Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sick Boy

I have not blogged in quite a few days. Sorry about that.

Unfortunately, I came down with a severe cold / flu / nasty virus last Friday, just in time for Lyani's week-long respite from her school. (Yes, I will be showing off the latest additions to my Google Maps technology throughout this blentry.)

So instead of a week of sightseeing, we have instead been hanging around the apartment, with me getting plenty of bed-rest, fluids, etc. (happy, Mom?). However, by Tuesday, I was feeling up to having a stroll, so Lyani and I, encouraged by the warm, sunny weather (it was hovering around 20° C that day--in severe contrast with Lyani's family in Sofia, who were facing 0° C temperatures!), set out for Yamate, armed with my new pamphlet, "A Stroll Through the Green and Pleasant Hills of Naka Ward, Yokohama". We took a slew of pictures, if you want to follow along on our journey.

Lyani in Italian Hill GardenWe set out from our apartment and walked southwest down Shin-Yokohama-dori (the big street in front of our apartment that Lyani takes to school), crossed the river, and then climbed a long stair to Italian Hill Garden, a nice garden on the grounds of the home of a Meiji Era diplomat. The garden is high on a hill, and offers great views of central Yokohama.

Barrik HallFrom there, we followed Yamate-hon-dori, a main road in Yamate, past the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and onward to Barrik Hall, which was the residence of a Finnish trader, one B.R. Berrik. It is quite interesting visually, a Spanish-style casa that would look more at home in Southern California than Japan. Barrik Hall is on the edge of Motomachi Park, one of many nice, wooded parks in Yamate. Motomachi Park also has a public pool, which is closed for the season, of course, but has a nice little garden just below it and offers great views of the Motomachi shopping district, Chinatown, and the harbourfront.

Lyani and I in Harbourview ParkFrom Motomachi-koen, we climbed up another of the ubiquitous stairs in Yamate, past the Catholic Cemetary, and then re-aquired Yamate-hon-dori, walking past the Foreign Cemetary and to Harbourview Park. We spent a few minutes there, looking down at Yamashita-koen, Osanbashi Pier, and Minato Mirai.

We walked south through the lovely Harbourview Park, encountering one of Japan's terrier-sized crows en route, past the Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature, and then wandered down a little road that meandered along the edge of the bluffs, looking down into the port facilities of Shin-Yamashita. After a good half an hour walk, we finally came to Honmoku-hara, where I previously went to visit the Naka Ward branch of the Yokohama Public Library (and described in a previous blog entry).

If health allows, we hope to make it to Tokyo and Kamakura this week-end, before Lyani has to go back to school on Monday.

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