woman

Hayashi Fumiko house and garden wonderfully preserved in Shinjuku

東京にはあまり古い家と庭がありません。ほんの75年前に建てられたのですが、新宿区にある林芙美子の家は訪ねる価値があります。大江戸線で行けますが、上品な建築と日本庭園は京都みたいです。入場料は安いです。よく維持されています。

Most of Tokyo is efficient, dense, and forward-looking. It’s great to travel in the city in a setting that evokes other places and times. Hayashi Fumiko was a famous woman novelist of the first half of the 20th century, and this is the home she lived in for the last ten years of her life.

Although the house is less than 75 years old, it evokes a very different Tokyo with its spacious garden. It’s a wonderful time capsule that has been well maintained. Admission is only 150 yen, and in summer the ticket seller offers mosquito spray and hand fans.

Summer fruit outside small apartment

Grapes nakano

Framing a second floor apartment entrance, this mature grape vine’s fruit are turning purple in mid August. I blogged earlier about the elderly woman who takes care of this garden. I have not seen her since she told me, “I like flowers, but I also like flower lovers.” She also mentioned how much she enjoyed my garden, too, although she has never been to our upper floor balcony.

Figs nakano

Her entire garden, which includes the amazing grape vine, a fig tree and some tall roses are growing out of five or six plastic buckets on the edge of the narrow street and a few hanging plants with blue flowers outside her  entrance. The plants intrude a little on the street, but mostly the garden is vertical.

garden overview figs grapes nakano