At night, the winding paths of Tokyo’s Chinzanso Garden are bathed in a fine mist, while the trickling streams and dark corners twinkle with tiny fireflies (hotaru).
People mill about and whisper and squint to better see the glowing motes and, for a moment, it’s easy to forget you’re in one of the busiest cities in the world.
This is entirely by design; the adjoining Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo has made it possible for locals and travelers to explore the grounds year-round and experience the charm of early summer fireflies in the heart of Tokyo. Here’s the scoop.
The Chinzanso Garden
Located beside the Kanda River in Bunkyo Ward, the Chinzanso garden has long been a green oasis for Tokyoites.
Around 700 years ago in the 14th Century, the land was known for its many wild camelia, then over the years, it has changed hands, been cultivated, landscaped and was almost wiped out during the war.
The grounds are once again lush with local plantlife including hundreds of camelia, fruit trees, moss and even a five-hundred-year-old sacred tree that survived the WWII bombings.
This is made even more scenic with things like a pond, stream, waterfall, historic stones, monuments, a three-tiered pagoda, shrines and even restaurants.
Fireflies in Tokyo put on a show
Chinzanso has been home to imported fireflies since 1954, a tradition carried on by current caretakers Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo.
(You can read the rest of the article at this link. This article was first published by Team JJ on October 15, 2021. Check here for deeper and unique insights into visiting Japan, including wellness, travel, cuisine and more. Find us on Instagram and on Facebook.)