Another autumn has come and gone, my 9th autumn in Japan. I didn’t know Tokyo had such wonderful parks, especially kinds that really bring out the beauty of the seasons. I have seen the evening lights drape across the temple’s eaves under a blood orange sunset. I have inhaled the perfumed evening breeze from the furs of fashionable matrons ambulating through a narrow patch of grove. A popular Japanese belief is that if you catch a falling leaf make a wish. The Tokyo vibe is intoxicating and so are its myths and folk traditions.
Rikugien Garden is a Tokyo metropolitan park in the heart of Tokyo. The name Rikugi comes from the idea of the six elements in Waka poetry. The park consists of a small pond, trees, and a hill. I like the layout because it’s different. Not all parks in Japan are alike, each with its own design scheme and its own theme. I like how the flow of water slowly meanders along all most unnoticed as little ducks paddle their way down a waterway. It’s sublime.
It was a lazy late afternoon when we were there holding hands. When you think of autumn in Japan you think of big name places like Kyoto and Nara. I spent my last autumn up in Aomori Prefecture, at the largest natural virgin Beech Forest in the world and relishing in its autumn offerings. You do not have to go far to find beauty because Tokyo has it, even when it utterly clashes with the overall landscape of this mega city.
Getting there is surprisingly easy. Just read up on it here. If you are looking for brilliantly colored leaves, then you may not find that here. There’s something about Tokyo’s weather that lightly paints the leaves of a few trees a deep orange reddish color. All while retaining the greenery left over from summer blending the two seasons together.
The truth is is that I wanted to visit Kyoto this time around, since I never got a chance to experience autumn there. I have friends there. Instead I chose quality time with my special someone to reflect on the quietude of it all. It was nice. I loved it.