Looking out of the window of my hotel in Minato, there was a pond behind the building. It took a while to work out what it was but, on the weekend, it was easier to see. This is a fishing pond. It is in between all of the hotels and, even on a hot and steamy day, there were plenty of people fishing. I don’t know what the pond was stocked with and what the rules are once you catch something but I was more taken that this existed at all.
Cities are bustling places but old cities tend to have an advantage over newer ones and that is decent park spaces. When modern cities develop, all the land is valuable and there is a problem with preserving space. Older cities dealt with the preservation of space a long time ago and Tokyo is no exception. I got off the train at Shibuya and was walking up to Shinjuku. I went past some of the buildings from the ’64 Olympics and in to Yoyogi Park. On a Sunday morning, it was a really pleasant place to be.
In common with most of my trip, even first thing in the morning it was very hot and humid. Being close to the ponds and fountains provided a bit of relief although only a bit. Walking through the trees at least kept me out of the sun and that was a welcome break from the warmth. There were trails around the park that were getting plenty of use, some of the open spaces were being used for exercises by groups and individuals and some people were just sleeping.
I had hoped to walk all the way through the park up to Shinjuku but the area where the National Olympic Youth Center and the Meiji Jingu Shrine were meant the top area was blocked off the way I went so I had to divert out on to the street to continue my trek.
Exploring the grounds of Chatsworth House took us to places we had not seen on previous visits. Even if you exclude the majority of the estate and just focus on the organized garden areas, there are so many parts to see that it is easy to overlook them. This is why, despite having been to Chatsworth on a number of occasions, this time I saw areas that I had not seen before. One of these was the Grotto Pond.
Because this area is one of the furthest away from the main house, the number of people making their way that far out is pretty small. It is not deserted by any means but it is pretty quiet. This is ideal given how tranquil the setting is. It was very easy to just stand and look. Given how far out in the country you are, there isn’t much background noise so you can let your mind wander…