Aspect | Garden City

There are cities ― Singapore, Melbourne, Vancouver, come to mind ― that are celebrated for their greenness: their sprawling verdant parks, lush botanic gardens, leafy suburban streets, and privately landscaped subdivisions. In comparison Tokyo is very much a concrete jungle ― even though it was rated above average in the 2011 Green City Index. Yet visitors to Tokyo may be surprised to see just how many parks and gardens there are: the small forest that surrounds the grounds of Meiji Shrine, the lawns of Yoyogi Park, the nature reserve that is Institute for Nature Studies in Meguro, Shinjuku Gyoen, the traditional Hama Rikyu Gardens, and the luxurious lawns and gardens around the Imperial Palace are some of the most impressive. I also love how residents, in much more humble and personal gestures, add potted gardens to their cramped balconies, exterior walls and rooftops.