Yesterday, my former next door neighbour, Mrs Higuchi, and I had lunch at the French Institut de Japonais followed by a leisurely stroll around Koishikawa. It is one of Tokyo's oldest parks, dating back more than three hundred years to Tokugawa (shogun) times and was built using Chinese expertise. The garden has lakes, and mountains and bridges, spring flowering plums and cherries and peaches, summer rice, autumn ginko and momiji (Japanese maple). Each viewpoint in the garden is remarkably different, each section is its own microcosm.
At this time of year the light gently filters into the park through the momiji (Japanese maple) leaves. It is the middle of kouyou (leaf changing season) there at the moment: some leaves are still green, some have turned to yellow, others are a brilliant red. It's always satisfying as well as enjoyable to spend time with Mrs Higuchi. She's the only Japanese friend that I speak in Japanese with, furthermore her Japanese is very genteel. One can only hope that the the Billingsgate Japanese I have absorbed in high schools is polished up by association. ;)