Japan 2015: Shinjuku Gyōen

Sakura time! I’ve missed you, pretty pink flowers.

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‘Twas a cloudy morning when we lost and found our way to Shinjuku Gyōen, a dashingly beautiful park full of cherry and plum blossoms. After a series of confusing “refto at Meijijingu shreeto”, it was time for a picnic under some sakura trees. The great thing was that it was relatively early in the morning and hardly anyone was out and about. The park also happens to require an entry fee (quite cheap!) but it’s totally worth it.

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I would pay for great views. Funnily enough along the way there was this group of Korean boys (men?) and excuse me they were in my way so I totally brushed past them to find a good spot to sit. BUT according to the Mum they were looking at us expectantly, as if they were waiting for us to get their signatures. BUT nope, sorry I don’t recognise K-pop idols so too bad.

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This flower is prettier than them. I think. Didn’t really see their faces, just registered that hey people are talking Korean and hey they’re filming something (a travel vlog?) and hey other people were talking to them excitedly in more Korean.

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Sorry flower boys, did I offend your vanity? Sorry.

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In other news, the building at the side is the tea house, where you can get tea the traditional way, paying quite a lot to do so.

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Happened to pass by a tour guide, who pointed me to this very lovely photo spot. That’s Takashimaya Times Square in the distance, with a strategically placed clock tower right above the only spot in the park to get three shades of pink in one. Hair goals.

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I want to grow old in Japan. We passed by so many old folks’ groups, including a photography, bird-watching and watercolour painting club. This lovely old man offered to help us take a photo in front of a sakura tree, took our camera and bent down to get a better angle. Which would be wonderful if his knees weren’t shaking the whole way. Thanks grandpa, but really, take care of your knees. Our photo isn’t worth it!

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TADA the lady was painting this! Serious art skills, much respect.

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Really love the juxtaposition of park and city – it’s very quiet in the garden, and you forget that the rest of Shinjuku is so busy until you look up and see skyscrapers. I think it’s a lovely place to unwind, chillax and have a hanami party.

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Another lesson learned? This is Japan’s idea of an English lawn. Shinjuku Gyōen is divided into a traditional Japanese garden, French garden and English lawn. Turns out a lawn with sakura trees is as English as it gets. The French garden only blooms later in the year, so the star attraction in April is definitely the Japanese gardens. Too pretty for words.


Upcoming posts: I’m editing the Hakone pictures now – will possibly split it into two posts instead of one, we’ll see. I’ve also got a new exciting destination to blog about! I just came back from the Philippines on a work trip and goodness gracious we went deep into uncharted territory. Kidding, but the places I went to were truly off the beaten track. Local festival goodness and “happy pandemonium” coming up soon.

Upcoming travels: Off to Taiwan late July and -excited- off to study in Germany in September. Here’s to more fun. Prost!

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