Winter scene of Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden (25 December 2020)

I heard bad news that almost all metropolitan garden or park including Koishigawa koranken garden would be suddenly closed from 26 December to January 11 2021 because of rapid spread of COVID19 in these days.

Good combination of Japanese and Chinese style of Garden in late autumn and winter was there.

And I watched newly reconstructed Karamon gate (Chinese style gate) from Naitei (Inner garden).

I found early blooming pale pink Japanese apricot blossoms on branches.

Kadomatsu, new year’s bamboo decoration on the gate looks a little bit loneliness.

I was wondering to enjoy many gardens on this holiday season, so I was so shocked by this news.

If you want to know about Koishigawa koranken garden more, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven herbs of autumn (Akino nana kusa)

Seven herbs of autumn (18 September 2020)

I visited Mukojima hyakaen, literally “hundred flower garden” established in Edo era by rich merchant, admiring beaty of seven herbs of autumn.

Seven herbs of autumn were selected in Manyosyu by ancient poet Yamanoueno Okura lived in 7th century in these poems, “Aki-no No-ni Sakitaru Hana-wo Oyobiori Kakikazoureba Nanakusa-no Hana, Meaning: When I count on my fingers for blooming flowers in the autumn fields, I find there are seven.”“Hagi-no Hana Obana Kuzuhana Nadeshiko-no Hana Ominaeshi Mata Fujihakama Asagao-no Hana, Meaning: Bush clover, Susuki grass or Japanese panpas grass, Kudzu or Japanese arrowroot, Fringed pink or pink dianthus, Patrinia, Thoroughwort and Balloon flower”.

After selection, these flowers have been loved by Japanese people long time.

Thunberg’s bushclover (Lespedeza thunbergia) is the most popular bush clover which has soft branches with many large flowers on them.

Lespedeza thunbergii/ Thunberg’s bushclover/ ミヤギノハギ

Lespedeza thunbergii/ Thunberg’s bushclover/ ミヤギノハギ

Susuki grass or Japanese pampas grass is indispensable to mid-autumn moon viewing. But this flower is soberer than other seven flowers. It looks a little bit weird in night field, like poem said that the ghost, when examined closely is withered silver grass.

Miscanthus sinensis/ Chinese silver grass/ ススキ

Miscanthus sinensis/ Chinese silver grass/ ススキ

Kudzu flower has been loved and roots eaten from ancient time in Japan but hated in USA as a noxious weeds.

Pueraria lobata/ Kudzu/ クズ

Pueraria lobata/ Kudzu/ クズ

Fringed pink or pink dianthus, this is a kind of dianthus and has five deeply cut fringed pink petals this sometimes resembled graceful Japanese lady. The flower cannot be found this time and this picture taken in Shinjyuku gyoen garden in June.

Dianthus superbus/ Fringed pink/ カワラナデシコ

Dianthus superbus/ Fringed pink/ カワラナデシコ

Patrinia, It has thin, erect stems with few leaves and bearing a terminal attractive inflorescence with yellow or white small flowers.

Patrinia scabiosifolia/ Patrinia/ オミナエシ

Patrinia scabiosifolia/ Patrinia/ オミナエシ

Thoroughwort, The shallow lavender color flowers are collected together into heads that are densely corymbose, the inflorescence are usually 3 to 6 cm wide.When the flowers dried up, it has weak but good smell.

Eupatorium japonicum/ Thoroughwort/ フジバカバ

Eupatorium japonicum/ Thoroughwort/ フジバカバ

Ballon flower or Japanese bell flower, The plants has blue flowers in late summer, with five petals are fused together into a bell shape. Though blue flowers are common, but there are varieties with white, pink, and purple blooms. The flower bud is like a balloon before fully opening. The flower usually has 5 petals but occasionally 6 or 4 petal’s flowers can be found.

Platycodon grandiflorus/ Balloon flower キキョウ

Platycodon grandiflorus/ Balloon flower キキョウ

Kyoto Gyoen National garden and Kan’in-no-miya residence

Kyoto Gyoen National garden (10 September 2020)

Kyoto Gyoen National garden is huge garden including Imperial palace and Sento imperial palace, but start from outside imperial palace. There are 9 gates at Kyoto Gyoen National garden, but most famous one is Hamaguri gate.

Hamaguri gate, literally Clam gate, the gate known as unopened except in a case of fire, so opened like heated clam. The official name is Shinzaemon.

Hamaguri gate

Huge gravel streets are designed in the garden

Main road in Kyoto Gyoen National garden

Also we can enjoy strolling along natural flow named demizu-no-small river

Demizu-no-small river

I visited Kan’in-no-miya residence, former one of the imperial families’ residence through an elegant shape of East gate.Elegant shape of East gate of Kan'in-no-miya residence.

I relaxed in a calm and tranquil old residence of imperial family’s residence

Middle court of Kan'in-no-miya residence.

