Shinjuku Gardens contrasts the crowded streets surrounding Shinjuku Station in Tokyo with the quiet nurturing of greenery in a residential enclave tucked next to it up against the walls of the botanical gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen.
Fifth in the Urban Drift series of small books on cities, Shinjuku Gardens explores a small residential area of Tokyo. A first impression of Tokyo is its size – the number of people at the crossings, the train lines, the signs, the lights at night. This is a stereotype one has learned to expect and it does exist. But then one walks through a section of streets with homes, not old, but human-scale, almost a village. And there are plants everywhere. Hidden between Shibuya and the Shinjuku Botanical Garden one finds such a neighbourhood of small residences. Here one observes the resilience of humanity’s rootedness in nature as residents nurture flowers and trees in tiny gardens, even if it is only a few pots tucked up against a concrete wall.
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