I walked quite a lot and need a short break right now.
Shortly after 9:30 AM I jumped into the Ginza line. At Ueno I passed the park entry, went behind the pond area und tugged along to Neza station. I took the metro to Sendagi station and left at the Dango slope to walk up the hill to the Kyu Yasuda Tei. The residence was build in 1918 in the old fashioned traditional japanese manner and is open for the public on wednesdays and saturdays. Entrance fee is 500 Yen.
You enter the house by crossing the stonefloored Genkan and leave your shoes and bags at the huge stepping stone behind. A very nice japanese lady (volunteer from the japanese national trust) guided me through the building. She told me the history of the house, about the owners - an old lady lived there until 1994 - her husband died and she could not pay the inheritance tax so had to move out and donored the house to the JNT. The house is wonderfully in shape. She must have cared a lot about it. Even all the tatamis were the original tatamis from 1918. All the Washi paper windows, sliding doors with their stenciled paintings, the wooden beams and frames, ceilings.. It was like a dream. Every room had it's special function I was told: room for waiting for reception, great guestroom, westerized parlor, family room, study, tea room to watch the garden. The kitchen and the bathroom with the cedar wood tub and the toilet were only a little bit westerized, all during the early 1920th. The Kitchen got a gas stove and the bath a shower - one of the first showers in Japan. The good condition of the wooden and bamboo ceilings and wooden floors were amazing. I asked how they clean the wood to keep it in such good shape and they lady told me they use dry cloth towels only, no oil or wax. She told me the house has to be aired out very carefully due to damp summers. We sat a long time in the second floor and watched the garden from out a huge sliding frame window and chatted. They all were very amazed to have a foreign visitor. Seems to be pretty rare for them. The garden is preserved in it's traditional japanese style too. It displays rock formations and a peeble stream running through nicely shaped trees and shrubs. The huge Weeping Sakura tree must look glorious during blossoming season. She showed me a picture.
After 2 h I left (spent some money for the trust) and walked into the Yanaka area which is just opposite, down the hill and up the hill. There are lots of smaller temples and cemeteries and a park to bee seen. Lovely smaller family homes with gated gardens and even persimmon trees can be watched from the quite streets. It is hardly to believe that this living quarter is located in a Megacity. Sadly all the small craftsmen stores were closed. There were Dip-Dyer and Sake brewer ( I guess) stores too.
The entry of the residence:
At the cemeteries you can catch a broom and a wooden water bucket to clean sweep the grave - at our cemeteries you will find legions of green plastic ewers.
Found a temple cat..
At the temple:
After the temple:
Leaving Yanaka I had tonkatsu at a small family restaurant in Nippori, 345 yen.
In Nippori I looked into different stores while strolling down the fabric road. I was tempted by second hand Kimono jackets for 800 yen, but what should I do with these at home.
And I went to Tomato - great collection of fabrics, so great I could not decide and left without buying anything. Some typical stores selling fabrics, buttons, yarn and such.
I have never seen such a small gasoline station, isn't it great the gasoline comes from the ceiling above, see them dangling..
In Nippori I jumped into the JR, went to Ueno, switched to the Ginza line. And that was all for today.