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30 August 2006 @ 08:39 pm
Shinjuku Gyouen (National Gardens)  
I have a week left of vacation exactly, so I decided that every day, I am going to do something that I've never done, or go somewhere in Tokyo that I've never been but always wanted to go to.

So, this afternoon I treated myself to Shinjuku Gyouen National Gardens.

I live a ten-minute walk from the entrance to Shinjuku Gyouen, and for more than a year, I've been tempting myself to go inside. But they close at 4:30 pm, and that's so early that it's beyond inconvenient for something like a park. Howeeeeeeever, I finally, today, even though it was overcast outside, headed out for it. I wasn't sure that I wanted to go alone, as it seems like a friend would be great at a place like this, but I'm glad that I did. It  was so relaxing!! Not only relaxing, but beautiful......

For a few hours, I walked around the park and enjoyed the scenery and different locations and took pictures, imagined little journeys, etc, and then I sat down for a while and drew/wrote in my sketchbook. I only left when they closed, and it seemed far, far too early to vacate.

Shinjuku Gyoen is basically, what it says, a giant landscaped garden park. It was originally a botanical garden under private ownership, and later on designed as an imperial garden for use by the emperor in 1906. In 1949 it was opened to the general public, and I'm really glad that it was..

Walking into the garden was like walking into a separate universe. I felt like I'd been transported to the wilderness suddenly, when right outside the gates is the heart of Shinjuku. One of the biggest stations in the country, Shinjuku station, is literally right outside of it. In keeping with feeling like I was suddenly in a different universe entirely, I felt at times as if a dinosaur could jump out at me, or a wild animal might attack, or even, that I might see a geisha in full regalia strolling between the sculpted japanese paths. Of course, none of the above happened, but it was still a great exercise for my recently-neglected imagination.

I took a lot of pictures, and had to delete quite a few as I went to make room for more on my memory card.

My first real view of the park..

Pine needles, japanese-style..

A pretty tree trunk..

There were a lot of rivers wandering through the park..

I thought this thing was beautiful.

Crossing my first bridge... (deep?)

And up the stairs...

Pretty scenery..

And down the path, to grandmother's house we go...!

Outfitted for the wilderness all by my lonesome.. (actually I got eaten alive by mosquitos! ;o;)

I experimented a lot with camera exposure and speed. Fun fun =D It's theapeutic!

I LOVE how this one came out..

So many nice huge lawns..

And the walkways of trees... Kind of a beautiful 'couples' thing, I think. ^^ Of course I was alone, but I am crazy enough for two people, deshou?

Veggie-tation.. or something like that. ^^

Rocky path deserves our love too. ♥

It's an island of bushes... this was in the French-styled garden, if I remember right... It's hard to remember, I wasn't really paying attention, I was just wandering instead and enjoying the remote feel of the wilderness. I think I would be more productive if I was surrounded by wilderness all of the time at home.

What do you think it is? A unique perspective!

Pretty walkway. ♥

Lots of lily pads eeeeeverywhere~~~

You can see the city looming just beyond the garden...... it's there watching over all of us!

So pretty.

For some reason, this makes me think of Jumanji....

You can sit all over in the park (or on the grass if you're so inclined).

There are a LOT of bugs in the park..


Big meadows again~~~

And more gorgeous walkways... I swear that I felt like dinosaurs could jump out at me along this path. It was fun imagining it..

I loved the late summer colors...

They had a Taiwanese/Chinese building that was really pretty, called Kyu-Goryo-Tei in the japanese gardens, and I thought it was really gorgeous..

The japanese gardens were not my favorite part, but they were really gorgeous in their own right.

Me, lol. It was raining...

And is it just me, or does that look like a skeleton hand coming up out of the ground to grab you and finish you off? CREEPY!!

Afterwards, I walked by a cemetary that I often walk past, and since it was daytime (I usually walk at night), I took a few pictures. ^^

Later I'll post about some of the places I went to last week with friends and things that happened. ^^
Kira_Shadowkira_shadow on August 30th, 2006 11:52 am (UTC)
The pictures and the park of course, are really awesome...
The slightly overcast weather and the resulting light gave the city a somewhat eerie, unreal and far-away look...as if the park really was somewhere else and the city a mirage you could see through a veil or something...
*blooming fantasy*
Wish the Japanese Garden over here was 1. close by and 2. quite as big and beautiful...

