The Irises are worth it!
If I had to choose an off season for visiting Japan it would be the rainy season. In June most days are gray and cool with moisture but heavy wet and warm with humidity. It’s tough to get the laundry dry and things get moldy easily. Yet as I paint this gloomy picture there are some things of beauty that come with the rainy season,
Rice paddys are planted and begin to grow, it’s green and lush, the hydrangeas bloom and so too do the irises.
Meiji Shrine Inner Garden
Meiji Jingu Gyoen or the inner garden has a long history and is part of the grounds of Meiji shrine near Harajuku and Omotesando. I must have visited the shrine over 30 times with family and friends but I had never been to until now. Why? because June is the time to go and friends and family have never visited in the off season.
The garden dates back to the Edo period ( 1603 ~ 1868). It was passed to the Imperial estate during the Emperor Meiji’s rule (Oct 1868 ~ 1912). The Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken often frequented the garden which is best known for its iris fields.
When I emerged from the subway on a Saturday afternoon I was overwhelmed by the throngs of people shuffling shoulder to shoulder along Omotesando Boulevard. A sea of humanity coming at me in waves. I thought the garden was going to be jam packed however I was pleasantly surprised.
There is an entrance fee of 500 yen to get in and maybe this deters some people but it was well worth it. It was a haven of quiet and sanity in the hustle and bustle of the shopping madness happening outside this little slice of quiet lush green heaven. Actually not so little, it is an impressive 83,000 square meters. The irises stretched as far as I could see through a cleverly panted gully in the woods. They bloom from the beginning of June and the garden boasts 150 varieties and some 1500 plants. According to the website we know this because the plants are counted every day by the staff. Mmmn …… I wonder why? Anyway back to the topic. It is not an image of down town Tokyo at all! Wander with me through my pictures.
All I can say is don’t let the off season put you off! Get out and about and discover new stuff!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Off-Season.”
Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu