Tokyo: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Het drukke Tokyo lijkt ver weg als je door Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden wandelt. De wolkenkrabbers torenen zo nu en dan boven de boomtoppen uit, maar verder bevind je je in een oase van rust. Het park was van origine een residentie van de Naitō-familie in het Edo-tijdperk. Het werd als koninklijke tuin aangelegd in 1879 en voltooid in 1906. Tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog werd een groot deel van de tuin verwoest door bombardementen. Na de oorlog werd de tuin gerestaureerd en in 1949 gingen de poorten open voor het publiek. Tegenwoordig valt het park onder de verantwoordelijkheid van het Ministerie van Milieuzaken.

 

 

 

Shinjuku Gyoen originated during the Edo Period (1603-1867) as a feudal lord’s Tokyo residence. Later it was converted into a botanical garden before being transferred to the Imperial Family in 1903 who used used it for recreation and the entertainment of guests. The park was almost completely destroyed during World War II, but was eventually rebuilt and reopened in 1949 as a public park. Shinjuku Gyoen is comprised of three different types of gardens: the oldest is a traditional Japanese landscape garden featuring large ponds dotted with islands and bridges. Well manicured shrubs and trees surround the water together with several pavilions and the Kyu Goryotei (also called the Taiwan Pavilion) which was built on the occasion of the wedding of the Showa Emperor. A chrysanthemum exhibit is held during the first two weeks of November in the Japanese garden with flower displays and large, temporary pavilions erected around the grounds. The park’s other main gardens include a symmetrically arranged formal French garden, and an English landscape garden featuring wide, open lawns surrounded by flowering cherry trees. The rest of the park consists of forested areas, lawns and several structures including a restaurant, an information center and an art gallery. There is also a beautiful greenhouse with many tropical and subtropical flowers.

 

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