Japan has numerous beautiful gardens all throughout its different prefectures. One of these is a flower garden that is located in Sumida, Tokyo. It is called “Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens,” a popular sightseeing place where flowers bloom all year round. Every year, from mid-September to the beginning of October, the Hagi (Bush Clover) Festival is held here. It is a chance for people to see the elegance of the garden with its different varieties of plants. This 2017, the event will be held from September 16 to October 1.
Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens is a flower garden which was opened on July 8, 1939. It was originally built in the 19th century by Kikuu Sahara, a merchant. It covers an area of 10,866 square meters.
The garden’s name has a historical significance. “Mukojima” was taken from the region’s old name, “Mikajima,” while “hyakkaen” means “a garden with a hundred flowers that bloom throughout the seasons.”
It is said that Kikuu Sahara first purchased a land in Terajima Village. With the continuous cooperation and support from literary artists, he was able to open an elegant garden full of flowers and shrubs. It attracted so many visitors which made it really popular.
The garden primarily featured ume or plum trees at the beginning, then, later on, other collections of flora followed making the garden available all throughout the year. The garden suffered extensive damage on two occasions, the Great Sumida River Flood and the Great Tokyo Air Raid (the Bombing of Tokyo in 1945). Later on, it was renovated and donated to the city before being designated as one of the popular sites or cultural assets in Tokyo.
In order to instill awareness in people about the beauty of the garden, a festival is held every year. This is called the “Hagi Festival,” or “Bush Clover Festival” in English. Visitors come to the place to admire the long tunnel of hagi or bush clover, which is an autumnal symbol of melancholy and unrequited love. The bush clovers are grown on a 30-meter long bamboo frame built within the tunnel. Visitors can pass through it and take pictures during their visit.
People can see several varieties of plants and trees in the garden. Many of them are flowering plants including Japanese bush clover, cherry, Japanese apricot, camellia, sasanqua, and some wild grasses.
Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens is reachable by train or by bus. You can also go there on foot from Keisei Hikifune Station on the Keisei Oshiage Line. They offer foreign language pamphlets (Chinese, English, Korean, and French) for tourists, and they welcome everyone – from children and students to couples, families, and seniors.
If by any chance you’ll be visiting Japan some time this September, it would be best to attend the Hagi Festival at Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens so that you get to enjoy the country’s nature with all the beautiful blooming flowers and trees in the garden.