July 16, 2011

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, built in the early 1600s as part of Yorifusa Tokugawa's Edo residence. The gardens are greatly influenced by Ming dynasty-era Chinese Confucian concepts.

Korakuen has been designated an important historical site and is therefore protected by the government. This has given the gardens a certain status; there were just as many tourists as everyday visitors.

But perhaps summer is the least desirable part of the year to visit the gardens. If you visit in February, you can see ume (Japanese apricot), cherry blossoms in April, wisteria in May, irises in May and June, and the changing color of the leaves in December. 

But in the summer, unless you go first thing in the morning, you can't see the water lilies and lotuses in bloom. (They don't flower when the sun is out in full force.) There were hardly any ducks to be seen, and even the koi looked lethargic, stirring around in the mud to find the coolest place possible.

A vine inching its way inside the glass wind chime.

An accidental leaf boat.

A ball made out of fern.

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