Shinjuku Gyoen Kiku and Roses 新宿御苑 菊とバラ

28 01 2011

Ogiku Chrysanthemums

Ogiku Chrysanthemums

Kiku 菊 (Chrysanthemum) are another symbol of Japan, particularly the Imperial Family, and the Imperial Family’s Chrysanthemum crest can found all over Japan on buildings, and even on the Japanese passport. Fittingly, the Imperial Family Household holds a Kiku Exhibition in Shinjuku Gyoen from November 1st to 15th.

The exhibition not only gives you a chance to see some beautiful and unusual varieties of Kiku and traditional ways to display them, but also coincides with autumn roses (‘bara’ バラ in Japanese) flowering in the French garden, and the start of leaves turning to their autumn colours all over the park. Entrance to the park is 200 yen, and it can be accessed from Shinjuku-gyoenmae Station (1-2 minute walk), Shinjuku-sanchome Station (3-5 minute walk), Shinjuku Station South Exit (10 minute walk), Sendagaya Station (5 minute walk), and Kokuritsu-kyogijo Station (5 minute walk).

Here are a few photos I took on November 13th.

A traditional Ozukuri bed of Kiku

A traditional Ozukuri bed of Kiku

Edo Variety of Kiku, which changes in appearance as it opens

Edo Variety of Kiku, which changes in appearance as it opens

Ichimonji variety of Kiku, from which the Imperial Family crest is inspired

Ichimonji variety of Kiku, from which the Imperial Family crest is inspired

Fallen autumn leaves

Fallen autumn leaves

Cream Delight Rose

Cream Delight Rose

More photos can be seen in my flickr set.

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Five photos of Oze

8 11 2010

Okay, so I’m a little snap happy. When I went to Oze in October I took over 200 photos… Which was then narrowed down to the 87 you can see in my Flickr set. And now I’ve chosen my 5 favourites I’d like to share with you.


Firstly, most of the hike is walking through landscape like this. Unfortunately the sun didn’t like me very much on that day, and I wasn’t really able to capture the true colour of the marshlands. It was a much more vibrant orange, which you’ll see in a later photo.


However the partially cloudy conditions meant the reflections in the ponds spotted here and there were quite pretty.


And the Autumn colours were just gorgeous!


And although it was a little wet too, it didn’t take away from the scenery.


Lastly, this photo taken at Oze Lake gives you a better idea of the colour of the marsh grasses. Just beautiful. Autumn is rapidly becoming my favourite season, but next spring don’t be surprised if I start waxing lyrical about the Cherry Blossoms!

Please click on the photos to view larger versions, or check out all my photos on Flickr!





Golden Oze

15 10 2010

Well, even though I have no way of uploading this at the moment of typing, I feel I just have to write down my feelings.
See, right now, at 4:43pm Thursday, I’m sitting in my own room in a mountain hut at the northern end of Oze marsh.
And I am starving, despite having a late lunch at 1. Luckily dinner is at 5:30. And then lights out at 8:30. It feels kinda novel in a way to have no phone reception and plans to go to bed so early, but I’m in a beautiful part of japan, and it also kinda fits.
Oze is just beautiful. I love autumn colors to start with, so that doesn’t hurt, but when I look at the hills around me it’s like a glorious natural patchwork quilt.
And the marsh itself was literally glowing golden in the afternoon sun. Even the boardwalk seemed to complement the setting.
It’s been surprisingly easy to get here and get around. I had worked myself up a bit about the whole having to catch a bus and not having a reservation at this mountain hut. But it all worked out perfectly. I had no reason at all to worry. I just hope tomorrow goes as smoothly.
But I’m sure, just being around this glorious natural beauty will be enough to take away my stresses.
Not looking forward to going back to Tokyo tomorrow night *sigh*