I swear, there is no such thing as an unappealing garden in Japan! The Kameido Tenjin Shrine garden is no exception. It is balanced, elegant, peaceful and inviting, and has been that way for about 350 years.
Wisteria is called fuji in Japanese. At Kameido Tenjin, in Tokyo’s west, the fuji cascade from high wooden frames, creating a ceiling of purple petals and green leaves. The wisteria bloom every spring and a festival is held to celebrate them at their peak. This year’s festival runs from April 20 – May 6 2013.
At the entrance of the grounds, a giant, red torii welcomes you into the Shinto shrine. A long, straight path then leads you through the middle of the grounds up to the shrine itself. The path also extends around the circumference of the grounds and weaves in and out around the wisteria plants, taking you on a journey around the garden. A big pond, home to turtles and carp, creates spectacular reflections and makes the place so tranquil. Along the main path are two ‘drum bridges’ which rise steeply above the pond waters. The bright, ‘Shinto red’ bridges contrast stunningly with the purple and green of the wisteria. Every day at dusk, lights are switched on for the festival’s ‘light up’ display. The garden transforms into glistening flowers against the night sky. It’s very magical and romantic!
The light up begins…