I'm still picking and choosing an assortment of photos from September, and wanted to share this set of a school garden. I'm a firm believer that taking random roads and turns is one of the most interesting and best ways to see Japan. (It resulted in finding a very urban kaki tree, a beautiful mailbox, and some lovely vending machines, to name just a few.) The main roads are quite handy (with various gardens of their own, too), of course, but much of life here is lived in the little streets and tucked up homes behind the quick routes.
This school garden is a good example of that. Meandering back from a nearby nursery, I noticed these vines essentially taking over a playground structure. I went around the corner to discover a fence completely covered in morning glory, goya, and gourd vines with some lovely bloomers at the bottom. (Bloomers as in flowers not lady unders.)
One of the goya had spectacularly gone to seed, and another simply looked perfect for slicing and cooking up. A giant gourd hung somberly among it's leaves, and the morning glories were fading a bit after their long days work.
According to one friend, school gardens, at least in Tokyo, are not all that unusual. At his daughter's school they garden on the roof starting in the first year with morning glories. Vegetables soon follow and in his case, a green curtain heavy with goya and gourds shaded the interior of the building during the hot part of the year. The gardens themselves are incorporated into the curriculum and the harvest into the school lunch. (Let's just say I hope to make a field trip shortly!)