Garden Garden Bridge
Posted by Heliocentrism on June 19, 2015
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Starting Off Every Morning
Mark and I are early risers. We don’t mean to wake up with the sun every damn holiday morning, we’re just cursed with this ability. We have the hardest time getting up in time for work, but we have seen just about every sunrise of every holiday and weekend for the past 3 years. Maybe this is a sign of old age.
In our party, we were always the first up. We would quietly sit around, watch the sun come up, while reading e-books or listening to audio-books. Mark would start boiling some water and make us some coffee. It would be 2 or 3 hours until Freda and Roland emerged from their tent. In the mean time we would relax and lounge about the camp.
Roland’s Flower Quest
This morning, as Roland announce the day’s schedule, he made a plea for us to not see him as a person who only thinks about gardens. He wanted us to believe that it was a mere coincidence that today’s (and yesterday’s) itinerary was so garden heavy. He tried to assure us that after today there would not be so many gardens in our lives.
I didn’t buy it for one second. Roland had recently bought a new fancy-shmanchy camera along with a few changeable lenses for it. After spending about 10 minutes at the Adachi Museum of Art, our first garden of the day, we knew why we had come. Roland was going to take a picture of every flower, rock, and blade of grass!
Not only did Roland have a better camera than any of us, he took photos that no one thought to take. At first I started to mimic his photo-taking. I would crouch down where Roland had just been, to get a similar picture for myself. But then I would look at his photo and compare it to mine. There was no contest; his was clearly better.
When we got to the museum Mark and I expected to be bored the whole time. We aren’t art loving people. We like art, but we don’t love it. It helped a lot that the 2,300 yen entrance fee was sliced in half after we showed our ARC cards. We were only going to pay half as much to be tormented by art.
But the museum was much more than art. At the Adachi Museum there was art you could look at, but not take photos of, and a garden you could take photos of, but not enter. I loved the garden. And, at the very least, it gave me something to photograph as a keepsake of this experience.
The museum, the art portion of it, goes on and on and on. Every time we thought we had gotten to the end of it, someone in our group would discover another floor, passageway, bridge, or whole other section.
I bought a postcard in the gift shop before realizing that we were only halfway through. I wish I had known, because I liked the pictures in the second half of the museum better, and would have much preferred a postcard of one of them.
Next we drove to Daikon island to check out their Peony Festival. Before this trip I had no idea what a peony was, much less that there are many types of them. I don’t really know that much about flowers. I can distinguish sunflowers, tulips, and maybe carnations. I thought I could tell a rose from a non-rose, but I mistook a bunch of roses at the festival for peonies, so…
This was a garden done right. It more than made up for our not being able to walk in the earlier garden. Here we felt free to walk up to and pose with the many flowers. I even got several sniffs in. This place smelt so good. It gave me an idea of what those Glade Plug-in people are trying to do. But, the garden was 10 times better than any Plug-in.
Just be aware that, with this many flowers around, there are many bees. No one got stung. Most bees have the attitude that if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. They are not unlike tired people on the subway after work that way.
At one point during the garden, Freda and I sat down waiting for all the guys to take their obligatory 200 photos. We found an ice cream vendor in the garden and hoped that they had peony flavored ice cream. (You can usually count on tourist sites in Japan to have a themed ice cream flavor.) But, this time the choices were yogurt, matcha, or honey.
On our way back to the parking lot we found this poster. Since the bridge it advertised wasn’t too far away, we went to check it out.
We stopped to take photos of it, then we drove across the bridge just to drive across the bridge. It looks a lot scarier than it really is. When you’re on the bridge, it’s no big thing.
How to get there:
You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.
Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.
- Emergency Numbers:
- Police 110
- Ambulance and Fire 119
- Important phone numbers to know while in Japan
- Comfort Woman
- The Commoner
- Empire of the Sun
- Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
- Geisha, a Life
- Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission
- The Last Concubine
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
- Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
- Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan. Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
- InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
- ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
- The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
- You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)
Hoshikami Star Park
(Hoshikamiyama Star Park)
- Coordinates 35°23’14.5″N 133°07’55.6″E
- For Camping per night:
- 300 Yen per person +
- 510 per tent
- and an additional 300 per night for use of the kitchen
- Bungalow one night basic charge 6500 yen
- 100 per non-timed shower
- Reception: 9:00～18:00
- Check-in 15: 00 ~ Check out 10: 00
- Reservations are needed to stay at this campsite. Call before you go.
Adachi Museum of Art
- Coordinates 35°22’47.6″N 133°11’38.8″E
- There is a free shuttle from JR Yasugi Station, JR Yonago Station, Tamatsukuri Spa, Kaike Spa and ANA Hotel Yonago.
320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi, Shimane, 692-0064, JAPAN
- ( +81 )0854-28-7111
- Bring your passport or ARC for a 50% foreigner discount
- They accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners and JCB.
- It’s 500 Yen for audio devices that offer information in Japanese, English or Mandarin.
- Free Parking
- April-September: 9:00-17:30
- October-March: 9:00-17:00
- It takes about 2 hours to see the whole museum.
- Do not leave the museum until you are sure that you’ve seen the whole thing. Re-entry is not allowed.
- Don’t shop at the first gift shop, until you’ve seen the second gift shop.
- Photos are not allowed inside the museum. You can, however, take photos of the gardens.
- You are not allowed in the gardens; you can only look at the gardens.
- Coordinates 35°29’26.3″N 133°10’31.7″E
1260-2 Hanyu, Yatsuka-cho, Matsue-shi, Shimane-ken
- Matsue Enmusubi Perfect Ticket
- Matsue Guide Book
- Matsue Map
- Matsue Castle area (PDF)
- JR Matsue Station area (PDF)
- Tamatsukuri Hot Springs area (PDF)
- Bring your passport or ARC for a 50% foreigner discount
- Free Parking
- 8:30 – 17:30
- Every year around the end of April and the beginning of May there is a Peony Festival.
- Coordinates 35°31’08.5″N 133°11’59.3″E
- 0859-42-3706 (Sakai Port)
- There is an area where you can park for free for a short time.
- This parking area is on the Shimane side of the bridge.
- This would give you enough time to take several photos of the bridge.
- always avaible