The original Korakuen Garden was begun in 1629; it was built for one of the Daimyos, or feudal lords appointed by the Edo Shogun. The red maple trees and other fall foliage were splendid when we visited it last Monday. The landscaping is intensely developed, with fish ponds, streams, arched bridges, a tiny artificial waterfall, pretend mountains and rivers named for real ones somewhere in Japan, stone lanterns, artificially-supported pine trees, rocky footpaths and stairways, trellised wisterias, and even a rice paddy.
As we walked we saw dozens of Japanese visitors with cameras, and one professional photo shoot featuring a couple of models dressed in kimonos and elaborate accessories. The Tokyo Dome is right next door, providing ultra-modern contrast with the ancient garden features.
Feeding the fish and ducks
Men working on the rice paddy; wisteria trellises in the background.