East Gardens of the Imperial Palace


East Gardens of the Imperial Palace


We thank all our guests who joined our East Garden of Imperial Palace tour on Jan.20th.

We welcomed 17 guests from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Taiwan and USA, including an 11-months baby boy. We hope you enjoyed experiencing the Edo period adventure with us.

It was a little bit cold but it was a good day to walk around the garden (former Edo castle). Even in the middle of the winter, we enjoyed watching the nature around the Edo castle. The moat is a good place for various kinds of birds, such as spot‐billed ducks, swans and so on, to inhabit. If you will have the opportunity to join our tour, make sure to look for these adorable creatures!

Like in the previous tour report, the flowers of the plum in the Imperial garden are in bloom one by one. Actually, during the earlier times, plum blossom viewing was more popular than cherry blossom viewing. Japanese people had different culture in the Nara period (8th Century). They used Japanese words “花 (flower)” in waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables) to mean Japanese plum flower. There are 118 pieces of waka talking about plum, compare to 42 pieces of cherry.

One of the famous high-ranking government officer, Michizane Sugawara was very fond of ume ( Japanese plum ) trees and composed a waka for the tree in his garden : ” Kochi fukaba nioi okoseyo ume-no-hana aruji nashi tote haruna wasureso ” ( Whenever the east wind blows , my dear plum blossoms remember spring , even if your master won ‘t be here ) .

Honestly, I prefer plum blossom than cherry, because of its dignified strength. It blooms in cold winter. Its flowers are small and modest, but it has good fragrance. I wish I could be like a plum flower.——-What about you?

By Setsuko.I