Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gardens Japanese style

I decided to spend some time in a garden today resting in the shade. So I headed for Kiyosumi garden west of Tokyo station, in an area bounded by three rivers. I set out with the essentials; water, fan, cloth for wiping off sweat or draping damp on my neck and my umbrella-more comfortable that a hat, and very Japanese! though I have just a folding yellow one not a proper parasol.
Thus equipped I bought some take away salads at the corner shop and walked into the garden. Kiyosumi garden is an Edo style stroll garden. This links with the Kyu Iwasaki garden as the same man Iwasaki Yataro bought it for the enjoyment of his employees. Though I don't imagine the factory staff got to come here, more the firm's executives! Originally water was drawn for the Sumida river but now it is from rainfall; wouldn't last long in Melbourne! This is one of three gardens bought when they were in a state of disrepair after the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, and Iwasaki spared no efforts to restore these former daimyo gardens back almost to their former glory.
I had my lunch in a little arbor on an island connected by an arched bridge. There was an occasional breeze to ease the heat and a few people had gathered there. The lake is full of big fat carp as well as optimistic tortoises. But if they were not quick, (the tortoises; an oxymoron there?) food left for them, was quickly grabbed up by the crows.
It is called a stroll garden , because there are paths to stroll! as well as changes in the view at each turn of the path. There is a wonderful path of huge stepping stones, along the edge of the Lake (with life-belts handy!) Kids were in their element here!
In summer at the moment the flowers here are Crepe Myrtle but not many in flower.

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