood carvings.
I did some climbing. My balance is pretty good but I didn’t attempt every single log.
Learning which tree/wood is which.
Emily and I always seem to find peacocks.
The centre of a giant redwood…
…and this would be the width of it.
HUGE!
And just a final reminder of what the pagoda looks like.

Friday, 21 August 2015

GIFs of Japan

Japanese artist Toyoi Yuuta creates 8-bit GIF images that depict melancholic and surreal scenes of life in Japan. They are really oddly beautiful – making me nostalgic not only for Gameboy games but also for Japan in general!