Today my mom and I headed out in search of the garden known for its cherry blossoms. We’re about two weeks too late to really experience cherry blossom season, but have been hoping to see some at least.
On our way to the garden, we stopped for lunch at a french crepe restaurant recommended in our guidebook. The restaurant was on the thirteenth floor of a department store, and overlooked a giant outdoor garden. It was somewhat surreal to be eating crepes overlooking Tokyo. My mom ordered the banana crepe with salted caramel. It looked delicious. I went for a breakfast crepe with eggs, bacon, and asparagus. It was tasty, but I’d go for the dessert crepe if I ever went back.
Afterwards, we explored the department store. In Japan, quite often the department stores have restaurants on the top, and then each floor below has a different specialty: women’s clothes, men’s clothes, children’s items, stationary and gifts… etc. The basement level is the food section, selling all sorts of boxed foods from chocolates to bento boxes.
We finally made it to the garden, Shinjuku’s Gyoen Park, and took our time exploring. The place was huge! We went for tea in a Japanese tea house, trying the authentic green tea and small sweet that accompanies it. As we walked the grounds after, my mom went a little camera crazy. I heard a chorus of “oh wow“s and “look! looks!”s from her. We did find cherry blossoms, but they looked a little worse for wear, shrivelled and ready to fall off the trees. Still, my mom had her camera out to take a picture of each and every tree. Besides the cherry blossom trees, the garden had plenty of other flowers, with giant red and purple bushes.
It was a good day, quiet in the garden away from the busy Tokyo streets.