If there is one thing that far exceeded my expectation about Tokyo is the fact that it has so many beautiful landscape gardens (gyoen). Their gardens are often spacious, where everyone is free to run, lie down, roam around and just stretch every bit of your being to make up for the 20sqm apartment unit we called home. More often, these gardens are crowded at daytime particularly during popular season of cherry blossoms or autumn foliage sightings.
I visited most of the beautiful garden in the city but never did experience going there at night time for the obvious reason that they are close by 5:00pm or for a more personal reason that I never like taking photographs at night or using the distracting flash. But it’s the time of the year where the weather is getting colder, the holiday season in full swing and everyone is mostly on good vibes, night time are the best time to walk around and re-discover ways to be merry without a beer in hand.
The city has offer a reason for us to go out and about town after the sun disappears. With several places popular for Christmas Illuminations, there is one particular garden that is purposely encouraging everyone to visit from sundown to 9:00 pm – Rikugien Garden “Autumn Light Up” at Bunkyo-ku. This is annual event which marks the start and the end of autumn season; I almost missed out going to this event mistakenly thinking that it will be open up to Christmas day. Anyways, good that I check Time Out Tokyo for things to do during weekend that I was able to catch it on its last day.
I seldom go out at night but I was happy that I did and visit Rikugien Garden. Seems to me that the garden looks even better at night with few light bulbs leading the pathways. The winter chill at the back of my neck and with everyone around on their coats and scarves, there is an air of excitement as if we are all summoned for a treasure hunting night. The autumn leaves with its red and orange colors are far better with a special light illumination pointing at it, highlighting it against the darkness of the surrounding.
As expected, there are hordes of photography enthusiast with their DSLRs trying to capture the beauty of the garden’s illumination. With most of them setting up their tripods on best viewing spots, which can be a little annoying especially if all you want to do is appreciate the view and maybe take a few memento shots.
Photos are taken with my best buy- Olympus Pen E-PL2. No tripod, no flash.