Chrysanthemum Festival at Sankeien

Japan's national flower in different shapes and colors

By Takako Sakamoto    - 2 min read

Sankeien Garden in Yokohama is famous for its seasonal beauty. On November 3rd this year, I visited here to see its beautiful colored leaves. Unfortunately, the trees here hadn't started to turn colors yet, but I could unexpectedly see beautiful chrysanthemums exhibited in the garden instead.

This chrysanthemum festival started on October 26th and will be held till November 23rd. The chrysanthemum is, as you may know, Japan's national flower. The history of ornamental chrysanthemums dates back to Nara Period (8th century) when it was imported from China. For its noble beauty, the shape of the chrysanthemum was used as family crests by the samurai population. During the Kamakura Period (12th century), the royal family started to use it. Since then it has been the royal family's crest as well.

As for the chrysanthemums exhibited here in this garden, I overheard an interesting story from a vendor who was selling chrysanthemum pots at the exhibition. Since these exhibited flowers are annual plants, at the end of the exhibition (Nov. 23) they will be disposed as garbage... Seriously? If that's true would they give away some of them for free?! I should go back on the last day to find out!

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.