This very unusual building is called the Tokagakudo (peach blossom music hall) and it is the music headquarters for the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Probably most of the music played here is for the Shinto rituals and festivals that the Imperial family have to take part in. You can see it if you visit the Imperial Palace’s East Gardens. It was built in the 1960s for the former Empress and is 8-sided and covered in mosaics which are supposed to show flowers and stars, but look more like Tokyo Sky Tree to me!
The beautiful pine trees in Japanese gardens don’t stay in those special shapes all by themselves. They have to be carefully pruned! The people who do the pruning are experts and I’ve heard that they earn quite a lot of money.
This sign is warning drivers that tanuki (raccoon dogs) may cross the road. You probably only see them if you’re going somewhere at night though, because they are nocturnal and very secretive.
This is Kyoto Station taken from high up on the steps. Don’t come up here if you don’t like heights!
Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!
Happy New Year!