2018年03月15日

'Fuyu Botan', peony trees blooming in winter, are found at the peony garden in Ueno in January and February every year.

IMG_0542.jpg

Peonies originally came from China, and were introduced into Japan as medicine in the 9th century. A variety of improvements have been adapted since the 17th century, thanks to the increasing popularity for decorative purpose. Being loved by Japanese people as a symbol of 'Wealth and Honor', they are also used as the subject matter of a painting, pattern and family crest. Peonies generally bloom in spring though, the special ones, carefully cultivated to add colors during the New Year holidays, are called Fuyu Botan, winter peony.
It's hard to see flowers in midwinter.
Ueno peony garden in the grounds of 'Ueno Toshogu Shrine', Tokyo, is one of the many peony gardens in Japan. There are about 200 winter peony trees, which are brought to bloom forward. This garden was built to commemorate the friendship between Japan and China, in 1980. More than 500 different peony trees, which are from China, the USA and France, are planted here.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

HP-banner


posted by masahisa at 13:27 | Tokyo-gardens | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2014年07月23日

'Kitanomaru Koen' park is located in the very heart of Tokyo to be an urban oasis thickly covered with green.

IMG_2735.JPG

IMG_2719.JPG

Being adjacent to the Imperial Palace and the main building site of Edo Castle, Kitanomaru Koen park used to be the premises of the Tayasu Tokugawa family and Shimizu Tokugawa family in the Edo period in the 18th century. After the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century, when Japan's modernization started, the Imperial Guard Division was established here. Present Kitanomaru Park was built to be opened to the public after the second World War, through these historical details.
This park is the important green in the very heart of Tokyo together with the Imperial Palace East Garden and Hibiya Park. However, as shown in the first picture, this park features thick green as if in a countryside even though it is in the central part of Tokyo. Furthermore, luminous moss designated as a national monument grows naturally.
'Tayasu-mon' gate as shown in the second picture stands on the north side of this park. This gate, built in 1636, is the oldest gate among many existing gates of Edo Castle. 'Shimizu-mon' gate, rebuilt in 1658, is also found on the east side of this park, both of them are designated as important cultural assets.

Licensed tour guide/travel asssistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner
posted by masahisa at 07:21 | Tokyo-gardens | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年06月25日

"Roppongi", well known as a nighttown, unexpectedly bears the full atmosphere of Japan.

012.JPG
Within walking distance of the center of "Roppongi", The International House of Japan is found. This land belonged to a "daimyo" feudal lord in the Edo period, then the ownership came into Baron Iwasaki Koyata, the fourth head of Mitsubishi conglomerate, in the 19th century. After the second World War, this institution was built in the very place, where the old mansion of Baron Iwasaki once stood, in 1955. This building was designed by Japan's well-known architects of the day, Maekawa Kunio, Sakakura Junzo and Yoshimura Junzo.
On the other hand, the garden of this institution was originally built in 1930, by Ogawa Jihei the seventh, a top-ranking landscape designer in Kyoto, in response to the request from Baron Iwasaki. This garden is renowned as a masterpiece of modern Japanese garden which retains traces of the early Edo period.
* See the picture above.
As the institution has lodging facilities, a restaurant and teahouse, and you are welcome to enter the garden, just dropping in on this place on the occasion of visiting "Roppongi" is highly recommended.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner
posted by masahisa at 11:18 | Tokyo-gardens | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする