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 →

Spotlight: Hondo-ji (Chiba)

Japan is chock full of temples and shrines and frankly, not all of them are worth adding to your itinerary. In some cases, they're too old or run-down or out of the way to make the effort. In other instances, visiting in one season may leave a bland impression ... while visiting at just that perfect... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Photos of 2015

It's the end of 2015 and in a few hours, the year will wrap up and roll over into another one. Such is the way of time, and there's no stopping it. (Much as I want to. Can we roll back to autumn? 🙂 ) This year has ZOOMED, more so for the fact that... Continue Reading →

Friday Photo: June 2014

I always try to go to Tokyo in June. It's one of my favorite times of year, flower-wise, and Tokyo has the best concentration of gardens I know of where one can enjoy irises and hydrangeas in their rainy season glory. I wanted to visit the Harajuku and Omote-sando neighborhood to get more pictures and... 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 →

Manhole Monday: Itako

It's nearly iris time again here in Japan. I love how Japanese seasons - even specific months or weeks really - can be determined by what's in bloom. The azaleas are currently ablaze on the hillsides and the wild wisteria are just reaching their end. Still, with a lifelong love of the color purple, I... Continue Reading →

Experience: Itako Iris Festival

For most of Japan, June is the rainy season. But with the seasonal showers come the indigo blooms of irises. My favorite color being purple, I'm rather partial to these delicate flowers. There are plenty of places around Japan where one can catch a glimpse of irises in bloom but one of the best I... Continue Reading →

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