"Japan Bridge" and Tokyo fall colors

This is the prologue to a lovely mid-November walk at Shinjuku Gyoen - Mother And Child Forest, a short series of posts through the end of November 2017.
Part 1: The leaves glowed orange, gold, and green

Part 2: A short virtual walk through Mother and Child Forest
Part 3: I translated some of the signs so you can share them with your family

The Kilometre Zero Marker of Japan

On Sunday, I saw some friends off at Tokyo Station. For the last stop on their whirlwind tour of Japan, we made a quick visit to nearby Nihonbashi, 日本橋, "Japan Bridge", to snap photos of the official Kilometer Zero marker. It designates the point from which all of Japan's roads begin. Though I didn't touch it, seeing this sign in person reminded putting my hand on the heart of Japan to feel its beat.

 Nihonbashi Kilometer Zero Sign 日本国道路元標

Nihonbashi Kilometer Zero Sign 日本国道路元標

The sign says 日本国道路元標, nihonkoku dourogenpyou. "Japan road origin sign" or "The road origin marker of Japan". It's a nice plaque mounted on a marble sign in a safe place by the northwest corner of the bridge. But we didn't find this sign until after my friend ran out to photograph the one in the middle of the road. Eek! I've become very accustomed to following rules here, so it was a bit alarming! Luckily traffic was light during this busy weekend, but it's always light (at least compared to Austin and Houston) because everyone takes the train here.

And on the other side of Tokyo Station, I stopped by Hibiya Park to see the golden trees lining the large public space. Some of them should soon be deep red and orange as well.

Hibiya Park Fall Colors
Hibiya Park Golden Trees

Then I headed home on the subway, trying to remember what groceries I needed to buy. My mind was wandering to how beautiful the weather was above ground, when I heard the station name 新宿御苑前, Shinjuku Gyoenmae. On a whim, I hopped out onto the platform and climbed the stairs back into the crisp, bright Sunday afternoon, because this would be a perfect day to revisit Shinjuku Gyoen National Park.

Next, Part 1: The leaves glowed orange, gold, and green