I made it to Japan and visited one of the most beautiful parks in a city I have ever seen. Read about how I planned this trip and the inspiration for poetry here. In fact, I learned that there is a lot of respect and interest for literature in Japan.
We didn’t plan this but on the same street as our hotel there were a number of book stores and a book fair. I need to research more into this myself but the book fair was for Japanese literature and some English books. For the link to the international book fair click here.
The choices were so overwhelming and a pleasant surprise to experience this in such a highly advanced technological city! I can’t emphasize enough the way books in print were highly valued. Even though I can’t read Japanese, the atmosphere left an impression on me.
So we went to the Rikugien Park in Tokyo with not a lot of knowledge other than it was influenced by Waka poetry. What did leave an impression on me was the way it was quiet everywhere.
In Tokyo trains you weren’t allowed to conduct a mobile phone conversation. I appreciated this totally along with the thought that people were much more disciplined in this park. It’s a park that seems to long your attention. It’s peaceful.
There were 88 spots of literary significance arranged along a path surrounded by a pond and an inslet.
There were 88 spots of literary significance. I was too overwhelmed with beauty to think about ‘the spots’ and was grateful that the park was quiet with a few people. I did notice some plaques with Japanese writing on them that marked the spots. The ones that deteriorated were replaced by wooden ones. More information on the park and a map click here.
Enjoy my photo gallery of the Rikugien Garden in Tokyo. These are just some of the photos we took. It takes around an hour to tour the garden and I read that there is a guided tour of the park in Japanese. I wish someone could recite the poems as I walk along this garden or if I could read the poems myself.
The whole place – the tree formation matching the landscaping, the water in the pond and how it seemed to fall under the bridges, the colour of greens that seemed to blend into each other-the shadows that accentuated the shapes- it was a work of art.
As I’ve said before, I’m humbled by the power of the written word to recreate such beauty. It strikes a chord because soon such a natural wonder of the world- a nature park in the centre of the city where I’m from will be senselessly destroyed. It’s only a short term lease and who knows what could be built in its place. At least I have my memories of it preserved in a book- to see it click here.
I’ve written some impressions – not necessarily of the park or Japan itself but of what came to mind. I reached a clarity of mind to allow impressions and perceptions to form. This is one of the great reasons I love travel. The getting there is also significant and a time to reflect. There are no interruptions other than time to eat, drink and sleep.
I might reblog this post onto my Traveliterature blog with photos and travel tips for the other places we visited in Japan. If I do, I’ll update this post so please visit again.
Our trip was a taster. A week wasn’t long enough to do everything Tokyo and the rest of Japan has to offer. The highlight of the trip was the parks, food and the kind people. There is something for everyone.
We’ve traveled to most parts of the world and have chosen a few we’d visit again. Japan is one of them.
Finally, to end the tour, here’s me at one of my favourite spots at the park. I loved the way the branches seemed to dance and looked like sculptures.
Have you a favourite park? Feel free to share it or any other comments you may have.
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