If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, visiting one of the city’s many Japanese gardens is the perfect solution. These gardens are designed to provide a serene and tranquil environment, with carefully manicured landscapes, traditional architecture, and beautiful flora and fauna.
There are many Japanese gardens to choose from in Tokyo, each with its own unique features and attractions. From the stunning cherry blossoms of Shinjuku Gyoen to the traditional architecture of Rikugien, there is no shortage of beautiful and serene locations to explore.
Many of these gardens are open year-round, so you can visit them during each season.
- There are many Japanese gardens to explore in Tokyo.
- Each garden has its own unique features and attractions.
- Many gardens are open year-round.
- Shinjuku Gyoen is known for its cherry blossoms.
- Rikugien has traditional architecture and beautiful lighting at night.
- Koishikawa Korakuen is one of the oldest gardens in Tokyo.
- Kiyosumi Gardens has a beautiful pond and traditional teahouse.
- Hamarikyu Gardens is located near Tokyo Bay and has a beautiful view of the city skyline.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
The breathtaking Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of the largest parks in Tokyo, covering an area of 58.3 hectares. It is a popular destination for nature lovers, photographers, and families. The garden is a perfect place to relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
The garden was originally a residence of the Naito family during the Edo period and was later converted into an imperial garden. Today, it is a national park and is managed by the Ministry of Environment. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden offers a blend of traditional Japanese, French, and English landscape designs.
The garden is divided into three main areas: the Japanese Traditional Garden, which features a large pond with islands and bridges, the French Formal Garden, which has symmetrical patterns of flower beds and lawns, and the English Landscape Garden, which has a naturalistic style with large open spaces and meandering paths.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of seasonal flowers, including cherry blossoms, azaleas, and chrysanthemums. During the cherry blossom season, it puts on a real show and has varieties that bloom at different times so it’s great if you are a little too early or late for the main tokyo cherry blossom season.
The garden is also home to the NAKED Sakura Night Garden in spring which is a wonderful night sakura viewing installation.
The garden also has a greenhouse with tropical and subtropical plants, a tea house, and a restaurant.
Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
Next is Koishikawa Korakuen, one of Tokyo’s oldest and most famous Japanese gardens. It was built in the early Edo Period (1600-1868) and is located in the Bunkyo ward of Tokyo.
The garden was originally created as a place for the Mito branch of the Tokugawa family to entertain guests and enjoy the changing seasons.
The garden features a central pond with several walking trails around it. Visitors can explore the garden and enjoy the various seasonal flowers and plants. The garden is particularly beautiful during the cherry blossom season in spring and the fall foliage season in autumn.
Koishikawa Korakuen is designed in the kaiyushiki style, which means “strolling garden.” This style of garden is meant to be enjoyed while walking around and taking in the scenery from different angles. The garden also features a teahouse where visitors can enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Rikugien Garden is a stunning Japanese garden located in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward. Built in the early 18th century, Rikugien is considered one of Tokyo’s most beautiful gardens, alongside Koishikawa Korakuen.
The garden features a central pond, several walking paths, and a variety of trees and plants that change with the seasons.
One of the highlights of Rikugien Garden is the Tsutsuji no Chaya tea house, which offers visitors the chance to enjoy traditional Japanese tea while taking in the garden’s stunning views.
The garden is also home to several historic structures, including a teahouse that dates back to the Edo period.
Visitors to Rikugien Garden can explore the garden’s many walking paths, which wind through forests of maple and cherry trees. During the autumn months, the garden is particularly stunning, as the leaves change color and create a stunning display of reds, oranges, and yellows.
Rikugien Garden is open year-round, but the garden’s hours vary depending on the season. It is recommended to check the garden’s website for the most up-to-date information on hours and admission fees.
Kiyosumi Teien Garden
Kiyosumi Teien Garden, also known as Kiyosumi Garden, is a traditional Japanese garden located in Koto, Tokyo. It is one of the most beautiful and historically significant gardens in Tokyo, featuring a large pond and a variety of trees, plants, and flowers that change with the seasons.
The garden was originally built in the Meiji period (1868-1912) by a wealthy businessman named Iwasaki Yataro, who was the founder of the Mitsubishi Corporation.
