This section of the website, ‘More interesting plants – Japan’, shows a diversity of plants growing along the streets or around buildings or landmarks. Space limitation is definitely not a deterrent for the Japanese to line their narrow streets with flowers or shade-loving shrubs.
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ALONG THE STREETS
Those flower beds can be seen near the Tokyo Imperial Palace grounds.
Hanging baskets near the Tokyo Imperial Palace grounds.
Many streets in Japanese cities are very narrow, yet the Japanese still find ways of displaying plants. Sakaecho Street, Matsudo, Tokyo.
This red flower hedge was about five feet high along a street and a river in Matsudo, Tokyo.
Pruned small trees along railway platform. Kotohira, Shikoku Island
Flower bed (alyssums and English daisies) between sidewalk and street in Kochi, Shikoku Island.
Flower buds. Kagoshima
Flower boxes and cast iron gate along the sidewalk. Kagoshima.
In addition to spectacular architecture at the entrance of the Kanazawa train station, care was taken to include flower ‘boxes’.
Ornamental cabbage are popular in northern parts of North America for fall planting, but also along the streets of Kanazawa.
Kanazawa, located on the Sea of Japan, gets a lot of wet snow in the winter. Here’s how hedges are protected.
This other tent-like structure for wet snow protection is made of bamboo poles and solid rope. Kanazawa.
In this section of Nagasaki, chamomile was used in several flower beds along the streets and in the median.
Sometimes stone retaining walls have vegetation growing on them after a while, such as moss and ferns. Nagasaki.
This retaining wall in Kagoshima is covered with moss.
Although not growing in boxes, this snapdragon-like pink flower grows compactly along the street in Naruto, Shikoku Island.
This vivid red blooming shrub adds life to otherwise regular buildings on a street in Naruto.
In spite of the narrowness of this street in downtown Tokushima, Shikoku, trees were planted in large containers with flowers boxes in-between.
Most of those narrow streets don’t have sidewalks as we define them in North America. But this doesn’t prevent people from displaying plants – sometimes even veggies – in all kinds of pots along the street. Tokushima, Shikoku.
Small trees can be seen growing on this very narrow street in Kotohira, Shikoku Island.
Sakurajima is a volcanic island across Kagoshima on Kyushu Island. Here’s a ‘sakura’ at its best in March (beside a rock and ash shelter) along the road.
Zillions of sakura petals on the ground look like snow flakes. Tokyo.
Although Tokyo does get some snow and freezing temperatures, orange trees DO grow there, no doubt hardy varieties.
The knotty silhouettes of those bare deciduous trees seem a good match to the lamp posts. Near Tokyo Central Station.
Delicate buds from what looks like a young weeping willow. Asakusa, Tokyo
Spring buds on a March 13 in Tokyo.
There was a row of palm trees on a Kochi street that all had epiphytes.
TREES in areas other than streets
Cherry trees are very important to the Japanese. Many times an old, venerable tree will be given a second (perhaps a third or more) chance from pruning its dead limbs. This one is in Tokushima.
A pruned camphor tree in Tokushima (cinnamomum camphora). Those trees are native to Japan and some specimens reached large sizes.
Classical cloud-pruning of a Japanese black pine. Tokushima Castle grounds.
Cloud-pruned pines in Tokushima. This technique is labor intensive but produces striking results.
Ubame oaks (Quercus phyilliraeoides) are used for bonsais, bus this pruned specimen in Tokushima was left to grow to its full potential – to a certain extent.
Old trees are sometimes heavily pruned to rejuvenate them. When the new branches grow buds in the spring it makes for interesting shapes. Tokushima.
Rather than being disposed of or composted, this hollow trunk sticking out of the bush along a trail in a park was left there to blend with the landscape. Tokushima.
Pink berries on a small tree in Sakurajima.
Blooming tree on Mt. Inasa overlooking Nagasaki.
Pendulous clusters of small creamish flowers (catkins?) Mt. Inasa, Nagasaki.
Close up of the flowers.
A short (by this conifer standards) hedge on the grounds around the Kanazawa Castle, Kanazawa.
This tree is ‘rooting out’ as much as it’s branching out. Kyoto.
Heavily supported cherry tree in Kyoto.
Fuzzy fruit balls. Kyoto
Flowering quince, Kyoto.
Osmanthus are small evergreen trees native to Eastern Asia including Japan. Kyoto.
A beautiful trunk left in this green space as an ornament. Kyoto
Small vine creeping on a tree, on the road to the Kotohira Shrine (Konpira-San).
This is what a mature tree looks like with the same type of vine. Road to Kotohira Shrine, Shikoku Island.
Pomegranates left on the tree, with orange tree in the background. Kotohira area.
Part of the landscape on top of Mt. Godaisan overlooking Kochi, Shikoku Island.
Another view at the top of Mount Godaisan in Kochi.
How many zigzaging branches does this tree have is hard to tell. Kochi.
Strange-looking tree growing what seems to be large aerial roots. Enoshima Island, Sagami Bay.
This type of grass has a curly end. Sakurajima
Sakurajima has an active volcano which spews ashes regularly. Plants struggle on this volcanic soil.
A type of holly. Naruse, Machida, Tokyo.
Spring flowers in the understory. Mt. Inasa, Nagasaki
New growth in the understory. Kotohira, on the road to the Kotohira Shrine (Konpira-San).
Plum trees (ume) blooming in Machida, Tokyo on March 13. Since they bloom just before the cherry trees, they signal the arrival of spring and thus are quite appreciated by the Japanese.
Close up of the blooms. Many varieties are produced by Japanese horticulturists, to obtain double flowers for example.
Golden camellias in bloom. Found in many areas in Japan. This one is in Kyoto.
Double golden camellias look like roses. Kyoto
Japanese andromeda (Pieris japonica) is a shrub that is part of the heather family. They were in full bloom in March, a welcome sight in an otherwise almost flowerless landscape at that time of the year. Kyoto
UP UNDER A BRIDGE
The photos below were taken from the walkway under the
Onaruto Bridge, which links the islands of Shikoku and Honshu.
The Onaruto Bridge links Shikoku Island to Honshu Island. There’s a walkway under the bridge to allow a view of the Naruto whirlpools below. Yet the Japanese added a green touch to this master work of steel.
Flowers grow in bamboo-like containers in a corner of the Onaruto Bridge walkway.
Not enough space? No problem. A vertical bamboo-like flower container does the trick in this section of the Onaruto Bridge walkway.