Japanese chrysanthemum exhibition in Tokyo

Ozukuri chrysanthemumLast November I went to an exhibition of chrysanthemums at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo.

They were carefully displayed in special decorative pavilions dotted about the main gardens and it seemed to me that they were typically Japanese in the way they aimed for perfection through artifice. Nothing like an English herbaceous border which is about glorifying nature in all its profusion.

Here’s some pictures to show you what I mean. See if you agree.

This is a single chrysanthemum plant grown in a special frame that supports every flower individually. The technique, called ozukuri or thousand bloom, was developed at Shinjuku Gyoen. The largest recorded ozukuri chrysanthemum had 2,200 flowers.

Ozukuri chrysanthemumThese plants have been grown in the ogiku style where each plant culminates in a single flower. Here the blooms have each been given a paper collar to show them off.

Ogiku chrysanthemumsThese ogiku style plants were displayed diagonally in rows. This is a picture of them taken from the left…

Ogiku chrysanthemumsand this is a picture of them taken from the right.

Ogiku chrysanthemumsThese chrysanthemums have been grown in the kengai or cascade style.

Kengai style chrysanthemumsThis is the shin-tsukuri or driving rain style.

Driving rain style chrysanthemumsThe chrysanthemums in the exhibition were displayed in little pavilions called uwaya. I think the purple curtain could be lowered when the park was closed to preserve their special microclimate.

Chrysanthemums in uwaya pavilionThe pavilions were dotted around amongst the formal gardens at Shinjuku, but there was also some planting in the gardens themselves.

Chrysanthemums at Shinjuku GyoenI always go to Shinjuku Gyoen when I am in Tokyo. It is the equivalent of Kew Gardens in London, and just as Kew has a Japanese garden, Shinjuku has a French formal garden and an English landscape garden as well as a traditional Japanese garden and 20,000 trees.

Rose garden at Shinjuku Gyoen

One thought on “Japanese chrysanthemum exhibition in Tokyo

  1. Pingback: Chrysanthemums – an East-West fusion art show | Sequins and Cherry Blossom

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