The Winter Warriors of Tokyo

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…

Camellia with nectar

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.

Chinaberry fruits

Underfoot on a pine-flanked path, malodorous Chinaberry fruits littered the forest floors.

Chinese Lanterns with Aloe vera

Just outside Koishikawa Botanical Garden, many gardens outside quaint Japanese block houses featured wild-looking Aloe vera beneath (perhaps) deep-red Chinese lanterns.

IMG_2858

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!

Koishikawa Building

Within the park is the former University of Tokyo’s Medical School building.

Koishikawa Davallia mariesii

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.

Koishikawa Fatsia Japonica

Leaves of a favorite of Japanese gardens everywhere, Fatsia japonica.

Koishikawa Artists

Artists in Koishikawa sketching the old university building and garden.

Koishikawa Greenhouse

A seemingly neglected greenhouse (speculation) in Koishikawa — no entrance admitted.

Liliodendron tulipifera

A leafless Liriodendron tulipifera, or tulip tree, which was gifted to Japan from the USA during the Meiji (1868-1912) period!

Nipplefruit

Behold, the hilariously named nipple/titty fruit, otherwise known botanically as Solanum mammosum (Japan: fox face).

Pasona Plant

An inescapable landmark of Tokyo, as it’s next to Tokyo station, Pasona Group Inc. is famous for its indoor urban farm.

Pine Tree at Korakuen Amusement Park

Pines adorned with LED-lit globes beneath the rollercoaster at Tokyo Dome City.

Crocus flowers IMG_2861 Koishikawa Garden and Cinnamomum Korakuen Amusement Park Trees with Globe Lights at Korakuen

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