Moon viewing and Lespedeza blossom festival
Moon viewing 12 – 14 September 2019
Lespedeza blossom festival 14 September – 6 October 2019
Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden
After a hot summer, autumn is on its way. Mukojima Hyakkaen, a historical Japanese garden situated in eastern Tokyo, will host annual events to watch the harvest moon and fall flowers.
Moon-viewing festival (Tsukimi-no-kai) 【12-14 September】
Tsukimi or o-tsukimi (“moon viewing”) is a tradition of appreciating a big, golden moon shining in the autumn sky. It is also a time of thanksgiving for the harvest, with offerings made to the moon.
The timing of tsukimi event is on the “jugoya” or the fifteenth night of the eighth month of the old calendar (the lunisolar calendar once in use in the country).
For the year 2019, the Fifteenth-Night Moon will be on 13 September, followed by a full moon on the next day.
Today, the custom of tsukimi and thanking the moon for the harvest is getting obsolete in urban households. Meanwhile, a number of establishments – museums, observatories, large commercial complexes, etc. – organize moon-viewing events and festivals across the town.
But here at Mukojima Hyakkaen, it is still possible to feel the autumn in a traditional atmosphere, watching – weather permitting – a real moon hung over the Japanese garden.
On the occasion of o-tsukimi, Mukojima Hyakkaen will extend the opening hours exceptionally for three days until 9 pm (last admission 8:30 pm).
◆ Placing offerings to the moon, with flute (shino-bue) music
【Time】12 September (Thur), 5–5:30 pm (*cancellation in case of rain)
◆Lighting of picture lanterns
You may yourself lit a lantern (*up to 35 persons; first come, first served)
【Time】Every day, 5:50–9 pm (*cancellation in case of rain)
【Time】Every day, 3–8 pm (*apply by 7:30 pm)
【Fees】1,000 yen (*admission to the garden extra)
【Time】Every day, 6-8 pm (*cancellation in case of stormy weather)
Hagi-matsuri: Lespedeza blossom festival 【14 Sept-6 Oct】
Mukojima-hyakkaen garden, created in the early 19th century, is full of native plants.
In the fall typical Japanese autumn flowers come into bloom. They include: hagi (Lespedeza) blossoms in gentle dark pink, ominaeshi (Patrinia scabiosifolia) in lively yellow and kikyo (Japanese bellflowers) in elegant violet shades.
During the season, the blossoms of pea-like plant “hagi” (sometimes translated as “Japanese bush clovers”) will be specially honoured in the garden, with a series of events to take place to celebrate the annual bloom.
Main events of hagi-matsuri
◆Haiku or tanka on the theme of hagi
Make your own haiku (or tanka) and write it down on a special notebook
【Time】 All day, every day (except for stormy weather)
Free live shamisen music, with a pair of players crooning a slow tune – a sort of Japanese blues.
【Time】16 September (Monday/holiday): 11:30 am / 2:30 pm (*each session for about 30 min) *To be cancelled in case of rain
◆Plant watching in the garden
【Time】21 Sept (Sat) & 5 Oct (Sat): 11:40 am / 2:40 pm (*each session for about one hour)
*To be cancelled in case of rain
*Up to 30 participants a session
◆Outdoor tea ceremony
【Time】 28 (Sat) & 29 (Sun) September: 10 am – 3 pm (*apply by 2:30 pm)
*To be cancelled in stormy weather
【Fees】500 yen (admission to the garden extra)
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