It was designed by a famous landscape architect named Jihei Ogawa, who also designed other famous Japanese gardens in Tokyo, such as Rikugien and Kyu-Furukawa Gardens.
One of the highlights of Kiyosumi Teien Garden is its large pond, which is surrounded by footpaths that take visitors on a scenic walk through the garden’s waterscape. The pond is home to several islands, bridges, and stone lanterns, which add to the garden’s serene atmosphere.
Another notable feature of Kiyosumi Teien Garden is its collection of stones, which are carefully arranged to create unique and beautiful landscapes. The garden also features a teahouse, where visitors can enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony while taking in the garden’s natural beauty.
To fully appreciate the beauty of Kiyosumi Teien Garden, it is recommended to visit during the cherry blossom season in spring or the autumn foliage season in fall. However, the garden is open year-round and offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
Hama Rikyu Garden
Hama Rikyu Garden is a picturesque landscape garden located alongside Tokyo Bay and near Tsukiji Fish Market. This huge garden features a large pond, which is connected to the sea and is a popular spot for bird-watching. The garden is known for its seasonal flowers, including cherry blossoms in spring and cosmos in autumn.
One of the unique features of Hama Rikyu Garden is the teahouse on a small island in the pond.
The teahouse, called Nakajima-no-Ochaya, was originally built in the 17th century and has been reconstructed several times. Visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese tea and sweets while admiring the beautiful scenery.
The garden also has a seawater pond, which is connected to the bay and changes its water level with the tide.
Visitors can see a variety of marine creatures, such as crabs and sea bass, in the pond. There are also several walking paths and bridges in the garden, which offer visitors different views of the pond and the surrounding nature.
Kyū Furukawa Gardens
Kyū Furukawa Gardens is a beautiful garden located in the Kita district of Tokyo. It is a popular destination for those who want to experience the combination of western and Japanese-style gardens. The garden is situated on a sloping landscape, with a Western-style house and garden on the upper grounds and a Japanese-style garden located on the lower grounds.
The Western-style house is built on a small hill and is surrounded by a beautiful rose garden. The house was designed by Josiah Conder, a British architect, and was completed in 1917. The house is open to the public and visitors can explore the different rooms and learn about the history of the house and the people who lived there.
The Japanese-style garden is a beautiful and peaceful space, with a pond, a waterfall, and a tea house. The garden was designed by Jihei Ogawa, a famous Japanese garden designer, and was completed in 1919. The garden is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
One of the highlights of Kyū Furukawa Gardens is the beautiful wisteria trellis. The trellis is located in the Japanese-style garden and is covered with beautiful purple wisteria flowers in the spring. Visitors can walk under the trellis and enjoy the beautiful flowers and the sweet fragrance.
More:Kyū Furukawa Gardens
Tonogayato Garden is a historic Japanese garden located in Kokubunji, Tokyo. The garden is known for its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and rich history. The garden was originally built in the early 20th century by a wealthy businessman and was later donated to the city of Kokubunji.
Today, Tonogayato Garden is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike who are looking for a serene escape from the bustling city. One of the unique features of Tonogayato Garden is its blending of traditional Japanese garden design with elements of Western-style gardens.
The garden features a variety of different areas, including a pond, a tea house, and a Western-style rose garden. Visitors can explore the garden’s many paths and bridges, which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Another highlight of Tonogayato Garden is its collection of historic buildings, including a Western-style mansion and a traditional Japanese teahouse. These buildings offer a glimpse into the history of the garden and the people who lived there. Visitors can also learn about the garden’s history and design through exhibits and displays located throughout the garden.
Kansen-en Park is a beautiful green space located near Waseda University in Tokyo. This park is a great place to enjoy nature and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park is open to the public daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
One of the main attractions of Kansen-en Park is its beautiful pond, which is home to a variety of fish and other aquatic creatures. Visitors can stroll along the walking paths that wind around the pond and enjoy the serene atmosphere. The park also features a small waterfall and several bridges that add to the park’s charm.
In addition to its natural beauty, Kansen-en Park is also home to several cultural attractions. The park features a traditional Japanese tea house where visitors can enjoy a cup of tea and a snack while taking in the park’s scenery. There is also a small museum on the park grounds that showcases the history and culture of the surrounding area.
