Snow! – Tokyo

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Tokyo Park

After a very satisfying sushi brunch at Tsukiji, I strolled down to the old imperial hunting grounds (Hamarikyu Gardens).  Serene, beautiful and relaxing right in the heart of the Ginza district, Tokyo.

Trees Skyscapers

The bamboo sheathing around the joints of the tree are an ancient technique to prevent wintering bugs from burrowing underneath the bark to escape the cold.

Bamboo Covering

The above is an extremely decorative expression of the bamboo technique.

Trees Ladder

And here is the crew that makes it all happen. Check out the safety ladder!

New Years Eve – Taipei

Well, I had some problems downloading my video from last night, so I took the liberty of copying the best file that had been published on YouTube that was approximately from the same vantage point as me. Thanks, “biolumate”! This was the scene, there were tons of people and the MRT was open all night. World class!

 

Mid-Winter Blooms in Taipei

Even though it has been a relatively cold and wet December here in Taipei, I still visit the Botanical Gardens at least once a week. It’s only a short walk from my home; it is always full of interesting characters to watch; and the landscape is forever subtly changing. I was surprised to see so many small flowers in bloom. Some reminded me of alpine flowers during a Grand Teton summer. Here are some of more interesting things I photographed during my last visit.

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CKS Gate

This (and the Mandarin characters in the blog title) is the Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness at the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Park. I know that I posted some photos of this gate previously, but I was passing by on a particularly beautiful afternoon and admired the clear day with the mountains in the background. My Taipei apartment is only two blocks away from this park, which also includes the Taiwan National Theater and the Taiwan National Concert Hall. The park is 65 acres and landscaped with serene wooded areas and benches, making this a great reading place on a nice day. The huge square in between the two theaters just behind the gate became Taipei’s choice spot for mass gathering immediately after its 1976 opening. Many of the movements that led to modern-day democracy in Taiwan were born on this square.