Great Gardens: Horikiri Shobu-en

Iris gardens seem to be a dime a dozen in the Tokyo area but that doesn't mean I love them any less. Purple being one of my favorite colors, I get a particular thrill to see these delicate-stalked blooms begin to appear in late May and throughout the month of June. One of my favorite... Continue Reading →

Great Gardens: Ashikaga Flower Park

A few years ago, wisteria wasn't even on my radar. Sure, it's a historical and hugely popular flower here in Japan, but having spent so much time in Okinawa up to that point, my flower knowledge mostly comprised hibiscus ... and that's it. Alright, and cherry blossoms. Everybody knows cherry blossoms. 🙂 Then I moved to... Continue Reading →

Review: A Flower Lover’s Guide to Tokyo

Two years ago, I gave a quick profile on Sumiko Enbutsu's tiny but fantastic guidebook A Flower Lover's Guide to Tokyo. As we really swing into the spring flower season, I wanted to do the book a bit more justice and hopefully give garden lovers out there (like myself) an additional resource to track down some... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Iris Gardens in the Tokyo Area

I'm a total garden nerd. I don't know how it happened, as we had more mint and parsley growing in our front yard garden than ornamental flowers. But for some reason, the palette of colors in the flower gardens here in Japan simply takes my breath away. Of course, my favorite color has always been... Continue Reading →

Spotlight: Daitoku-ji (Kyoto)

Temples in Kyoto without the crowds? Seems an impossible task but yes, they can be found and I did just that on my last trip up to the city in April. The temple complex of Daitoku-ji sits in northern Kyoto, a short bus ride from the Golden Pavilion but worlds away from the tourist masses.... Continue Reading →

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