Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Chrysanthemum Exhibition

Every year in November, a chrysanthemum exhibition is held at Shinjuku Gyoen.
In the first part of November thousands of people gather in the park to admire the blooming of chrysanthemums cultivated according to traditional methods as well as new techniques. The chrysanthemums were introduced into Japan from China around the eight century. The Chrysanthemum Exhibition was an annual court function performed at the Akasaka Imperial Villa from 1878 until 1929, when it was moved to Shinjuku Gyoen. During the war the exhibitions were not held. But the chrysanthemum stock wasn't lost and in 1949 full-scale gardening resumed.

It had been a couple of years since I last had a chance to go, but last Sunday I managed to sneak in a visit. There are all sorts of chrysanthemums, or as the Japanese call them 菊 (kiku). From the 大菊 (literally "big chrysanthemums", appropriate name, don't you think?) the ones that look like they're having a bad hair day!

I really should have made a note of the different varieties and their names. Regardless, they're all beautiful and it makes for quite an impressive display. I'm glad I was able to go once again and capture some of them with my camera.

If you're interested, from tomorrow I'll be posting more chrysanthemum photos on my photo blog, 私の写真 watashi no shashin, over the next several days.


  1. Nice, Tanabata! Looking forward to the other posts. I wonder if the flowers were all set out so nicely as in your first picture. Was it a big hall or tent?

  2. Beautiful! I didn't realise there were so many different varieties of kiku!

  3. I really like the look of that second picture, a lot more than the "bad hairday" ones, although those might look better in a vase at home.

  4. Love that 2nd photo -- the eye is drawn to the white flower near the front that looks as if it's just had its hair curled. :)

  5. Sorry, I'm a man - they just all look like flowers to me ;)

  6. How utterly gorgeous! You make such great photographs, but you DID have something lovely to work with here. :) I have never seen such beautiful varieties of chrysanthemum. I've only ever worked with the midget variety that we used to force-grow in order that they be ready for Mother's Day gift-giving. These are spectacular, and so much work has gone into displaying them in all their perfection.


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