Posts Tagged ‘Ritsurin Park’

Plum blossoms in Ritsurin Park

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Japan’s most famous type of blossom is the cherry blossom, but if you can’t wait until March/April to see them you can see the plum blossoms in February.

Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu has one of Japan’s most famous gardens, and in that garden are two groves, each filled with 80 plum trees (also known as Japanese apricot trees).

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The first plum blossom trees in the South grove were planted in the Edo period, and the first ones in the North grove were planted in the Meiji period.

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There were plenty of other people taking photographs of the blossoms as well as me.

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Japan is very in tune with the seasons, so whenever there is a change in nature (plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, autumn leaves, etc) Japanese people flock to gardens like this to see it. They even show the progress of the blossoms in the weather forecasts as they start flowering through Japan. A sign in the garden says that one of these trees is a ‘sample tree’ that is being observed by the Takamatsu meteorological observatory.

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As well as pink blossoms, there are also white ones, and others that are light yellow. Many of these plum blossom trees are 50-60 years old

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Here’s a close up of some of the pink flowers.

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And a close up of some light yellow ones that are waiting to come out.

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And finally in the background is Mount Shion which is visible through much of Takamatsu.

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Ritsurin Gardens Light Up in Takamatsu

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The Ritsurin Gardens in Takamatsu, Kagawa is one of the best looking gardens in Japan. Usually you visit it during the day, but during November, for less than two weeks, the gardens are open at night.

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Selected trees, plants, water features, buildings and statues are lit up with a mixture of white and coloured lights.

ritsurin gardens takamatsu at night 01

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Unlike during the day when the whole of Ritsurin Park is open, only certain routes around are available to walk along during the light up. This is partly for safety reasons, and also partly because it would be too complicated to light up the whole park for such a short time.

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ritsurin gardens takamatsu at night 04

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The light up proved very popular, with hundreds of locals visiting to take photos using their expensive cameras and tripods.

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I made do with my cheap compact held in my hand, but the results aren’t too bad!

ritsurin gardens takamatsu at night 07

The Koi fish were up and as ever hoped to get food from the visitors.

ritsurin gardens takamatsu at night 06

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It is a bit like being at an art gallery where you move from one piece to the next rather than the usual Ritsurin Gardens where you can look at everything.

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ritsurin gardens takamatsu at night 10

Here is the Ritsurin Gardens waterfall. It is an artificial waterfall and at one time servants had to carry water up to make it work. These days a water pump is used.

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This shot is of the Ritsurin tea room reflected in the lake. The lighting provided for some great ‘reflected in the water’ photo opportunities.

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That isn’t the moon by the way, it is a light behind the tree.

ritsurin gardens takamatsu at night 16

In the dark even a simple piece of tree bark became very interesting to look at.

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Many of the stepping stones across the ponds were off limits due to the dark, but this set of stones was well lit up.

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ritsurin gardens takamatsu at night 20

And finally here is the poster of the 2010 Ritsurin Park light up.

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If you want to see what Ritsurin Park looks like during the day see my other Ritsurin Park photos.

Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu Japan

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Ritsurin Park 栗林公園 is one of Takamatsu’s top tourist attraction, and is also one of the best and most beautiful gardens in Japan.

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It is situated to the South West of Takamatsu’s main centre, and is easily reachable by the Kotoden tram, bike, or walking. Walking from Kawaramachi will take less than 30 minutes.

Ritsurin Park has 6 ponds and 13 hills. The park is next to Mt. Shiun which provides an impressive backdrop to the gardens.

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Standard admission is ¥400, but admission is free on January 1st and March 16th (the park’s anniversary). You get given a map with two suggested overlapping routes around the park. There is a red route, and a blue route which each take about an hour.

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The gardens are full of trees, plants and flowers, ponds and waterfalls. You’ll also find a craft museum, a tea house, and some koi ponds.

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As well as the koi you might spot turtles, birds and dragonflies if it is the right time of year. You might be wise to spray yourself with insect spray before visiting to keep mosquitoes at bay.

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You can do a quick tour of the park in one hour, but to do it justice you need at least three. If you want to stop for tea at the tea house and see the museum you should allow three hours.

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As well as the photos on this page I have another two pages of photos. Links are near the bottom of the post.

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Below is the tea room where you can have standard green tea, or the more traditional powdered variety.

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