Chrysanthemums at Shinjuku Gyoen - 2016
I've been on a run with chrysanthemum articles lately. I went to Omiya Hachiman last week and saw them there. Shinjuku Gyoen also puts on a superb exhibit every year, so I thought I had better take some pictures of those as well. However, I just couldn't get the timing right. Originally, I went the second day after it started but due to the cold weather, the flowers had hardly bloomed so I left without any pictures. Then I couldn't get there for a week because of work. In the end, on the very last day when it was cloudy and grey, I finally got my pictures. Such has been my luck all this year, bad timing for almost everything. Still, some pictures are better than none!
Regardless of the weather, the flowers did look good. The amount of work the growers put into them must be pretty incredible. As you walk around the displays there are plaques on which you can read about how many different types there are, as well as the different techniques and schools. If you are interested in them, or were to become interested in them you might hear these terms:
Choji - when I saw this one I thought it possibly couldn't be a chrysanthemum as it looked so different, more like an sea anemone;
Edo-giku - this is a classical medium-flowered chrysanthemum that was developed in Edo (Tokyo) during the eighteenth and nineteenth period. These flowers have petals that change in appearance as the flower opens;
Ise - developed in Mie prefecture and has crinkled and drooping petals;
Kengai - a technique that takes small chrysanthemums and places them on trellises to look like the plants are growing over a cliff;
Ozukuri - according to the notice at the Shinjuku Gyoen display it takes one year for a root to produce the hundreds of flowers that are then pinched and trained using a special technique into creating the massive domes, and;
Saga - has thin and straight petals.
Chrysanthemums are truly lovely flowers and Shinjuku Gyoen is probably the best place to see them in Tokyo. I just hope next year, I can see them under blue skies! If you are ever in Shinjuku during November, you really need to stop by Shinjuku Gyoen and have a look.