Kan'in-no-miya residence.

Let’s move to Sento Imperial palace next.

Enjoy strolling Nihonji temple

Nihonji temple (11 August 2020)

Since it is not recommended to plan long travel or returning to home-town in this summer “obon” vacation season,

my family had a one-day trip to Nihonji temple in Nokorigi mountain in Chiba pref. next to Tokyo.

stone-carved Daibutsu, Yakushi Nyorai, Bhaiṣajyaguru

stone-carved Daibutsu, Yakushi Nyorai, Bhaiṣajyaguru

stone-carved Daibutsu, Yakushi Nyorai, Bhaiṣajyaguru

Jizō Bosatsu, Kṣitigarbha

Jizō Bosatsu, Kṣitigarbha

Jizō Bosatsu, Kṣitigarbha

This mountain is famous of big Buddha image on a cliff and “Jigoku Nozoki” (Hell Lookout) jotted from the cliff.

"Jigoku Nozoki" (Hell Lookout),

“Jigoku Nozoki” (Hell Lookout),

"Jigoku Nozoki" (Hell Lookout) and tall relief image of Kannon Bodhisattva

tall relief image of Kannon Bodhisattva

Tall relief image of Kannon Bodhisattva

My family and I strolled through forest and peak on the cliff by watching stone Buddhist statue, carved Arhat sculptures and wonderful view.

1500 hand-carved arhat sculptures

1500 hand-carved arhat sculptures

1500 hand-carved arhat sculptures

1500 hand-carved arhat sculptures

Although blowing wind in forest and on the cliff is a little bit cooler than seaside,

hard route on long steps and hot temperature made us soaked in sweat.

1500 hand-carved arhat sculptures

1500 hand-carved arhat sculptures

Yakushi Nyorai, Bhaiṣajyaguru

Yakushi Nyorai, Bhaiṣajyaguru

Even in short trip, my family really enjoyed wonderful scene, tasty seafoods and

beautiful sunset view of Mt. Fuji from artificial Umihotaru island on our way back to our home.

Sun set view of artificial Umihotaru island

Sun set view of artificial Umihotaru island

Sun set view of artificial Umihotaru island

Mt. Fuji from artificial Umihotaru island,

Mt. Fuji from artificial Umihotaru island

artificial Umihotaru island

 

Visit to Tonogayako garden

Tonogayako garden (9 August 2020)

I visited Tonogayako garden near Kokubunnji station.

Jiro Benten Pond from a bower on the cliff

Jiro Benten Pond from a bower on the cliff

The garden is located on the southern edge of the Kokubunji rift line.

The natural flora in the Musashi plateau and the cliff-like rift area are well protected.

Open space in the clif

southern edge of the Kokubunji rift line

When I overlooked Jiro Benten Pond from a bower on the cliff listening songs of cicada and sound of “shishiodoshi”; water filled bamboo clacking against rock, I was able to forget noisy urban sound and scorching heat.

Jiro Benten Pond, spring at bottom of a clif

Jiro Benten Pond, spring at bottom of a clif

A bower on the cliff overlooking Jiro Benten Pond

A bower on the cliff overlooking Jiro Benten Pond

A bower on the cliff overlooking Jiro Benten Pond

Shishiodoshi; water filled bamboo clacking against rock

Shishiodoshi; water filled bamboo clacking against rock

As I walked around by watching summer or autumn flower such as false anemone, bush clover or patrinia,

I found a jewel beetle. I haven’t seen this beetle more than several decades, I can remember childhood days.

Chrysochroa fulgidissima/ Jewel beetle/ タマムシ

Chrysochroa fulgidissima/ Jewel beetle/ タマムシ

 

The Imperial Palace visiting tour

The Imperial Palace tour (18 06 2020)

Tours are conducted twice a day (10:00am and 13:00 one-hour tour, admission free) except Sunday, Monday and national holidays.

You can join after registration in advance or on the spot 30 min. before start.

(currently numbers are limited 20 persons in advance and 30 persons on the spot by COVID19 influence)

伏見櫓 Fushimi yagura (keep)

The Imperial Palace, former Edo castle where Tokugawa shoguns lived in.

In the palace, it can be found mixture of buildings or construction built after Meiji Restoration as well as built in Edo period.

桔梗門 kikyoumon gate

Tour starts after through Kikyoumon gate and briefing in a visitor’s house.

旧枢密院 the former Privy Council

The former Privy Council

After passed by buildings of the former Privy Council, you can watch Fujimi yagura (keep) .

富士見櫓 Fushimi yagura (keep)

Fushimi yagura (keep)

Fujimi yagura (keep) which had important role after the main castle tower was burned down by the great fire of Meireki in 1657 and never rebuilt.

長和殿東庭 the east plaza in front of Chowaden Hall

The east plaza in front of Chowaden Hall

We enter into the east plaza in front of Chowaden Hall of the Kyuden (Imperial palace), where many public greetings such as New Year’s Day or Emperor’s birthday are celebrated.

