Today I write a post of gratitude. I would like to express my thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Achiwa of Kodaira city for their hospitality, generosity and tremendous kindness while accommodating me during the UN University's homestay programme this weekend.
So here is a break from the customary walls of text, and instead some interesting photographs from the Kunitachi community centre (Sat 24 Sept.) and the Imperial Palace Gardens and Zojoji Temple today (Sun 25 Sept.).
"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I am here to present my plans to take over the world, so please pay close attention."
I cannot remember what these stilt-things are called, but they are very difficult to use correctly. Here we are treated to a masterful demonstration of the proper way.
The foundation is all that is left of the tallest tower of Edo Castle. Destroyed in a fire in 1657, it was never rebuilt.
From the Tokugawa family mausoleum (note their hollyhock emblem on the gate). Six Tokugawa shoguns are interred here, along with their companions and close relatives. This one belongs to Tokugawa Hidetada, son of Ieyasu (the first shogun, who along with one or two others now resides up at Nikko), and Hidetada's companion.
And to finish, some endearing and dignified Jizo: