Gōtokuji Temple: a monument to the 1000 cats

The most famous cat in the world is perhaps the Maneki-neko, or the cat-shaped figurine with a raised paw that comes directly from Japan.

However, few people know that the alleged origin of this statuette comes from a Japanese temple: the Gōtokuji Temple.

The Gōtokuji temple

Located within the Setagaya district, one of the residential areas of Tokyo, it is not well known by general tourists and is rarely visited by them. However, in our opinion this is an unmissable destination for all Japan lovers.

The Gōtokuji temple is an unmissable destination for all cat lovers precisely because it houses several thousand Maneki-Neko figurines of various sizes.

The history of Gōtokuji Temple

Gōtokuji Temple is a well-preserved feudal cemetery from the Edo era. This makes it one of the most iconic National Historic Landmarks in the area.

Legend has it that Naotaka, the lord of Hikone, was invited into the temple by a cat who beckoned him with its paw. Suddenly a storm broke out and the lord was impressed by the luck that the cat brought him at just the right time. This pushed him to help with the restoration work on the temple, completed in 1633.

Gōtokuji

Subsequently, the Shofuku-den was built as part of the temple to house the lucky cat, hence giving it the name “Maneki-neko”. From then on, many people visit Shofuku-den to pray for well-being, prosperity, luck and happiness.

You can find the famous and numerous cat statues of all sizes in one corner of the temple.

The cemetery and history

Inside the temple there is a cemetery that belongs to the Naotaka clan, who made the temple his best-known legacy. The cemetery is also home to many famous Japanese figures, including karate master Oyama Masutatsu and several Prime Ministers.

Furthermore, in the temple you can also find beautiful gardens that offer a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

Gōtokuji

The symbolism behind the Maneki-neko

The Maneki-neko is one of the most beloved Japanese symbols in the West. However, the statue is not directly a bringer of happiness, but gives the possibility of establishing bonds with certain people. The final result depends entirely on your own efforts.

The message behind Maneki-neko is that if you live in constant gratitude, luck and happiness will come spontaneously.


I 7 giardini giapponesi più belli di Tokyo

Oasis of peace

Normally when we think of the word "city" images of streets, houses, buildings, skyscrapers, chaos, traffic come to mind and we hardly imagine large green parks. Sometimes this is a big mistake because many cities instead hide oases of tranquility right in the heart of their liveliness. Tokyo is an example of this: numerous nihon teien (Japanese gardens) make the metropolis a small paradise of serenity!

Garden design is an important Japanese art form that has part of its roots in Zen Buddhism: the spirituality of natural elements such as ponds and stones blends with the hospitality of the scenic component thanks to the water bowls and tea houses.

Each garden has a different purpose, but the underlying concept is always one: finding solitude as an essential element of inner peace and admiring the succession of the four seasons. Let's now try to visit 7 of them, the most beautiful to immerse ourselves in a harmony of colors that only nature can give us.

Photo Credits: flickr.com

1- Koishikawa Korakuen

Located near Iidabashi Station, this garden is a living work of art: designed according to the principle of “miniaturization” that seeks to recreate landscapes on a smaller scale, this extraordinary space includes hills, valleys, ponds and streams. “Daisensui”, the central lake, reflects the sky and the surrounding cherry trees; the red “Engetsukyo”, the “full moon bridge”, offers a breathtaking view of the entire garden

Photo Credits: flickr.com

2- Rikugien

Located in the Bunkyo neighborhood, it is one of the few remaining gardens from the Edo era. The name “Rikugien” means “garden of the six principles,” referring to the six schools of Japanese poetry that inspire its design. During spring, the cherry blossoms create a breathtaking sight, while in autumn the leaves change color, transforming the garden into a palette of red, yellow and orange hues.

Photo Credits: flickr.com

3- Hamarikyu Gardens

Located near Tokyo Bay. the garden is designed in the "kaiyu-shiki teien" style, a type of Japanese garden that includes a circular path around a central pond "Shioiri", which is connected to Tokyo Bay and is subject to the tides and the small tea pavilion Nakajima-no-Ochaya, located on an island in the pond. On the wooden bridge you can enjoy a spectacular view of the garden and modern urban architecture.

Photo Credits: flickr.com

4- Shinjuku Gyoen

This garden is an oasis of tranquility in the busy Shinjuku district. It offers a wide range of landscapes, including traditional Japanese gardens, Western (English and French) landscape gardens and large expanses of lawns.

Photo Credits: flickr.com

5- Gardens of the Imperial Palace

Also known as East Gardens, the gardens surrounding the Imperial Palace are open to the public year-round and offer a vision of well-tended nature in the heart of Tokyo

Photo Credits: flickr.com

6- Kiyosumi Teien

Located in the Kiyosumi neighborhood, this garden is known for its serene beauty and unique features, including an artificial waterfall and a koi pond surrounded by stones collected throughout Japan by the founder of Mitsubishi Iwasaki Yataro. Several “isowatari”, large stepping stones, are positioned in the shallower parts of the pond where it is possible to admire the reflections of the trees on the water.

Photo Credits: flickr.com

7- Nezu Museum Garden

The garden was created together with the museum in 1940 by art collector Nezu Kaichirō, Jr. as one of Tokyo's major cultural institutions. the Nezu Museum and its garden offer a reflection of Japanese history and culture.

Photo Credits: flickr.com

Exploring these gardens is a wonderful way to discover the beauty and tranquility that are hidden among the skyscrapers and crowded streets of Tokyo: we always suggest you look around because hidden pearls often require attention to be discovered, but you won't you will certainly regret it! Enjoy a peaceful and refreshing escape from the chaos of urban life.


Yamanote Line: 10 segreti e curiosità da scoprire

Yamanote Line: Ieri e oggi, un destino imprescindibile

Si lo so, quando si parla di storia qualcuno potrebbe storcere il naso e pensare che sarà noioso quello che stiamo per dire, ma abbiate fiducia in noi e continuate a leggere…

La Yamanote Line di Tokyo è una delle linee ferroviarie più importanti e trafficate della città.

Fu aperta nel 1885 dalla società ferroviaria privata Nippon Railway Company. Originariamente, la linea faceva il giro intorno al centro di Tokyo, collegando le principali stazioni ferroviarie della città ed era conosciuta anche come “La via della seta”. Nel corso degli anni, la linea subì diverse estensioni e modifiche per soddisfare la crescente domanda di trasporto nella capitale giapponese diventando un pilastro del trasporto pubblico di Tokyo, giocando un ruolo vitale nel collegare le diverse aree della metropoli.

yamanote

Photo Credits: https://www.gov-online.go.jp/

Oggi, la Yamanote Line è gestita dalla East Japan Railway Company (JR East) e continua a essere una delle linee ferroviarie più affollate del mondo, trasportando milioni di passeggeri ogni giorno attraverso i quartieri più importanti di Tokyo, come Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro e Ueno. La Yamanote Line è diventata un'icona della vita quotidiana a Tokyo e uno dei simboli del sistema ferroviario giapponese altamente efficiente e affidabile.

Yamanote Line: Segreti e Curiosità

Grazie alla Yamanote Line è possibile raggiungere 30 quartieri di Tokyo ed è un vero e proprio tesoro di segreti e curiosità! Saliamo a bordo e scopriamo insieme 10 tappe imperdibili!

Photo Credits: flickr.com

1 - Shin-Okubo

Questa stazione è nota come la "piccola Corea" di Tokyo, con una vasta gamma di negozi, ristoranti e caffè che offrono cibo e cultura coreana.

2 - Meguro River Cherry Blossoms

Durante la stagione dei fiori di ciliegio, il tratto del fiume Meguro vicino all’omonima stazione si trasforma in un paradiso di petali rosa.

3 - Nishi-Nippori Yanaka Ginza

Questa piccola via commerciale vicino a Nishi-Nippori è un'oasi di negozi tradizionali e ristoranti rustici che offrono una prospettiva autentica della vita quotidiana a Tokyo.

4 - Sugamo

Conosciuto come il "Harajuku per anziani", Sugamo è popolare tra gli anziani per i suoi negozi che vendono prodotti tradizionali giapponesi e per il tempio Koganji, famoso per la sua pietra della fortuna rossa.

5 - Yūrakuchō Gado-shita

Sotto le tracce della Yamanote a Yūrakuchō si trova un labirinto di piccoli bar e ristoranti chiamato "Gado-shita", che offre un'atmosfera unica e vivace.

