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    CNN tells all (紅葉の下での挿話)

    Today, we’re doing the yin-yang contrast thing.

    Tokyo, you see, is a vertical city. Full of concrete and glass. It can get awful stressful! But…but…there are pockets of escape in Tokyo’s gardens. Requisite in these gardens is a Japanese maple tree (shown–can you guess?–with red leaves filtering the sunlight. Hey, stop kvetching, you cynical rabble-rousers! At least they remembered it’s not cherry blossom season). Some Japanese guy is shown saying that the Japanese feel relaxed and refreshed when they’re around nature, which as we all know is unique among world cultures.

    What goes discreetly unmentioned, of course, is that Tokyo wouldn’t have to call every tuft of grass poking up between two sidewalk bricks a “restful out-of-the-way garden” if the city weren’t so relentlessly grey and neon and overhead-wired. As does the specific dearth of tree-lined boulevards that are the hallmark of just about every other world city. It’s a shame we couldn’t work in a shot of Mt. Fuji’s looming snow-capped bulk (nature!) through which a bullet train glides across the foreground, since someone somewhere might figure out that that’s not Tokyo. I’m sure there’s still time, though.

    6 Responses to “CNN tells all (紅葉の下での挿話)”

    1. John says:

      But there’s a tree-lined boulevard in Omote Sando, dude. You mean the rest of Tokyo doesn’t look like that?

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Everywhere else in Tokyo looks exactly like that, which is why we all stand around gaping up through the canopy whenever we drop by to get something at Hanae Mori.

    3. Sean Kinsell says:

      No, that’s not an area I’ve spent much time in. I’ve been lucky for the last several years to live close-ish to the Meiji Shrine and, now, to Kinuta Park, neither of which is intimate and out of the way but each of which has a fair amount of green.

    4. John says:

      I must say that there are some really great, unnoticed little parks in odd places amidst the sprawl, though. Umegaoka, a few stops down from Shimo Kitazawa is wonderful. Ever been there for the Ume Matsuri?

    5. John says:

      If you get a chance in late February, take a gander at the Matsuri. The ume bonsai contest is pretty cool. If the weather’s clear you can se Fujiyama from the top of the hill.

    6. Sean Kinsell says:

      I’ll have to look. Thanks for the rec. I know everyone says this, but it’s ridiculous how many of the genuinely fun touristy things I’ve not gotten around to doing in eight years of living here.