Must be really refreshing to walk in there and escape from the city if only for a few short moments...

Enjoy the rest of your summer vacation!
Yuviyuvi on August 30th, 2006 01:00 pm (UTC)
wow.. that is a beautiful park! is a great place to write or draw.. get some ispiration going. If you get a chance you should go there and work on your manga. It really is a beautiful place!
Ninisanini_sa on August 30th, 2006 01:00 pm (UTC)
VERY nice pictures. All this green looks great against your orange background. :>
josei_chan on August 30th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
Lovely pictures of the park... how big is it? It really looks like your in the country rather than in one of the busiest cities in the world. What I also noticed that all the shots had absolutely no people in them (other than yourself of course).... was that intentional or there weren't that many people around... considering it was overcast and raining. It makes the pictures even more lovely... like your in your own private secret garden.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on August 30th, 2006 01:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know the dimensions of the park, but it's really huge. I walked for two hours and never came to the same place twice, and I didn't visit some areas of the park. There weren't many people, it was drizzling most of the time and overcast, so not many people would want to pay to go in I think. I liked the serene feeling of loneliness. ^^ Though later on in the afternoon I did see quite a few families and such. ^^
catsluvdmb on August 30th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
I wish I had had time to see that when I was in Shinjuku :(
超ちゃ人: H x H: Killua *bigGRIN*chochajin on August 30th, 2006 01:34 pm (UTC)
Wow great photos ! Thanks for sharing them (^__^)
Looks like fun :)

Ah, I like your new layout <33 !!!~
?bleach_fanart on August 30th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
Those are really nice photos ^_^

Seems like a quiet place to relax XD~

do ppl usually visit gravyards in the late summer?
C L O V E R: Sakuraidyllica on August 30th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. I love parks. I'm so lucky to have a big yard outside with lots of fruits, veggies and herbs. ♥ And I'm only two or five minutes away from the park. ♥ Its absoutely beautiful. I love the trees and the rivers and ponds. Its absoutely beautiful. ♥
C L O V E R: Aya Ueto :: not your miracleidyllica on August 30th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
And not only that, it sort of reminds me of New York City, you know. Central Park. xD
Shuu-chan ~ 秀ちゃんsilvanlumiere on August 30th, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
Lovely photographs... My favorite's the one of the statue-like thingy that's got a hole in the middle. The two photos you took of it were really beautiful - it's like seeing a picture within a picture. Really unique! =D
Francesca {フランチェスカ}fantasy2004 on August 30th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
thanks for sharing pictures. That is really pretty park, it does feel like your in another world.
+babymoss on August 30th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
Wow, that is the most beautiful park. I love it. It looks so empty too, like you were the only one there! which is cool. It made me imagine the smells of the trees and the moisture.

Also, it looks so huge. Looks like a wonderful way to spend a day. You could take a little picnic for lunch and just spend the whole day exploring. It would be great to take some friends and maybe play some ball games (if it's allowed)!

Heh, nice post :o)
Jey: Bleach | Rukia - 31 Flavorschynoi on August 30th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
Mewgokumew2 on August 30th, 2006 04:31 pm (UTC)
Shinjuku Gyoen! I have a song about the place. .^^
Anyway, looks like a really neat place. So pretty~

I definitely need to do more sightseeing the next time I go back to Japan. .^^
Sana-chan: Flyingsana_chan on August 30th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
Wow *o* it's so pretty and peaceful!! I'd love to go somewhere like that and relax.
Owlsie .:*・°☆: Nature [Tree <3]alsie on August 30th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Ooh... Those are all so beautiful! I really love all the greenery. ♥ I love when you post nature pics like this. So pretty!
Chiakichiaki777 on August 30th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
Ohhh that is an uberly pretty garden.
sehrtseh on August 30th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
Oooh that's one of the gardens i've always wanted to go to in Japan! Thanks for posting pix!
maky: カワイィ!!!ichigosoda on August 31st, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting the photos! They are lovely~ (^-^)

Also, I just wanted to say thanks for adding me to your friends list! I love reading your posts and seeing your drawings, and the way you are so upbeat and positive is really an inspiration for me☆ :D
秋野 ふじこakinofujiko on August 31st, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
Wow! I loved the pictures. Especially the first picture of a walkway with the bench.
Seems like such a great garden.

Enjoy the rest of your holidays!