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Historic and Scenic Park Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens
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View Point

Hagi(Lespedeza) tunnel

The hagi tunnel is a famous attraction of the garden. It is created by training hagi to cling to bamboo poles and is about 30 meters in length. The best time of the year to enjoy the tunnel is September.

Trellises covered with blooms

Starting in late May, the sweet aroma from the purplish wisteria trellis fills the air. Other flowers on trellises such as arrowroot(Pueraria Labata) and three-leafed akebia(Akebia trifoliata), which cannot be seen elsewhere, also begin to bloom. In summer, the camphor blossoms are reddish purple while in spring the akebia blossoms are blackish purple. One can even see purple fruit in the autumn.

Trichosanthes anguina (Trichosanthes anguina), gourd(Lagenaria siceraria var. gourda), squash(Cucurbita)

These blossom around July and, in August through September, their fruit hangs from the trellises. The best time to see the "decorative" squash when their color and shapes are the best is the latter part of August. Some reach 15cm in diameter.

Flowers in and around pond

The pond has been constructed in such a way as to create a marsh. In one corner of this area there are large cabbage-like plants called Mizu-Basho(Lysichiton camtschatcense) growing along with irises (Iris ensata). In summer, lizard’s tail(Saururus chinensis) can also be found.

Traces of Literary Men of the Past

At the entrance to the garden, framed Japanese calligraphy written by two famous Japanese poets, Shokusanjin (Real name: Ota Nampo) and Okubo Shibutsu are on display. Shibutsu's calligraphy (春夏秋冬花不断) carries the message to the flowers of this garden blooming throughout the year. An additional message (東西南北客争来) reads that visitors to the garden never cease coming. These decorative calligraphic message are framed in long vertical wooden frames that are posted at the entrance for visitors to read. In addition, there are a total of 29 monuments to famous men of letters, similar to the monument dedicated to Basho, that are sure to please visitors interested in Japanese calligraphy and literature.

Wild birds and Insects

Since the vegetation of the garden is very similar to that found in nature, birds such as Japanese bush warblers, the Great tit, the Japanese white-eye and many other wild species can he seen. Types of insects that are seldom found in big cities also come to the garden, such as Emma cricket, Japanese katydid and Green tree cricket.

Visiting the Sumidagawa Shichi-fukujin
(January 1 to 7)

The Shichi-fukujin are the "Seven Gods of Good Fortune" in traditional Japanese mythology. Of the seven gods that comprise the Sumidagawa Seven Gods of Good Fortune, the one known as Fukurokuju is located in this garden. The Sumidagawa Shichi-fukujin have been on display in seven different locations near the river since the Edo Period. Two locations that have been very popular are Yanaka and Mukojima-Hyakkaen. People tend to visit the seven gods early in the year.

The Seven Herbs of Early Spring

The "seven herbs of early spring" are varieties that have been long believed to help avoid misfortune and ensure long life and have been consumed along with other food materials. They consist of dropwort(Oenanthe javanica), shepherd's purse(Capsella bursa-pastoris), gnaphalium affine(Gnaphalium affine), chickweed(Stellaria media), henbit(Lapsana apogonoides), turnip(Brassica rapa) and radish(Raphanus sativus). Since the Meiji Period, they have been planted in a bamboo basket and presented to the Imperial family each spring.

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