“In the good old days, as now, Koganei was celebrated for the beauty of its scenery in the springtime. Thousands of spreading trees formed a glorious avenue on either side of the blue waters of the River Tama, and when these burst into clouds of diaphanous bloom, visitors from far and near came in crowds to join in the revelry of the Queen of Flowers.
“Beneath the shade of the over – arching trees, tea-houses were dotted along the banks of the stream. Here, with the shoji [paper screen] hospitably open on all sides, tempting meals of river-trout, bamboo shoots, and fern-curls, and sundry and manifold dainties were served to the pleasure-seeking traveller.”
– Romances of Old Japan, by Madame Yukio Ozaki, 1920
O-hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing)
Cherry Blossoms at Mukojima, c. 1910
Yedogawa, Tokyo, c. 1910
“As mentioned in our issue of Saturday, the Kobu Railway Company announce a special service between Iidamachi, Shinjuku, Kokubunji, and Hachioji for ten days, the idea being to provide additional facilities for visitors to Horinouchi and Koganei, where the cherries are said to have blossomed with unusual splendour this year.
“Koganei, an ancient pleasance of the Shoguns, is really a sight worth seeing, both sides of a limpid and rapid stream (afterwards the Yedo-gawa), being lined with cherry-trees of great age, unusual girth, and countless millions of faintly odorous blossoms.”
– The Japan Daily Mail, April 13, 1895
“Koganei, with a fine avenue of cherry-trees 2-1/2 mi. in length along the banks of the small canal that conducts the waters of the Tamagawa to Tokyo. It is reached by train to Sakai on the Hachioji line, 1 hr. from Shinjiku Junction, and 20 min. distant from the avenue.
“Ten thousand young trees were brought from Yoshino in Yamato — the most famous place for cherry-trees in Japan — and from the banks of the Sakura-gawa in Hitachi, and planted here in 1735 by command of the Shogun Yoshimune.
“The crowds that assemble daily, to revel under the shade of the pink and white blossoms about the middle of April, present a gay spectacle.”
– A Handbook for Travellers in Japan, by Basil Hall Chamberlain & W.B. Mason, 1901
“No important locality in Japan is without its special park or grove with cherry-trees, to which the people resort in immense crowds at the proper season. The inhabitants of Tokyo, for instance, flock to Uyeno Park, or Mukojima, or Koganei, or Asukayama; while the Kyoto people visit Arashi-yama.
“… The Koganei cherry-trees, which, for two miles and a half, line both sides of the aqueduct conveying water into Tokyo, are said to have numbered originally ten thousand, but there are now only a few hundred. They were planted there with the idea that they had ‘the virtue of keeping off impurities from the water.’
“Night cherry flowers (yozakura), ‘seen by the pale light of the moon,’ are a great attraction, one of the special sights of the year.”
– The Japanese Floral Calendar, by Ernest W. Clement, 1905
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