November 28, 2011

Tonogayato Gardens

It's the time of the year for foliage viewing -- almost. According to Yahoo's red-leaf tracker, last week was still a bit to early to see the leaves in all their glory. But that didn't stop the crowds from coming out to the prime leaf-viewing spots. These photos were taken at Tonogayato Teien (Tonogayato Gardens) in Kokubunji.

Originally built in the early 1910s as a vacation home for the eventual vice president of the South Manchuria Railway Company, by 1929, the gardens had passed on to a family related to the Mitsubishi conglomerate. After being purchased by the Tokyo Metropolitan government in 1974, the parks were designated a cultural asset in 1998.

The use of the yukizuri technique, in which ropes are used to prevent delicate branches from being crushed by snow, has the effect of making the tree look like a Christmas tree.

This is actually a reflection of the tree seen in the pond. The photo is also upside down, which makes for an interesting "Whoa, gravity!" effect.

From the pond, you take a number of steps up to the Koyo-tei teahouse, seen slightly on the upper left corner. Koyo means "red leaves".

It's there that the leaves can be appreciated in all their glory (and you don't have to stand around to do it).

No comments: