When people go to the Tokyo Teien Art Museum, they usually go to see the beautiful architecture and the exquisite furnishings. How many would plan to go an hour before their scheduled tour and then pay extra to ensure time to see only a small portion of the grounds? I did, even though much of the garden was closed off to the general public for renovations of the pond, tea house, and other areas. Why? The last time I was there the wind blew through the trees calling my name but I only had a minute or so to respond to the perfume of the small gardenia. The big trees deserved some devotion, and it only costs ¥100 to enter just the grounds.
During WWII, the Americans did not bomb the Teien palace, so many trees here are quite old. Look at the size of this trunk!
How big were the trees? To give you some idea of size, can you spot the gardener? These trees were near the tea house that is being renovated, and I think that those trees closest to a structure were probably not the largest ones on the grounds. These would surely have been carefully manicured and trimmed when the palace was filled with activity and residents.
Near the entrance are many dark trunks that resemble blockish puzzles of some kind. I do not know what kind of tree these are but I think of them as monkey puzzle trees.
The trees were as full of squarish twists and turns as one of the several Ossip Zadkine statues seen on the grounds.
Although visitors are not allowed to venture forth into the woods surrounding the palace, the overgrown paths beckoned, promising adventures like those in childhood stories or in legend. Would I find a cabin or a fairy circle if I was only allowed to walk through the shade?
The skies were in turmoil all day; they could not decide to be sunny, stormy, or both. The overcast sky added to the shadows cast by the tall, leafy trees that created a sheltering bower to walk under during the brief drizzle.
Paths scattered with leaves were roped off to prevent would-be explorers from rediscovering long-forgotten nooks and crannies were messages could be left in secret or where fairies could gather.
Large red pines towered above me but yet, differed from the ones of the Western rainforests that Emily Carr captured in oil paint or charcoal. These were reluctant to be captured. They remained untamed on the manicured lawn.
As if they knew that this September would be a time of rain, the last blooms of the hydrangea stubbornly remained although their season, the rainy season, traditionally ends in late June or possibly early July.
Although I love dappled light shining through dark bowers of towering tress, the lush green seems to have an aroma that fills the air. I could not decided whether or not to leave these trunks with overly exuberant overgrowth in colour or not. What do you think?
As we left, the clouds scattered and the sun bravely peeked through in the same way that this silvery birch shone through the green darkness of the glade.