Local Japanese gardens

This Sunday I visited a local seaside park facing the Tokyo Bay. The local newsletter had featured an announcement that a park called the Sodegaura Kaihin Park would hold a festival with the first 200 entrants to the park presented with plants. I was pretty excited and hoped to find lots of flowering plants, maybe a botanical garden too!

Upon entering the park, two of the officials gave me a map of the park – it seemed to be fairly large by Japanese standards. I saw a high viewing platform and a large windmill within the park, that had large lawns, palm trees lining the paved paths, plenty of space for kids to play, clean toilets and a splendid view of the Tokyo Bay including the Aqualine, an bridge-cum-undersea tunnel linking Kisarazu, (the city where I stay) to Kawasaki, Tokyo and Yokohama. 



Platform (left) and panoramic view (bridge-cum-tunnel in the sea can be seen on the right in enlarged view)

I ambled over to a tent-like structure where volunteers presented me with some marigold plants, a packet of Dianthus seeds, calorie mate and some pamphlets.

CIMG0060  CIMG0062

    Presents to visitors (left) and tent-like structure (right)

 Barring some camelias and a huge wind propeller that generated around 180 MW of power, there wasn’t much to hold my interest, so I decided to visit Sodegaura Koen, a large and popular Japanese garden not far away from this place.

wind propeller Camelia
Wind power in park Camelia

The Sodegaura Park, one of my favorites, was holding a chrysanthemum festival with the best flowers to be awarded prizes. The exhibits were amazing and  I was delighted to see bonsais of chrysanthemum flowers too. The photos here speak for themselves!

chrysanthemum chrysanthemum
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums entered for the contest (click to enlarge)

The bonsai exhibits were the best I have ever seen.

Bonsai-01 Bonsai-02

Bonsai – chrysanthemums


Bonsai Bonsai

More Bonsai exhibits – chrysanthemums

I also met an elderly Japanese couple who introduced me to seeds of the Castanopsis cuspidata, lying on the path that ran around a lake within the park. These seeds are edible and taste quite nice. It appears that during their youth, these seeds were sold and were quite popular, but not many people bother to pick these up nowadays.

Castanopsis Scene from the park

 Castanopsis cuspidata seeds (left) and a scene from the Sodegaura Park (right)


The park is in full of flowers in spring and the beginning of autumn, but with winter soon to come, the flowers in the park in bloom were mainly chrysanthemum, serbia, and a sprinkling of cosmos, and of course, with plenty of ducks, swans and the Japanese carp in the waters.

Serbia Begonia
Flowers-01 Flowers-02

Flowers in bloom at the Sodegaura Park

Ducks-01 Ducks-02
Ducks on land Swan and ducks

Birds in the park 

Have a great day!

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15 Responses to “Local Japanese gardens”

  1. November 1, 2009 at 7:26 am

    WOW! Those mums are amazing! My favorite is that pink one. I wonder if we have those types here, of if all the of the fantastic chrysanthemums are in Japan! Did you buy anything?

  2. November 1, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Hi Lzyjo, these are prize winning entries; the prizes will be decided tomorrow; so they aren’t for sale. If you see the chrysanthemums carefully, you’ll notice that none of the leaves at the base are brown or dried out. I don’t know how they do it; it takes about six months for a plant to grow to that height. I have no words to express the bonsais; they just took my breath away! I don’t know whether you have such flowers in the US. You must be.

  3. November 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Nice tour. Hope your Mums last longer than mine.
    The Sodegaura Park with the ducks looked like much fun.

    • November 9, 2009 at 11:11 am

      Wish the chrysanthemums were mine – they are so lovely. They have been displayed for an exhibition at the park and some of them will win prizes! The Sodegaura Park is at its best in spring when the colors of various flowers dazzle you.

  4. 5 keehin
    November 2, 2009 at 2:10 am

    Hello Mr.Gururajr.Finally you are back.Have been following your blogs.Very interesting.Unfortunately,I am in the tropics,some are rather difficuit to imitiate,you are one lucky guy.Incidentally, I think this will interest you.1)tropicalhorticulture.blogspot.com 2)youtub video-rooftop garden at 1utama,malaysia.Happy gardening….hope to hear more of your garden.

    • November 4, 2009 at 7:31 pm

      Hi, thanks for dropping by and for your nice comment. I visited the first URL that you gave, but could not locate the youtube link. Could you post the link to the youtube video again? Thanks.

  5. November 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I love chrysanthemums – especially during this time of year. These look a little differen than what we have here. I visited a plant nursery here about one month ago with my daughter and we took a bunch of photos of the the mums as they were so pretty! Thanks for shairng. Michelle

  6. November 9, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Gururaj, thank you for sharing. I am especially interested in the bonsai exhibition. I wish I could go to some festivals as such when I visit Japan the next time. What are the names of some popular, well-known botanical festivals or bonsai exhibition in Japan? Maybe I can check them out next time when I visit Japan 🙂

  7. November 11, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Loved going through your photos. The mums are beautiful! And the bonsai mums…I’ve never heard about them. Not mums!! Amazing! And the park photos with the ducks are so beautiful.

    • November 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks for the nice comments, Kanak. Will post more photos of Japanese parks and gardens that I visit henceforth. I have realized that while these are quite common out here, it might be interesting for people overseas to see different kinds of Japanese gardens.

  8. November 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I love your blog. I am amazed at the bonsai mums – I wonder how do they do that? Also, I am inspired by your toad lilies. I saw them on another blogger’s site, and now yours have convinced me to definitely try them in my own garden, located in Alabama, USA. Also enjoyed your photos of the Japanese parks. Thanks!

  9. November 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for your nice comments. I’m amazed too. It takes many years to grow these – so I guess I can answer you several years from now 🙂 Good luck with your toad lilies. They grow very easily here – just divide them and plant them elsewhere, and they start growing.

  10. June 23, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Lovely pics – the chrysanthemum planted areas reminded me of parks and gardens planting at the English seaside, bonsai gorgeous, what a specialist art.

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