Every month, I have the enviable opportunity to travel to Tokyo, and, during my four-day stay, I’m well-able to spend my time ambling about the city’s pocket places of nature. Hoteled in a new neighborhood upon my most recent visit, I was just a hop, skip, and a Google-Map search away from Koishikawa Botanical Garden. Besides various winter-dead plants, here’s what I found within and just without…
In a grove of camellias (a genus of flowering plants including that which produces our teas), I tasted the uber-sweet nectar oozing down from this gorgeous flower’s stigmas.
Underfoot on a pine-flanked path, malodorous Chinaberry fruits littered the forest floors.
Just outside Koishikawa Botanical Garden, many gardens outside quaint Japanese block houses featured wild-looking Aloe vera beneath (perhaps) deep-red Chinese lanterns.
The hardy, aquatic Thalia dealbata, or appropriately nicknamed Alligator flag, has purple blooms in the summer and can even be found in my home state of Pennsylvania!
Within the park is the former University of Tokyo’s Medical School building.
Koishikawa also has a fern garden, in a sense, which includes Davallia mariesii (squirrel’s foot fern), a species of epiphytic fern native to Japan and eastern Asia.
Leaves of a favorite of Japanese gardens everywhere, Fatsia japonica.
Artists in Koishikawa sketching the old university building and garden.
A seemingly neglected greenhouse (speculation) in Koishikawa — no entrance admitted.
A leafless Liriodendron tulipifera, or tulip tree, which was gifted to Japan from the USA during the Meiji (1868-1912) period!
Behold, the hilariously named nipple/titty fruit, otherwise known botanically as Solanum mammosum (Japan: fox face).
An inescapable landmark of Tokyo, as it’s next to Tokyo station, Pasona Group Inc. is famous for its indoor urban farm.
Pines adorned with LED-lit globes beneath the rollercoaster at Tokyo Dome City.