Until 300 years ago, the area where Kyoto’s Maruyama Park stands today was merely shrubs and weeds. Early last century a landscape gardener, Jihei Ogawa, improved the gardens. The area was originally called Makuzugahara, but during the Kamakura period, it became known as a place of traditional Waka poems.
Today the park is renowned for its cherry blossoms in the spring, but when I visited, the drooping cherry trees were an iridescent green. While it was noisy around the Japanese pond, up the path on the eastern side, there was hardly a sound.