Before I moved to Japan, I tended to think that the Japanese sense of beauty involved mainly subtlety. Very simple flower arrangements. Artfully cut bonsai trees. Temples with clean lines and strong silhouettes. That’s all true but it’s definitely not the complete picture.
There’s also a strong argument to be made that they love big, bold displays of beauty here, too. Remember all those amazing light illumination shows I wrote about last winter? The spring equivalent is flower displays.
Last weekend, we returned again to what has become, hands down, my most-favorite-park-in-the-entire Earth. (And that’s a sentence written by someone who has now lived on three continents….) Showa Kinen park in nearby Tachikawa is a wonderland no matter what the season, but especially right now when it is shamelessly flaunting acres of flower gardens.
That’s right. Acres. Flowers! Flowers! Flowers! And Flowers! No wimpy, delicate, demure displays. These are in-your-face, aren’t-we-beautiful? aggressive displays of color and bloom designed to make your eyes widen and expand until you look like a Manga character.
The fields planted with flowers were amazing. I loved walking through the paths that cut through the flowers. But the park also featured many, many more traditional gardens, with beds planted in an array of colors and precise patterns. They trailed next to a winding river and spread underneath leafy trees. Just one or two of these beds would be beautiful to see, but what impressed me was the sheer number of flowers on view.
Even the bushes are in bloom! (We see a ton of those right here on base, too. Wil and I have joked that absolutely everything here blooms.)
We skipped going all the way down into the pit, but aren’t the flowers on its rim lovely?
We make pretty good flowers ourselves!
Showa Kinen is just one of many parks in Japan that put on an impressive display of flowers. My Facebook feed of late has been filling up with flowers of all shapes and colors blooming throughout greater Tokyo and Japan. Local readers interested in visiting a few can find a list of some of the best on Japan-Guide.com. (http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2423.html)