正門鉄橋(二重橋)から見た正門石橋 the Stone bridge from the Iron bridge of main gate

the Stone bridge from the Iron bridge

We can enjoy views of the Stone bridge from the Iron bridge of main gate. Popular pictures from outside the place is like this.

石垣と土塁の組み合わせの深い堀の上に京都の伏見城から移築されたと伝えられる伏見櫓 Fushimi yagura (keep) is said relocated from Fushimi castle in Kyoto, standing on combination of stone walls and soil mound against deep moat.

Fushimi yagura (keep)

Another side we can see beautiful Fushimi yagura (keep) standing on combination of stone walls and soil mound against deep moat.

It is said relocated from Fushimi castle in Kyoto.

富士見櫓とビル群 Fushimi yagura with buildings

Fushimi yagura with buildings

On the way back to visitor center, the Fushimi yagura can be seen again with many buildings backdrop.

Since the buildings facing the Imperial palace are prohibited to show any advertisement, buildings look like obeying to the Fushimi yagura.

石垣 Stone wall

In the palace, we can find many kind of stone walls.

大名の印のある石 Stone with feudal lord's mark

Stone with feudal lord’s mark

緻密な石垣 Stone wall by fine work

Stone wall by fine work

We can find many plants and flowers in calm environment.

紅葉 Maples in the palace

fresh green leaves of Maples

山紫陽花 Hydrangea

Hydrangea

I have visited a reopened Shinjuku Gyoen garden

Shinjuku Gyoen (02 06 2020)

I visited Shinjuku gyoen garden yesterday at the day of reopen after the lift of emergency declaration.

This garden is divided into mainly 4 parts, such as Japanese garden (strolling style) , Landscape garden (English style), Formal garden (French style) and man-made nature harmonized forest (Satoyama, mother and child forest)

 

Landscape garden (English style)

Landscape garden area, we can be relaxed on the lawn of the garden. Also we can see scape of sky scraper backdrop of the scene. Very cozy area!

Landscape garden (English style)

Let’s move to Japanese garden, typical garden style of strolling around pond.

I was very relaxed in the garden well maintained even during closed period.

Japanese garden

Japanese garden

Another Western style of  garden style, Formal garden or French style.

rose garden formal garden (French style)

Although roses in the garden, little bit passed the best season, can still enjoy me to admire these beauties enough.

rose garden

Ingrid Bergman, Hybrid Tea

Unfortunately, a large greenhouse was still closed, but it will be reopened soon.

entrance of greenhouse

Then I visited to Satoyama area, where you can find nature of forest surrounding village used be commonly seen this area.

approach to Mother and child forest (satoyam) area

Mother and child forest (satoyam) area

If you want know more about Shinjuku Gyoen, please click here for more information.

Zojyouji, Kyu Shibarikyu and Hamarikyu garden

Zojyouji, Kyu Shibarikyu and Hamarikyu garden (Jan 20 2020)

Start from Zojyouji temple

Zojyouji temple main building and Tokyo tower

Zojyouji temple main building and Tokyo tower

From Sangedatsumon (three spirutual gate) to street outside

Sangedatsumon (three spirutual gate)

Shiba Toshogu Shrine

Shiba Toshogu Shrine

Kyu Shiba Rikyu garden

Pine with Snow hanging

Pine with Snow hanging

Pond and skyscrapers

Pond and skyscrapers

A couple taking photo for wedding

A couple taking photo for wedding

Then visit KYu Hama-rikyu garden

Tea house of hawk Taka no ocyaya

Tea house of hawk Taka no ocyaya

Gardener caring pine tree

松の手入れをする庭師 Gardener caring pine tree

Hamarikyu to Asakusa

Hamarikyu to Asakusa (Jan 04 2020)

Start from gate of Hamarikyu garden

Gate of Hamarikyu garden (Entrance fee: ¥300)

(decoration of Happy new year)

Gate of Hamarikyu garden (decoration of Happy new year)

Three hundred year’s pine

Pine/Bamboo/Japanese Apricot (松竹梅)(Syo-Chiku-Bai)

A tidal pond of Hama-rikyu garden

A tidal pond of Hama-rikyu garden

A water bus from Hamarikyu to Asakusa (JPY 800 one-way)

A water bus from Hamarikyu to Asakusa (JPY 800 one-way)

View of Hamarikyu garden from Shumida river

Hamarikyu garden from Shumida river

Rainbow bridge

Rainbow bridge

Tokyo skytree and Asahi-Beer-tower

Tokyo skytree and Asahi-Beer-tower

Go into Senso-ji through Kaminarimon gate

Red lantern of Kaminarimon gate

Nakamise shopping street

Nakamise shopping street

Five-storied pagoda and Tokyo Skytree

Five-storied pagoda and Tokyo Skytree

Main building of Sensoji

Main building of Sensoji