Tokyo Snow-asis

On Monday night of this week, it began to snow in Tokyo. By Tuesday morning (Jan. 24), it was four centimeters deep on the ground, and the TV news was describing it as the biggest accumulation Japan’s capital had seen in four years. Hoping to get a few nice nice photos while the snow was fresh, I made a beeline for the Koishikawa Korakuen garden, which as you can see from the above photo is right next to the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium.

The 70,847-square-meter garden (originally much larger) was built by a branch of the Tokugawa family nearly 400 years ago, so Tokyo Dome wasn’t always part of the view. (Click on the picture of the sign at right to read a brief official history.) The buildings below are probably closer to what you would have seen when the Korakuen was new:

There are parts of the garden where modern Tokyo cannot be ignored:

And there are parts where you might forget that you are in a city at all:

Now, nearly a week later, there are still a few scattered patches of dirty ice here and there in Tokyo’s more shaded nooks, but it was melting rapidly even on the morning I took these pictures. In fact, in this video you can actually hear the melting snow dropping from the trees:

A word of warning about that video, by the way: There’s no plot, and nothing happens. It’s just a view.

To view Korakuen in person, exit Korakuen subway station on the Tokyo Dome side, look for this wall to the right of the dome, and follow it a few hundred meters to the entrance

Admission is 300 yen. Official English details here.

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