Date: 30th March 2015
The last time I tried to visit Rikugien garden, I was too late. They weren’t allowing anymore people to queue up. This time I arrived earlier, got off at Komagome Station and rushed towards the entrance. Luckily, the lines were still open.
But the line was long — both in front of me and behind me
In the mean time, I had a sakura tree across the road to look at
It took me nearly 20 minutes to get inside. There was an entry fee of 300 yen but I was happy to finally get in this time.
These are the dates for the special viewing of the famous ‘Weeping Sakura Tree’
It was pitch dark with only a few lights illuminating a few trees
I had my tripod with me
Rikugi-en means “Garden of the Six Principles of Poetry” — which comes from the idea of the six elements in waka poetry, while ‘en’ (as in gyuen) means garden.
Rikugien is a bigger garden but I could not see anything else in this darkness
But practically everyone was here to see the famous weeping cherry tree (taken on my mobile)
So I setup my tripod and began taking photos of this 50+ year old tree
It wasn’t easy to shoot given the lighting conditions and all the people in front of the tree but I did my best
I took many shots. I am just sharing the ones that came out well and without ant blur.
Barely 30 minutes in and the guards were now making the announcement that the garden was closing and asked everyone to leave
I was among the few cameramen (and women) who were waiting for everyone to clear in front of us
We couldn’t linger around any longer. All of us were asked to pack up our tripods and leave the garden.
And that was my Rikugien visit
It was time to head back to my hostel
Was it worth coming all the way here for just a tree? I don’t know, but the size of tree is pretty impressive. Since my Japan trip was planned to make the most of sakura season, this visit to Rikugien was just another spot in Tokyo to view cherry blossoms. After all, it’s for a limited period only.
Back at the hostel, I had a quick dinner and freshened up. I had to wake up early tomorrow. It was my last full day in Japan, and I was lucky enough to buy a Hakone pass from a fellow hostel guest who purchased the 2-day Hakone Pass and only used it for a day. I bought it off her for just 1000 yen, so I saved a few thousand yen myself! With this pass, I could use the Hakone buses, trains, cable car, and the sightseeing cruise any number of times. Super convenient! At Hakone I would also get to experience a natural onsen — another first for me. All that in the next two posts.
Previous posts in this series:
Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park
Japan 2015: Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?
Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street
Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen
Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River
Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple
Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and exploring Kabukicho
Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck
Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog
Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more
Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom
Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride
Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show
Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion
Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto
Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza
Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba
Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time