It’s that time of year again, when the chrysanthemum wranglers of Tokyo liberate their flower-of-choice from ragtag funeral bouquets and show the world they can hold their own with far more glamorous blooms!
Here’s what’s new for 2019:
YUSHIMA TENJIN SHRINE
It’s hard to argue that this isn’t the must-see chrysanthemum diorama every year. These kiku ningyo (sacred chrysanthemum dolls) are sculpted from living plants, and every day they bloom a little more brightly
The Yushima Shrine has an unfair advantage, in that it’s gorgeous even without its fancy on, and during chrysanthemum season, its architecture provides the perfect frame for the traditional styles of flower training
Chrysanthemum season would not be complete without a floral calligraphy “Reiwa,” which is the name of the new imperial era that started when the new emperor ascended the – yes, it’s really called the – Chrysanthemum Throne this year
There are also some smaller displays of sculpted plants, in the shape of pagodas and daruma figures & such
…as well as the usual umbrellas o’ flower goodness and perfect fluffy flower bombs on a stick
The rest of the displays at the Yushima Shrine are here:
Where To See The Best Chrysanthemums In Tokyo
Dates: November 1-23
JINDAI BOTANICAL GARDEN
It’s worth the trip out to Chofu, just to see the cartload of fox tails
But of course they also have perfect specimens of all the usual kinds…
…and the full complement of pagodas & Elvis pompadours…
…as well as an odd category, which is cascades of blooms in the shape of Shizuoka Prefecture
Jindai also has a robust collection of bonsai landscapes (I especially love this one, which features Mt. Fuji and the pirate ships that ply the waters of Lake Ashinoko)
There’s a special category of rather large bonsai landscapes represented too, like this one with vintage toy castles and temples
Dates: October 25 – November 17th (2019)
Admission: Adults: ¥500, Children: ¥250
Hibiya Park has lots of every kind of chrysanthemum you can imagine, but the thing not to miss here is the various bonsai categories
These Xmas-tree-shaped ones come in every color
But there are lots of other styles too, including ones that have been trained to look like trees clinging to rustic cliff faces…
And miniature landscapes, where chrysanthemums are king
Of course, they have the usual perfect examples of unusual types and colors
…including these, which are the tallest freaking chrysanthemums I’ve ever seen (oyaji for scale)
Dates: November 1-23
If you’d like to see ALL my favorite places to ogle chrysanthemums in Tokyo, hop over to
Where To See the Best Chrysanthemums in Tokyo
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Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!