6 - Akihabara

Nota come la mecca della cultura otaku, Akihabara è piena di negozi di anime, manga, elettronica e caffè a tema.

7 - Komagome

Questo quartiere è famoso per il giardino Rikugien, uno dei più belli di Tokyo, che offre paesaggi incantevoli in ogni stagione.

8 - Shibuya Crossing View from Starbucks

Mentre Shibuya Crossing è un punto caldo per i turisti, pochi sanno che il Starbucks vicino alla stazione offre una vista panoramica perfetta per osservare il caos urbano di Tokyo dall'alto.

9 - Iidabashi e Koishikawa Korakuen

Questa stazione è vicina al bellissimo giardino giapponese di Koishikawa Korakuen, un'oasi di tranquillità nel cuore di Tokyo.

10 - Meiji Shrine Gyoen

Non lontano dalla stazione di Harajuku, il vasto parco intorno al Santuario Meiji è un luogo ideale per una passeggiata rilassante lontano dal trambusto della città.

yamanotePhoto Credits: flickr.com

Che dite, saliamo a bordo della prossima fermata e andiamo insieme alla scoperta di nuovi luoghi?


Dieci cose che non si sanno su Hachiko

Everyone, absolutely everyone, knows the story of the faithful Hachiko, the dog who in the 1930s moved hearts all over the world with his profound loyalty, but not everyone knows some details about this sweet dog whose symbolic statue stands in Shibuya.

10 things you don't know about Hachiko

Author: Sara< /p>

photo credits: lastampa.it< /em>

1- The Origins

The beautiful Akita-inu was born in 1923 in Odate in Akita prefecture (from which the name of the breed derives, "Akita dog") and was purchased by the scientist Hidesaburo Ueno who called him Hachi, "8". Right in Odate, in front of the station, there is another statue of Hachi, a shrine and the Akitainu Hozonkai museum.

photo credits: keblog.it

2- Love that overcomes wickedness

When Ueno died in 1925, Hachi found new accommodation with the scientist's former gardener, Kikuzaburo Kobayashi in Tomigaya, not far from Shibuya. Every day the faithful dog went to Shibuya station to await Ueno's return, but for 10 years this "walk" was not always peaceful: Hachiko was mistreated and beaten several times by pedestrians, children and people lacking any humanity . Shameful, isn't it?

photo credits: greenme.it

3- Hachi becomes Hachiko

In 1932, the president of Nihon Ken Hozonkai, an association for the conservation of the Japanese dog, Hirokichi Saito learned of Hachi's story and wrote an article recounting the vicissitudes and mistreatment suffered by this faithful dog, quickly transforming him into a symbol. It was at this point that the suffix “ko” was added to Hachi's name to show respect for her devotion and loyalty.

photo credits: hotcorn.com

4- The honorary statue

Teru Ando, an acquaintance of Saito, sculpted the famous statue of Hachiko (while the dog was still alive!) which was inaugurated in 1934. Before this happened numerous scammers attempted to extract money by claiming to be the creators of the statue! There really is never a limit to human greed...

photo credits: japantravel.com

5- The Fusion of the Statues

World War II spared nothing, not even the Hachiko statues. The metal with which they were built had to be used "for the good of the war" and therefore they were melted down.
At the end of the Pacific War, Ando's son Takeshi built the current statue in Shibuya. The one at Odate station was also rebuilt in 1967.

photo credits: animalpedia.it

6- Hachiko and Ueno together forever

Up to now we have always talked about the statues dedicated to the puppy, but there is another, beautiful one, which brings together Hachiko and her owner. It was built 80 years after Hachiko's death, when the University of Tokyo decided to pay homage to the two protagonists of the sad story. Thanks to donations from individuals and companies, over 10 million yen made the reunion between the dog and his owner possible. Today the statue stands on the University of Tokyo campus, right next to Ueno Park.

photo credits: womanuntamed.com

7- A fascinating cemetery

I believe I am among the few who love visiting cemeteries and that of Aoyama, dating back to 1872, is certainly among the most beautiful: near the Gaienmae and Aoyama Itchome stations, it extends as if it were an immense park and is home to numerous famous people whose tombstones rise revealing a unique architecture. Of course Ueno lies right here and next to his grave there is a monument erected immediately after Hachiko's death in 1935.

photo credits: wikimedia.org

8- Between the macabre and science

I would define this point as almost disgusting, but if you have the courage (and stomach) of iron then know that it is possible to observe Hachiko's internal organs preserved in sample bottles at the archive museum of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Tokyo, near at Ueno Park. Various autopsies carried out between 1935 and 2010 had found infestations with parasitic diseases and, finally, cancer, the true cause of Hachi's death. At the National Museum of Nature and Science there is also a taxidermied Hachiko with the dog's original fur......

photo credits: timeout.com

9- The Protectors of Tokyo

In Ueno park there is also the statue of the samurai Saigo Takamori with his faithful Tsun. Tsun and Hachiko soon became a symbol for the Japanese and declared the "protectors of Tokyo and the Japanese economy".

photo credits: ilgiornale.it

10- Richard Gere as Ueno?

I'm sure that everyone (or almost everyone) has seen the film “Hachiko - Your Best Friend” (Original title: “Hachi: A Dog's Tale”), but have you stopped to think that this 2009 film is set in the United States? The story is still heartbreaking and beautiful, but it fails to bring Japanese culture to light as the original 1987 film, “Hachiko Monogatari” manages to do.


Ten things you don't know about Hachiko

Everyone, but really everyone, knows the story of the faithful Hachiko, the dog that in the 30's moved the hearts of the whole world for his deep fidelity, but not everyone knows some details about this sweet dog whose symbolic statue stands in Shibuya.

10 things you don't know about Hachiko

Author: Sara

photo credits: lastampa.it

1- The Origins

The beautiful Akita-inu was born in 1923 in Odate in Akita Prefecture (hence the breed name, "Akita dog") and was purchased by the scientist Hidesaburo Ueno who named him Hachi, "8". Right in Odate, in front of the station, there is another statue of Hachi a shrine and the Akitainu Hozonkai Museum.

photo credits: keblog.it

2- Love overcomes evil

.
When Ueno died in 1925, Hachi found a new home with the scientist's former gardener, Kikuzaburo Kobayashi in Tomigaya, not far from Shibuya. Every day the faithful dog went to Shibuya station to wait for the return of Ueno, but for 10 years this "walk" was not always quiet: Hachiko was mistreated and beaten several times by pedestrians, children and people without any humanity. Shameful, isn't it?

photo credits: greenme.it

3- Hachi becomes Hachiko

.
In 1932, the president of the Nihon Ken Hozonkai, an association for the preservation of Japanese dogs, Hirokichi Saito, learned of Hachi's history and wrote an article recounting the vicissitudes and mistreatment suffered by this faithful dog, transforming it in a short time into a symbol. It was at this point that the suffix "ko" was added to Hachi's name to show respect for his devotion and loyalty.

photo credits: hotcorn.com

4- The Honorary Statue

Teru Ando, Saito's acquaintance, sculpted the famous Hachiko statue (while the dog was still alive!) which was unveiled in 1934. Before this happened several swindlers tried to get money out of him claiming to be the creators of the statue! There is really no limit to human greed...

photo credits: japantravel.com

5- The Merger of the Statues

.
World War II spared nothing, not even the Hachiko statues. The metal with which they were made had to be used "for the good of the war" and so they were melted down.
At the end of the Pacific War Ando's son, Takeshi, built the current statue in Shibuya. The one at Odate Station was also rebuilt in 1967.

photo credits: animalpedia.it

6- Hachiko and Ueno forever together

.
So far we have always talked about the statues dedicated to the puppy, but there is another, beautiful one that brings together Hachiko and his master. It was built 80 years after Hachiko's death, when the University of Tokyo decided to pay tribute to the two protagonists of the sad story. Thanks to donations from individuals and companies, over 10 million yen made the reunion between the dog and his master possible. Today the statue stands on the campus of the University of Tokyo, right next to Ueno Park.

photo credits: womanuntamed.com

7- A Cemetery Full of Charm

I guess I'm one of the few people who like to visit cemeteries, and the Aoyama Cemetery, dating back to 1872, is definitely one of the most beautiful: near the Gaienmae and Aoyama Itchome stations, it stretches out like a huge park and is home to many famous people whose tombstones rise up to reveal a unique architecture. Of course Ueno lies right here and next to his grave there is a monument erected immediately after the death of Hachiko in 1935.

photo credits: wikimedia.org

8- Between the macabre and science

.
I would almost call this point disgusting, but if you have the courage (and the stomach) of iron then know that it is possible to observe the internal organs of Hachiko preserved in sample bottles at the museum of the archives of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Tokyo, near Ueno Park. Various autopsies performed between 1935 and 2010 had found infestations of parasitic diseases and, finally, cancer, the real cause of Hachi's death. At the National Museum of Nature and Science there is also a taxidermied Hachiko with the original fur of the dog......

photo credits: timeout.com

9- The Protectors of Tokyo

The statue of samurai Saigo Takamori with his faithful Tsun also stands in Ueno Park. Tsun and Hachiko quickly became a symbol for the Japanese and declared the "protectors of Tokyo and the Japanese economy."

photo credits: ilgiornale.it

10- Richard Gere as Ueno?

.
I'm sure everyone (or almost everyone) has seen the movie "Hachiko - Your Best Friend" (Original title: "Hachi: A Dog's Tale") , but have you stopped to think that this 2009 film is set in the United States? The story is nonetheless heartbreaking and beautiful, but it fails to bring Japanese culture to light in the way that the original 1987 film, "Hachiko Monogatari" does.


Nara, the capital of Buddhism in Japan

Japan, like Italy, has many tourist destinations and among them are the seven temples of Nara, a destination rich in history and culture.

The 7 Temples of Nara, the capital of Buddhism

Autore: Sara

Those who approach the culture of the Rising Sun for the first time are led to believe that Buddhism has always been a strictly Japanese philosophy, also thanks to the numerous temples scattered throughout the country. In reality, few people know that it was a Korean king who "exported" this religion to Japan! It all began when the prefecture of Nara was the center of politics, culture and economy of the country. The Japanese people were purely Shintoist, that is a follower of "Shinto" (神道): a polytheistic religion of animist type that revolves around the existence of many Kami ("gods", "spirits") that are believed to inhabit all things. In 552, King Seond of Baekje, a kingdom in the southwest of the Korean peninsula, brought to the Japanese court a statue of Shakyamuni (historical Buddha) and many satras. The emperor of the time, Kimmei, was attracted and slowly Buddhism established itself as the new state religion.

Nara thus became Nanto Shichi Daiji (南都七大寺), the capital of Buddhist temples built by imperial order, now a world heritage site, and includes:

  • Horyuji(法隆寺)
  • Houkiji (法起寺)
  • Todaiji(東大寺)
  • Kofukuji(興福寺)
  • Gangoji (元興寺)
  • Yakushiji (薬師寺)
  • Toshodaiji (唐招提寺)

The Seven Temples of Nara

.
Nara

photo credits: https://www.japan-guide.com

Horyuji

Horyuji Temple is the first site to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Japan. Founded in 607 by Prince Shotoku at the behest of his father, Emperor Yomei, it was rebuilt in 670 following a fire that almost burned it down, and today is considered the cradle of Japanese Buddhism. The area over which the large temple complex stretches can be divided into the west side, Saiin garan (西院伽藍, where the five-story pagoda, golden hall, corridor and internal portal are located) and the east side, Toin garan (東院伽藍, where the octagonal Yumedono (夢殿, the hall of visions) stands.
Official Site: http://www.horyuji.or.jp/assets/images/pdf/english.pdf

Nara

photo credits: masterpiece-of-japanese-culture.com

Houkiji

This temple with multiple identities (it is in fact also known as Okamoto-dera 岡本寺, Okamotoniji 岡本尼寺, Ikejiri-dera 池後寺 and Ikejiriniji 池後尼寺) is located just under 2 km from Horyuji. It was originally the palace of Shotoku Taishi's family, but before his death he ordered his son Yamashirono-ooenoo to rebuild it in the form of a temple. Houkiji consists of a main hall and a 3-story pagoda, about 23 meters high: the largest and oldest of its kind in Japan (it was built in 685). A symbol of this temple is undoubtedly the 11-headed wooden Kannon and the bronze Bosatsu (both gods of compassion).
Official Site: http://www.horyuji.or.jp/assets/images/pdf/english.pdf

photo credits: shoreexcursions.asia

Todaiji

Todaiji was founded by Emperor Shomu in 752, with the sole purpose of housing the statue of the Great Buddha in the Great Hall (Daibutsuden). After 7 long years of construction, the temple was burned down as a result of war in 1180 and continued to suffer the consequences of conflict until 1567. Restored each time, the temple's current form dates back to 1709 and its seated Buddha represents Vairocana and is flanked by two Bodhisattvas. The temple's grounds extend across almost the entire northern part of Nara National Park, so it is not uncommon to come across the famous deer seeking attention!
Official Site: http://www.todaiji.or.jp/english/index.html

Nara

photo credits: japanvisitor.com

Kofukuji

Kofukuji was originally the temple of the powerful Fujiwara clan and one of the main temples of the Hosso (法相宗) sect, one of the six sects of Nanto. The temple consists of several buildings of important historical value and as many as two pagodas: one five-story and one three-story, which unfortunately cannot be visited. To make up for this lack, however, there is the National Treasure Museum where you can admire the statue of Ashura and the bronze head of Buddha.
Official Site: https://www.kohfukuji.com/english.html

Nara

photo credits: kintetsu.co.jp

Gangoji

Founded by Soga no Umako, Gangoji is among the oldest temples in Japan, having been moved from Asuka to Nara in 718. Almost as a gloomy tradition, this temple also suffered the wrath of nature and the devastation of fire and in 1451 almost the entire structure was destroyed and it was no longer possible to recover the ancient splendor of Gangoji except for the Zenshitsu Hall, located at the back, the only original survivor.
Official Site: https://gangoji-tera.or.jp/

photo credits: japan-guide.com/

Yakushiji

Esattamente come Kofukuji, anche Yakushiji è il tempio principale della setta Hosso del buddismo. Fu costruito dall’imperatore Tenmu per sua moglie nel 680. Come ogni tempio, anche questa volta troviamo una grande statua del Buddha: in questo caso Yakushi-Nyorai possiede il potere della guarigione ed è in grado di dare conforto. Inoltre Yakushiji possiede due pagode, una sala dorata ed una collezione di oggetti d'arte buddista, tra cui una Triade Yakushi, un Kannon-Sho e dipinti di grande pregio
Sito Ufficiale: http://www.nara-yakushiji.com/

Nara

photo credits: toshodaiji.jp/

Toshodaiji

Toshodaiji was the first temple founded in 759 by a Chinese priest, Ganjin, who was sent by the emperor for the purpose of teaching priests and improving Buddhism in Japan. His teachings had a great influence for the country and today it is the main temple of the Rishu (律宗) sect. The main hall, Kondo, contains 9 statues of Buddha!
Official website: https://www.toshodaiji.jp/english/index.html

7 Temples, 7 fascinating wonders dedicated to the care of the soul: although they may seem extremely similar to each other, each building is characterized by unique and precious elements to discover and admire! How about dedicating some of your time to walk around Nara to discover these devout places? Have you already been there? Let us know your impressions and emotions!

photo credits: thejapanesedreams.com


The wonderful gardens of Japan

With Japan Italy Bridge we have already addressed a deep focus on the Imperial Palace and its gardens, but those are not the only gardens of Japan. Today we will talk about the most beautiful green spaces of the Rising Sun.

Gardens of Japan, the green in the midst of modernity

Author: Sara

giardini del Giappone

photo credits: giardiniepiscine.it

Every country in the world, no matter how evolved, technological and chaotic it is, always hides an oasis of extraordinary peace, a place where the hand of man has not destroyed, but rather takes care of natural beauties of indescribable charm. We are not talking about natural parks this time, but about smaller green spaces such as gardens. Green spaces that arise in unexpected places and that give the mind and soul a break from all that is skyscraper landscapes and cars that, again, Japan knows how to give us with its usual elegance and unique spiritual touch.

The trip we are proposing today will make you relax, so how about making yourself comfortable, preparing a delicious herbal tea and follow us?

Kenrokuen

giardini del Giappone

photo credits: japantravel.com

The first of our stops is Kanazawa where there is the Kenrokuen which covers an area of 11.4 hectares and is considered one of the most beautiful gardens of the Rising Sun. Kept luxuriant from generation to generation by the Maeda family since the feudal period, in Japanese the name Kenrokuen means "garden of 6 attributes" because in it are enclosed the 6 characteristics of the perfect garden: space, tranquility, artifice, antiquity, waterways and landscapes.

Official Web Site: pref.ishikawa.jp

Korakuen

photo credits: okayama-kanko.net

The second stop takes us to Okayama, where the magnificent Korakuen stands: built in 1687 exclusively as a place of entertainment for the ruling family, it was opened to the public in 1884, when it became property of Okayama prefecture. It encloses forests, tea and rice fields, a spectacular pond and many small streams.

Official Web Site: okayama-korakuen.jp

Kairakuen

photo credits: flickr.com

We have come to the third of the most beautiful landscape gardens in Japan, we are in Mito, the capital of Ibaraki Prefecture and here Kairakuen has always been a place accessible to all, not only for the local lord Tokugawa Nariaki who had it built in 1841. This beautiful green space has become famous thanks to the Mito Ume Matsuri, the festival of plum blossoms, held between February and March: a spectacle of timeless charm.

Official Web Site: ibaraki-kairakuen.jp

Kokedera

giardini del Giappone

photo credits: saihoji-kokedera.com

Our fourth visit will be to Kyoto, to the garden that is home to 120 different types of moss! It is the Kokedera or Saihoji Temple, originally part of a royal villa it became a temple almost 1000 years ago and today is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting this place also offers a unique opportunity, as before being allowed access, visitors must participate in kito (chanting) and shakyo (the copying of Buddhist scriptures).

Official Web Site: saihoji-kokedera.com

Shinjuku Gyoen

photo credits: www.japanistry.com

For our fifth stop, we fly straight into beautiful Tokyo where we can come across the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, one of the most striking national parks in the country. Built in the Edo period as a private residence of the feudal lord Kiyonari Naito, it became open to the public in 1949. Inside you can immerse yourself in various gardens, first of all the oldest one in Japan full of lakes, islets, bridges and pavilions. Then you can get lost in the magnificent rose garden of the French-style garden and, last but not least, enter the English-style garden with its wide green lawns lined with beautiful cherry trees: here Hanami acquires an indescribable magic!

Official Web Site: env.go.jp

Imperial Palace East Gardens

giardini del Giappone

photo credits: enjoy.vivi.city

We conclude our nature trail by staying in Tokyo. Over 210,000 square meters where, once upon a time, stood the walls of Edo Castle, residence of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867. At the foot of the hill, exactly where the defensive walls once stood, lies this marvellous garden in which the Ninomaru pond is home to some rather rare aquatic plants and is covered with Nuphar Japonicum, yellow water lilies.

Official Web Site: https://www.kunaicho.go.jp


Japan, the preferred destination for people wanting to move abroad

Its timeless charm, the opportunities it offers, the hustle and bustle of its cities and the sheer size of its cities make Japan the preferred destination for all those who decide to move abroad to live and work.

Japan, the preferred destination for people wanting to move abroad

Author: Sara

photo credits: tokeet.com

According to a global survey, Tokyo stands out among the top 5 cities in the world chosen to embark on a new life experience. Working in Japan seems to have become the aspiration of many, according to a recent ranking by Remitly, a British company that offers a global digital money transfer service to help all immigrants around the world who make great sacrifices to live and work in another country, the number of those who choose the Rising Sun as a destination to change their lives is surprisingly high, even in this time of pandemic.

Giappone

photo credits: travelwithvik.com

Online searches speak for themselves: Japan is the second most popular country in the world to which everyone wants to move after Canada! Most of the data comes from specific countries such as the USA, Australia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines.
The desire to change one's life by looking to the Land of the Samurai as a destination is also increased by the high degree of safety, beauty and culture. The Japanese response to the pandemic, its rigorous conduct in establishing a state of emergency and avoiding panic and misinformation to the population, has only increased the desire to make the big move and 'try one's luck' in one of the magnificent regions of this immense island.

Giappone Giappone

photo credits: transferwise.com, boutiquejapan.com

What do you think? Would you take the "big leap"? Is Japan the chosen destination for you too, or are there other countries you are aiming at? Let us know! And anyway, we wish you to realise all your dreams as soon as possible, 頑張ってください