Japanese people are very close to nature and have a very tight relationship with their environment. Most of the bank holidays are related to nature (day of the mountain, day of the sea, day of the nature etc)
Among other items, they love gardens and there are the 3 most beautiful gardens of Japan to be visited once in a lifetime. I had this opportunity while in Kanazawa where is the Kenrokuen located.
I was not sure I would connect with this place as I was afraid of the crowd, potential queues, etc. I went there in the morning and really felt it was a beautiful place. Entrance fee is only Y100.- to help maintain the place. Although there were many people, it never felt crowded and, as always in Japan, people were so respectful that you could still enjoy the silence and peace of the place. a must if you are in the region!!
There was a photo shooting as we were wandering there, it was so cute,
One funny thing, Kanazawa is known to be the golden city, people like gold here and many things are made of gold (even ice creams). I was therefore amused to see that the mushrooms look golden over here!
Walking around the Fukugawa area, we found this precious Kiyosumi Garden
, this was created by the founder of Mitsubishi who then gave it as a legacy to the city of Tokyo, nowadays, you can walk around it in peace, it feels like a moment of peace in the hassle and bussle of the city.
You can see turtles, bird, insects. this is countryside for 10mn! On the Fridays, people over 60 can get in for free with 1 person. Otherwise, the fee is only 150 yens.
Close by are many cafes and shops.
My first trip to the hairdresser was quite something! I never experienced such thing.
Hikaru works at VIP Hair in Motoazabu. He is from Okinawa but spent many years in San Francisco and therefore speaks very good English.
Making appointment over the phone is no problem since Yuko, the owner and Hikaru speak perfect English.
They have arranged the salon with individual cabins where a massive chair is set. you sit on that throne and off you go for a special journey. The haircut comes with head and shoulder massage (Jacqueline, something to consider at Espace Florilege). the chair reclines for the hair wash and Hikaru then brings a sink on wheels that he plugs behind.
All together, color, cut, massage etc.. this comes around 16000 Yens, it is not cheap but if I compare to cost of living in Brussels vs Tokyo and salaries, it is actually same price.
In Tokyo, I found out that the manhole covers can be painted, initially, I did not really pay attention and only found them pretty but never made the link that it could be part of The Japanese way until I noticed an article on a paper and that there is a manufacture for this in Japan