Tokyo National Museum and PeoniesMay 2, 2017 in Japan
Looked around the Highlights of Japanese Art exhibition in the Tokyo National Museum with the aid of the very good audio guide (¥500 ~ £3.50). It covers national treasures of the last 12,000 years. Very good, but also quite overwhelming!
I think I may have made an etiquette faux pas as I left the museum. After getting the photo I bought a mango cornetto from a vending machine in the basement (great!) and strolled out into the warm sunshine in the park enjoying it. I'd nearly finished when I had a moment of realisation that couldn't see anyone else eating icecream and that I'd read that it's impolite to eat while walking. Oops. Although there's lots of street food sold I think folk normally sit nearby to eat. Gobble, gone.
Perhaps related I've seen several signs on the pavement saying 'Don't smoke and walk'
Now I may have missed the cherry blossom, but really I'm a peony type of girl, so my timing in Tokyo is perfect, with the flowers in the Peony Garden in Ueno Park in full bloom. It's a lovely snaking walk, with gentle music wafting over the garden. Very peaceful and gently reinvigorating; just what I needed.
The Peony Garden ends at Toshogu Shrine and in its grounds is 'the flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki' which burns with the hope of ending nuclear weapons. The Hiroshima element of this flame was collected from a burning house after the Hiroshima bomb and kept alight since. The Nagasaki element was symbolically created, and added to the Hiroshima flame, by sparking 2 Nagasaki roof tiles together. It's a very, very powerful link to the past.
I have to say it's extremely sobering to be here when the potential use of nuclear weapons in this region is talked of as a possibility. I really can't imagine what that would mean.Read more