Japanese sensitivity to seasons and nature is inextricably linked to their love for flowers. This appreciation is well preserved in works of art and objects of daily life, from subject of mural paintings to motif on combs.
Although the primary goal of this guidebook is to help the reader get to the flower sites, it is designed also to be an introduction to the colorful tapestry of Japanese culture and history that is interwoven with myths, literature, arts, anecdotes and living flowers. While seeing irises in full bloom is rewarding by itself, the experience will be enriched by knowing why a zigzag bridge is almost always there and by recognizing iris designs in arts and crafts. Vigorous flowering of old wisteria trees remind us of the wisteria boys myth, and camellia leaves reflecting the afternoon sun are a convincing explanation of the flower's Japanese name meaning "glossy leaves."
The book presents a total of 40 walking routes, divided into 15 sections, each devoted to one flower traditionally appreciated in Japan: cherry blossoms, irises, azaleas, chrysanthemums, etc. Each section is introduced by an essay that discusses that flower's place in Japanese culture, history and aesthetics; and the book includes appealing photos and traditional colored woodcut prints of photos.