Oct 22, 2012

48景 赤坂桐畑 View 48 The Paulownia Garden at Akasaka


Along with View 49, this is also Akasaka.
In the time of Edo, there was a big, gourd-shaped pond called Tameike, which  stretched from Akasaka  to Toranomon.
Around 1716-36, many Paulownia trees were planted to protect the west bank of Tameike, and people started to call the area the Paulownia Garden. 


Hiroshige is standing in the trees and looking southeast.


The hill on the left is Sannodai.  A big shrine, Hie Jinja is on the hilltop.
The shrine holds Sanno Festival, one of the three most famous festivals in Edo.
(Hiroshige depicted the scene in View 66.)


I went to the Hie Shrine.

The hill Sannodai doesn't look so high compared to all those tall buildings surrounding it.  
Instead of the broad staircase (and they have an escalator if you like),  I prefer climbing up...


 these narrow steps under red Torii. 

It's like a red tunnel. 

It's not so hard (when you compare it with Fushimi Inari, it's nothing.)  


This is Shinmon, the entrance gate.
You are welcomed by a lot of sake barrels offered by the breweries.


This is the main Shrine.


Monkeys are the messengers of the Hie Shrine.
お父さん father monkey

子供を抱いたお母さん mother with a baby


I was there on a rainy day and it was very, very quiet.


But when I was there two years ago, a lot of people were there to celebrate Shichigosan. (It is a celebration of their children's growth at the age of seven, five and three.)


Anyway, back to Hiroshige.
As I wrote in my previous post, Tameike was buried in the Meiji period and now became Sotobori Street.
I walked along Sotobori Street and looked for the right location; where the street curves like Hiroshige's pond and where I can see Sannodai hill across the street. 


The hill was behind the building, but I could see the front trees of the shrine.  And the street curved like Hiroshige's pond.


I think this is the right location.
But then, a problem.
It's missing the tree in the center.


I walked back a little toward Akasaka Mitsuke.
Well, what do you think of this photo?


Well, these bicycles!(>_<)

But I've decided this is the photo for today. (^_^)v

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ


Rurousha said...

I love your determination to find a modern photo as near as possible to the original print. ^^

Were there any suspicious guards around this time, glaring at the strange woman with her map and camera? ;)

Inari! Yay! Red torii! No foxes at the main shrine, but that's OK, the monkeys are cute.

PS: Hie Jinja is one of my favourites.

Merry Witch said...

Yes, you can laugh at me! Such a silly determination!(^o^)

I love going under a red torii tunnel. Wherever I see it, I have to go through it. The air feels different, don't you think?

Minoru Saito said...


Merry Witch said...

Minoru Saito さま
「魔去る」で「まさる」?なるほど!それで「さる」なんですね。そんな愛称があったなんて知りませんでした。 (^o^)


Tall Gary said...

I have to smile again at how close you capture with your photo at the bottom the similar (still, after 156 years) view of Hiroshige’s print.

It was serendipitous that you visited on a rainy day. Henry Smith said of the sky,“The sky above, suggesting the aftermath of a passing thundershower...”

I loved Minoru’s comment above about the nickname of the monkey being Masaru-kun. We think of saru as “monkey” but masaru, as he mentioned, can be written in kanji that means something like “to drive off evil spirits.” I am fond of puns.

I like the bicycles. They help form a curved line all the way from the taxi cab. The blue bus gives us a little Tameike-water color.

Really nice.

Merry Witch said...

Tall Gary,

Oh, Henry Smith said this is after the thundershower?? Then, it was good that I was there on a rainy day.

And thank you for your comment about bicycles and the blue bus. It made me feel better about the photo.

Also it was nice of you to put Minoru's comment to English.

Thank you! You are so kind! (^o^)

Anonymous said...

fter study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

Tall Gary said...

If Hiroshige can have stray dogs in his prints (or foxes if Rurousha reads this), I think it is perfectly fine for you to have stray bicycles. Also we can get a better sense of the variety of human activity in your scene.

Merry Witch said...

Tall Gary
That's right! Hiroshige's prints were not just about the scenery. He was showing a lot of human activities (and stray foxes...I gave in to Rurousha(^^)).

Then, why should I not include them?
Thank you for a great suggestion! \(^o^)/

Tall Gary said...

(How did you learn a three-word idiom like ”give in to” and use it perfectly? Were you an exchange student? Did you live in an-English speaking country for a long time? Simply have a love of English? All three? None?)

Merry Witch said...

Tall Gary,
I'm so flattered!\(^o^)/

1)was an exchange student in high school 2)lived in the US for about three years 3) do love English

Still, it's difficult. I make many mistakes and use odd expressions. Please forgive that, with your big heart. (^^)

Thank you!

Merry Witch said...

Thank you very much for leaving a comment! I would like to visit your site, but don't know where to.
Thanks anyway.(^^)

キャラメル said...


Merry Witch said...



Tall Gary said...

Don’t worry about your English. Whenever you do make the quite rare mistake it gives your English writing a hint of a charming foreign accent. Your few mistakes are just enough so that we can sometimes see your Japanese heart peeking out.

Your skill and fluency in English is something that you can be proud of.

Merry Witch said...

Tall Gary,
Thank you for your kind words. I feel very encouraged. (^o^)

Rurousha said...


犬は外! 狐は内! (^0^)

Merry Witch said...

Hooray for foxes! \(^o^)/