This was a great surprise. We were looking for a couple of stops to break up the Tokyo to Hiroshima journey. We did a little bit of searching and booked a night in Matsumoto. Unfortunately, all of the other places we looked at for the security be were booked up. So we opted for a second night in Matsumoto and what a good decision that was.
We were picked up from the station by the charming people from our hotel who pointed out the sights of the town. She also mentioned that it was the first night of the blossom festival. This is where the castle is floodlit, with music, food, tea ceremonies and blossom.
...and so on to Tokyo. Tokyo means Eastern capital; in the same way Beijing is northern capital and Nanjing western. Possibly Xian is the western one. Xi is definitely Mandarin for Western, but the rest is guess-work!). Not sure why, given the antipathy between China and Japan, the Japanese allow their capital to be named in relation to the Chinese one... So to WIkipedia: Originally called Edo the city changed its name when it became the imperial capital.... Just an Asian thing then, that the capital city includes the word capital in its name.
Anyway, become the Imperial capital it did and that capital needed a palace to house the Imperial household, which was our first stop (See. what a clever little intro it was!). The gardens, which are the only bits you are allowed to see, are stunning this time of year. A magnificent display of blossom.
Japan may be famous for it's Cherry Blossom but it is fairly impressive here too. Just a week or so ago all was browny/yellow on the ground. the trees were still bare and a dull grey colour.
A week of nice weather, and by nice I mean late teens early twenties, and everything is different.
Another belated Easter travels post (I have been having 'computer issues' of late).
While down in Shanghai we decided we would have a couple of nights in Suzhou. This is one of the many canal towns around Shangers. It's also one of the many places to call itself the 'Venice of the..' (insert geographical location), although Marco Polo thought it was pretty good! It is famed as the centre of Chinese garden design.
It also appears to be THE place to go to have your wedding photies taken.
I have to say that it is a top little (well, its a huge city, but the old town is quite compact) place.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.