JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


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Shinkawa River cuts across Edogawa Ward east to west for 3 km between Kyu-Edo River and Arakawa River. The entire length has a nice riverside walkway on both sides.In late March to early April, over 700 cherry trees bloom (20 varieties, mainly Somei-Yoshino). It's a very pleasant walk with no crowds, no tourists. Not well-known yet.
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Shinkawa River (新川) was first excavated in 1590 by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu for cargo boats to transport salt from neighboring Gyotoku (in Chiba Prefecture) to Edo. The river was lined with miso shops, shoyu shops, and eateries. The salt boats have long been replaced by trains and motor vehicles. Today the river is very quiet in a residential area.
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From April 2007, a new project called the "Shinkawa Senbonzakura Plan" was started to plant cherry blossoms on both sides of the river to create an Edo Period look. The river walk was also made earthquake resistant.
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I started walking along the river from Shin-Wataribashi Bridge near the middle of the 3km river.
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The cherry blossoms are mostly Somei-Yoshino, but I also saw weeping cherries.
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Shinkawa River Senbonzakura Cherry Blossoms, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
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Shinkawa River Senbonzakura Cherry Blossoms, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
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Shinkawa River Senbonzakura Cherry Blossoms, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
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Shinkawa River Senbonzakura Cherry Blossoms, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo.
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Weeping cherry tree.
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Ukita Daiichi Park. Riverside pocket park. 宇喜田第一公園
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Shinkawa River Cherry Blossoms, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
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Shinkawa Kyuyo Park. Riverside pocket park. 新川休養公園
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Shin River Senbonzakura Cherry Blossoms, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo. Such a photogenic riverside walk in spring.
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So many great sakura shots here.
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The west end of Shinkawa River emptying into Arakawa River has a Edo-style fire watchtower.
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The west end of Shinkawa River has a Edo-style fire watchtower. To give an Edo-Period riverscape.
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Traditional-looking wall.
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Traditional-looking restrooms.
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Fire Watchtower at the end of Shinkawa River in Edogawa-ku Ward in Tokyo. 火の見やぐら
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Top of the Hinomi Yagura Fire Watchtower. It's wooden and 15 meters high. 火の見やぐら
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Fire Watchtower at the end of Shinkawa River in Edogawa-ku City in Tokyo. There originally was no such fire tower. Built here only as a tourist attraction. 火の見やぐら
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After the city of Edo suffered a major fire in the 7th century, fire watchtowers similar to this one were built. The towers also had a bell to sound a fire alarm and direct firefighters to any fire.
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Fire Watchtower and cherry blossoms.
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Fire Watchtower and cherry blossoms.
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Fire Watchtower and cherry blossoms.
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Traditional Japanese fire lookout tower and cherry blossoms. 火の見やぐら
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We can enter and go up the Fire Watchtower. 火の見やぐら
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Stairs up to the top of the Fire Watchtower.
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Top of the Fire Watchtower. Great views from the open-air windows. 火の見やぐら
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View of Shinkawa River from the Hinomi Yagura Fire Watchtower. 火の見やぐら
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View of Shinkawa River from the Hinomi Yagura Fire Watchtower.
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Nearby floodgate to Arakawa River.
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Floodgate pool.
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In the forefront is Naka River, and beyond the divider is Arakawa River as seen from the Fire Watchtower.
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In the forefront is Naka River, and beyond the divider is Arakawa River as seen from the Fire Watchtower.
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Looking north.
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Going down the Fire Watchtower.
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Sluice gate.
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Map of the area. The top right is Funabori Station.
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Remains of the old Shinkawa Nishi Suimon floodgate. 新川西水門跡
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Remains of the old Shinkawa Nishi Suimon floodgate. 新川西水門跡
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About the old floodgate and Fire Watchtower.
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The area around the Fire Watchtower is like a park named Nishi-Suimon Hiroba (西水門広場).
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Fire Watchtower and sakura.
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Going back along the river to the nearest subway station.
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Now walking on the other side of the river for the return trip. This side of the river is also very nice.
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Sculpture of a riverboat.
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Sculpture of a riverboat.
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Sculpture of a riverboat. Looks like a cargo boat for salt.
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A short walk to Ukita Bridge where I turned left to walk to Funabori Station (Toei Shinjuku Line).
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Pine tree amid cherry blossoms.
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2019 was the last year of the Heisei Period.
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