The astonishingly varied coloured carp in this photo are at Ritsurin-koen in Takamatsu. Their patterns are gorgeously speckled, and I think Frimlin would have had the Rainbow Sharklings in Creatures 3 like that if we could only have provided the engine to do it. Ritsurin-koen is my favourite of the gardens that we’ve seen. All the trees are regimented just enough to make the views from the various higher vantage points stunning, out across lakes and bridges with the wild forested hillside as a canvas behind.
To me, one of the most visible differences walking round Japan compared to England is the types of tree. Even in a humdrum urban place with only international coffee shops nearby the trees still reveal that you’re somewhere oriental. My new favourite sort of tree (not that I had a favourite before!) is the Acer. They have soft-looking foliage with a freshly vital colour in spring. The splendid specimen in the photo below is at Hiroshima, only yards from the epicentre of the first use of nuclear weapons in aggression. So it can’t be more than 60 years old.