The Tokyo Imperial Gardens are part of the Imperial Palace compound. The compound covers 285 acres in the middle of the city of Tokyo. The East Gardens are freely open to the public. The grounds and gardens around the Imperial Palace are however open with special permission, and visitor groups are escorted for guided tours. Most of the photos below are from the East Gardens.
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Imperial Palace building hidden behind beautiful trees.
This tree looks like it grows from a giant cut stone ‘pot’. Visitors at the base give an idea of the size of the stones.
A striking contrast between the garden landscape and the Tokyo skyscrapers.
This garden view however throws us back in time.
This large tree silhouette totally changes the ‘mood’ of this landscape.
Access to this lovely path is closed to the public. The small trees in bloom are ‘malus’ (apple trees).
The same building from a different angle.
Close up of the malus halliana (crab apple). Apple tree blossoms are fragrant.
A striking contrast: sturdy – and hardy – palm trees with Japanese black pines in the background. Palm trees are usually associated with ‘tropical’ climates.
A pond with the clear reflection of the trees in the water.
Rippled reflection, with water lilies in the foreground.
Close up of the water lilies.
There are also carps in the pond.
Carefully labeled iris shoots.
Irises in bloom.
Chaenomeles sinensis small tree showing some blooms. Native to Japan. Related to the quince.
Close up of the chaenomeles blooms.
Not only is this tree supported, but it is also heavily ‘bandaged’ in burlap.
Its name: acer rubrum (red maple).
Long, slender bamboo trees near short, blooming crab apple trees makes for an interesting contrast.
This white criss-crossing around the bamboo trees bark is so clear it looks almost like it was painted. Phyllostachys heterocycla (Moso bamboo).
Camellia sinensis (tea tree) is used to produce tea. Grown in terraces here.
Five blooming trees (cherry or plum or apple).
Daphne odora (winter daphne) blooms early and is very fragrant (as the latin name implies), but they’re hard to grow. Native to Japan.
Edgeworthia chrysantha (oriental paperbush) is also an early blooming bush, with fragrant flowers.
Another Oriental paperbush specimen, this one with orange-lined white flowers.
Rhododendron obtusum (Japanese azalea) is starting to bloom.
Stachyurus praecox (Spring Spiketails) is another early bloomer with pretty white flower racemes.
Ferns shooting up from the dormant ground.
Red blooms on maple-like trees.
Looks like there’s a colony of moles in that area of the gardens.
A garden maintenance crew at work. Note the type of broom used – a twig broom.