Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
7th June 2015
I woke up exhausted. As comfortable as the capsule hotel was (no tongue-in-cheek, it genuinely was comfortable), my sleeping patterns had been too disrupted from the travel to get to Tokyo to be able to get any real sleep in. It had also been an intensive previous day on foot venturing between Tokyo’s major suburbs and also considerably warmer than I was used to having flown in from the European winter.
Part of the reason for having ended yesterday in Shinjuku was for the short jaunt to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens; the legendary grounds that date back to the Edo period although the gardens in their current state are post WW2. As to be expected from the Japanese, it was exquisitely maintained with even more of the perfectly uniform brown grass that I’d become fascinated with at the Imperial Palace.
Strolling the garden with other tourists and locals in our own time bubble, it was a very different place to the Shinjuku that existed a few roads over where some of the enthusiastic and aggressive brothel promoters from the previous night were still in action on this weekday morning. A strange contrast: Shinjuku – hookers and horticulture.