I am one for gardens. But I do not garden as a verb. I do not dream of owning some plot and working on weekends with a trowel and peat moss. I like other people’s gardens and I am always ready to appreciate someone else’s effort, to sit down on a bench and to contemplate the light through the trees, to wonder what the names of those flowers are, to think about shit and to sit for hours.

In Tokyo and Kyoto, there are gardens that reach a perfection of form and function, such places that are the ultimate in designed spaces. I was with my family on this trip and had a full itinerary, so I did not have time to sit and savor the day and the sun dappled air.

There is much to comment and remark upon in these gardens but one thing that continually struck me was the beauty of the Japanese Black Pine Trees, these elegantly tufted trees, trimmed and trained into rhythmic shapes undulating like a Calder, like a blossoming stack of clouds.

These shots were from the Kokyo Gaien National Garden in downtown Tokyo, in the Chiyoda neighborhood.

Kokyo Gaien National Garden, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Kokyo Gaien National Garden, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Kokyo Gaien National Garden, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim

Kokyo Gaien National Garden, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan; Leica MP 0.58, 35mm Summicron, Kodak Tri-X © Doug Kim