Sakura cherry blossom at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
I do not have children, nor a garden, nor an elaborate wardrobe. All the things that keep women largely occupied are not in my life (yet) but I can feel time racing away and that I am not provided enough time for all the things I would like to do.
(Maybe there are too many and I should learn to focus – a good time to take up yoga again…)
So, I was saying that time is a luxury we can’t buy – but a ticket to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in central Tokyo will grant you access to a wonderful place where time stands still.
Yep, you have to buy a ticket (for many parks in Tokyo and it is always worth it).
This garden is an oasis of everlasting beauty no matter what season. Here, the magic of nature has been arranged by humans with comfortably paved paths.
Designed in 1906 by Henri Martinet supplying French romantic opulence and with the Japanese minimalist precision of Hayato Fukuba, the result is a masterpiece of constructed flora. A bliss for the senses, a former imperial green strip turned into three stylized gardens with an extensive English landscape, the symmetrical French rose beds and the Japanese traditional along a stream.
In this post I would like to share the peaceful moments with all rushed and stressed individuals on this earth… and to plead for world peace. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden does project some tranquillity and establishes a make-love-not-war attitude.
We went to the garden on Saturday to marvel at nature’s spring and to deliver some serious National-Geographic-Magazine quality shots of Sakura, the Japanese name for cherry blossom.
Here is to gorgeous.
There is an abundance of nature’s layers to explore.
This is the place to contemplate blossoming flowers. The circle of life, blossom, bloom, birth, death and all that jazz.
You can tell, I am not hanging around nature too much but I am not totally inexperienced in the field. I have harvested fake IKEA flowers at their big sales every season in Germany. It did take me some time to get used to the fact that the flowery specimens at the garden were indeed real and a few more moments that they are better looking.
Which is not an obvious phenomenon considering that I have been fooled by Japanese food models before.
This is real.
Just look at those. The petals are so fragile, I was afraid to scare them. But no need to worry, flowers are used to humans.
I have a picture of every single blossoming flower on that tree.
That day we saw the beauty of flowers at their brightest and best. Sadly, I have heard that after they bloom, they will slowly begin to wilt and die. Tragic that is.
I might turn into a freak of blossoming flowers, enjoying to watch the process of buds opening and spreading their petals to reach full bloom. I would also discover the culprit who took off a bite of the leaf!
Those pink beauties like to cling together on their thin mother tree.
Are those flowers the same as above? With 65 varieties of cherry blossom at the garden, you can get Satzosakura-confused.
Everything was looking their best.
The great Yulan magnolia tree dates back to the Edo period and blossoms with large white flowers.
I should get a garden. A Japanese garden with all the extras, like a lake and a gardener. The garden should ideally look something like this. Let me just check funding with Tomek.
We are not going to have a garden like this. Final word.
Oh well, on the bright side, I wouldn’t know how to keep Japanese Kois alive if they couldn’t be fed onigri and macha ice-cream.
And how would I apply the green-coloured eyeshadow to the pond?
Instead and more sensibly, we are going to take some nice memories home. Yeah, we obviously can’t do that, we are homeless, I know.
We will just live on this blog, post about the much appreciated profession of horticulturalists and come back to Shinjuku Gyoen to marvel at trees.
And to hug shrubbery. I am actually quiet positive that Tomek was going to snatch this souvenir out of the garden. Didn’t work because flowers, trees and bushes are attached to the floor. Definitely not IKEA type quality time.
None of the nifty shrub balls had price tags.
While I am trying to spoil nature lovers with Sakura beauty, let me just use this unique occasion to specifically turn to the nice people from the National Geographic Magazine:
Dear recruitment staff,
I have a lot of time to deliver more stunning pictures from all around the world as we travel. I have no family commitments, no job and no subscriptions (hence even more time) but if I had to choose it would definitely be the National Geographic Magazine. Please feel free to contact me any time.
Warm regards, The PTraveler
Done. Let’s hope for the best and move on with the post.
A snapshot of spring.
I took all pictures on the same day. Still, some images do look like autumn to me.
I remember saying that time stood still at Shinjuku Gyoen. Well, not so for the Japanese garden rangers. Riding their bikes to remind every last annoying gaijin to stick to the rules and leave on time.
It was time to leave but not an easy thing to do.
It was getting dark and progressively difficult to see the time on the tallest clock tower in Tokyo, the NTT Yoyogi DoCoMo Building. This could be the reason why we were late.
But mainly, because we had a good time.
So long… Happy Hanami everyone!
Location: 11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0014
Admission is 200 JPY for adults, 50 JPY for kids.
The opening hours are everyday from 9.00 to 16.00 except Mondays when the garden is closed.