the Imperial Palace and the Ministry of Justice

Hi there! I keep walking and walking in Tokyo. It was so much fun to hang out with my dear friend who works at Nagata Cho where all the central politics are carried out. While we were strolling around the area, she informed me very interesting tips of the district. In Japanese there is a saying “If you want to know about rice cakes, go ask a rice cake shop owner.” That means it’s always the best to ask a professional who spends so much time for the work every day.

みなさん、こんにちは。東京散歩は続きます。雨の霞ヶ関を一眼レフのカメラを持って、永田町で働く友人に永田町にまつわるこぼれ話を沢山聴きながら歩きました。「餅は餅屋」という言葉があるように、現場で日々働く人の言葉を聞くということはとても為になります。

This is an old main office of the Ministry of Justice.

法務省旧本館の赤レンガ棟の紹介をします。

It was a German Neo-Baroque Style Architecture built in 1895. Two of German architects, Hermann Gustav Louis Ende and Wilhelm Bockmann employed by the government of Japan in those days designed the basic structures. We went on walking while seeing the classy building on the right and then we reached the Imperial Palace.

これは1895年に竣工した、ドイツ・ネオバロック様式の歴史主義建築です。お雇い外国人のドイツ人、ヘルマン・エンデとヴィルヘルム・ベックマンが基本設計を行いました。右手に法務省を見ながらまっすぐに歩いて、皇居へ出ました。

The moat and a famous gate called Sakurada Mon.

お堀端と桜田門

The Imperial Palace is so spacious and flat. People might think that this place doesn’t look special at all. But you shouldn’t be tricked. In Japan there is a tradition to hide the most valuable treasures into a deep unseen sanctuary. This is the mysterious enigma of Japan also.

皇居はだだっ広くて、本物の秘宝は奥の奥にしまい込まれています。その本当に価値のあるものは大切に隠してしまい込むという行為も、日本的な情緒のなせる技ですね。

We also went around Hibiya Park.

日比谷公園内も歩きました。

Hibiya Park is like an oasis of the metropolis. It is so surprising to see all the trees are trimmed so neatly and everything looks well-balanced. The whole park is like a piece of Bonsai. I think many foreigners have never seen those pine trees with ropes. It is called Yuki Tsuri, protecting the pine branches not to bend over from the heaviness of snow in winter. The very delicate manner is something special of Japanese spirit.

日比谷公園は都会のオアシスで、整然とととのえられた緑は公園自体がまるで一つの盆栽みたいです。松の枝が冬の積雪の重さで折れてしまわないように、雪吊りを施されていました。こういう、心配り目配りが日本の美の本質なのでしょう。

Went passed Hibiya Public Hall  built in 1929. And it’s almost 90 years old. It sure does have an historic value.

日比谷公会堂の脇も通り抜けました。竣工は1929年ということなので、この建物にはおよそ90年の歳月が流れています。

To escape from the coldness, we went to the Imperial Hotel to have a tea time. We were so lucky to see these beautiful girls with kimono as the day was a coming-of-age celebration day. I told them about this Aya’s Cool Japan Blog and took a picture. Yes, the Kimono girls are radiant.

寒さから逃れて帝国ホテルへお茶をしに行きました。ちょうどこの日は成人式で、美しい晴れ着姿のお嬢さん達で賑わっていました。Aya’s Cool Japan Blog を書いて世界に発信しているということを話して、振袖姿の見返り美人達の写真を撮らせて貰いました。

The Imperial Hotel has the top notch customers service. It was very first experience for me to go in to an exit that was equipped with heaters from above to warm up the guests in winter. And at a cafe there, we were served with plates which were warmed up also. The presentation of the herb tea was so beautiful too.

帝国ホテルの正面玄関の天井には電熱ヒーターが取り付けてあって、凍えた体を温めてくれました。また、カフェでは取り皿が温めてあったり、ハーブティーのプレゼンも素晴らしかった。

I was deeply moved by the spirit of OMOTENASHI, or the wonderful hospitality. Yes, Tokyo is such a cool and chic city that thrives in the long history. We should be very proud of the culture in TOKYO!!

これぞ日本が誇るおもてなしの精神だと、いたく感激しました。やはり歴史に裏打ちされた長い栄華を誇る東京という街は、世界に誇れる粋な街ですね。

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