The Garden of Words or About Rainy Season

“A faint clap of thunder,
Clouded skies,
Perhaps rain will come.
If so, will you stay here with me?”*

I am not a big fan of animation, though Japanese have some really good one. On the other hand, I do like rain, but preferably, to watch from a cozy place inside. You wonder what the two have in common? Let me explain.

Once I accidentally came across the article about “The Garden of Words” – an animated 2013 movie by Makoto Shinkai. The story takes place during the rainy season in Tokyo, mostly in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and all the places are captured with an incredible level of detail and accuracy. The above-mentioned article proved it by comparing the scenes from the movie (remember that it is anime) with the real photos of the same places.

Rainy day in the park, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

This got me curious and a few minutes later I was in Google searching for the movie online. It is really an amazing piece of animation with a beautiful soundtrack. And it makes you look at rainy days a bit differently… to the extent that I went out to Shinjuku Gyoen on a rainy day just for the experience.

View from the Taiwan Pavilion, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

At first the park seems empty with only big ravens flying around seeming as if they have escaped from the horror movie “The Birds”. Then, closer to the famous Japanese garden with the Taiwan Pavilion (Kyu-Goyo-Tei) I spot a number of Japanese, mostly photography enthusiast, wandering around with cameras and without umbrellas.

Taiwan Pavilion, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

It is a beautiful place and even rain does not matter much anymore, you just need to remember that the park closes quite early, at 4:00pm.

One of the spots you can see in the movie, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

I head to a café for a cup of hot coffee and think that like in that movie, I almost wish that the rainy season did not end. A few more days and it will start getting really hot and humid… while rainy days do have their own magic…

This is the place so often seen in The Garden of Words.

“A faint clap of thunder,
Even if rain comes or not,
I will stay here,
Together with you.”**

Kind of hiding, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

P.S. if you would like to see a movie, try the following link. Watch until the very end, even after the credits.

* A poem cited in the movie “The Garden of Words”, verse 2,513 from the Man’yōshū, the oldest existing  Japanese poetry collection.

** A poem cited in the movie “The Garden of Words”, verse 2,514 from the Man’yōshū, the oldest existing  Japanese poetry collection.



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