The wonderful Chinzan-sō Garden is a stunning Japanese garden located in the heart of Tokyo, just a short walk from Edogawabashi Station. This garden is a true oasis in the bustling city and offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and enjoy the beauty of nature.
The garden is known for its stunning cherry blossoms in the spring, but it is also beautiful throughout the year. Visitors can explore the garden’s many paths and admire the traditional Japanese architecture, including a pagoda and Shinto shrines. The garden also features a pond, waterfalls, and a variety of trees and plants.
One of the highlights of Chinzan-sō Garden is the historical significance of the site. The garden was originally the residence of the Aritomo Yamagata, a prominent figure in Japanese politics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The garden was later owned by a hotel, and today it is open to the public to enjoy.
Visitors can also enjoy a meal at one of the garden’s restaurants, which offer traditional Japanese cuisine and stunning views of the garden. The garden is a popular spot for weddings and other events, and it is recommended to check the garden’s website for any closures or events before planning a visit.
Next on the list is Mejiro Garden, a small and peaceful traditional Japanese garden located in Toshima, Tokyo. It is a hidden gem that offers visitors a serene escape from the bustling city. The garden is a popular spot for locals who come to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The garden was originally built in 1910 by a wealthy businessman named Ryoichi Hara. It was later donated to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 1933 and opened to the public. Mejiro Garden is known for its beautiful pond, which is surrounded by a variety of plants and trees. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the pond and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
The garden is also home to a teahouse called Kyuusuian, which offers visitors a chance to experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The teahouse is open from April to November and reservations are required. Visitors can also explore the garden’s walking paths, bridges, and waterfalls. The garden is particularly beautiful in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Yamamoto Tei is a beautiful garden and tea house located in the Katsushika ward of Tokyo. Built-in the Taisho Period, it is celebrated as a fine example of the sukiya tea house style of architecture. The house and garden are heritage sites and are just a short walk from the atmospheric Taishakuten Temple.
The garden is a peaceful oasis in the bustling city, with a pond, waterfall, and a variety of trees and plants. The garden is also home to a teahouse, where visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese tea and sweets while admiring the beautiful scenery.
Yamamoto Tei has been recognized as one of the top three gardens in Japan by the American magazine Sukiya Living: The Journal of Japanese Gardening. The annual ranking assesses public gardens across Japan on the criteria of beauty and tranquility, rather than size or fame. Yamamoto Tei has ranked in the top 10 since 2003.
Visitors to Yamamoto Tei can explore the garden and tea house on their own or take a guided tour. The garden is open year-round, but the best time to visit is in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, or in the fall when the leaves change color.
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Former Yasuda Garden (Kyu-Yasuda Teien)
The Former Yasuda Garden, also known as Kyu-Yasuda Teien, is a stunning Japanese garden located in the Sumida ward of Tokyo. It was originally created during the Edo period and is considered one of the most famous gardens from that era.
The garden is built around a central pond and features a variety of walking paths, bridges, and lush greenery. Visitors can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while admiring the beautiful landscape and the water that flows from the Sumida River.
Former Yasuda Garden is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in a serene environment. The garden is open from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm, but it is important to note that it closes at 6:00 pm from October to March and is only partially open after 4:30 pm. Admission is free, but visitors should be aware that bicycles, dogs, and cars are not allowed in the garden.
One of the unique features of the Former Yasuda Garden is that it was originally a tidal garden that utilized the ebb and flow of the Sumida River during the Ansei era in the former Address of the Honjo of the Ashikaga clan in Shimono. The garden was later transferred to Sumida Ward, where it was artificially created to recreate the tidal effect.
The former Yasuda Garden is located near the National Sumo Arena, making it a great place to visit before or after a sumo match. Visitors can also enjoy stunning views of the Tokyo Skytree from the garden.
The Sum Up
Tokyo’s Japanese gardens offer a unique opportunity to experience the country’s rich culture and natural beauty. Each garden has its own distinct features and highlights, making it hard to choose just one to visit.
While all of the gardens on this list are worth a visit, some may be more accessible or convenient for certain visitors than others. For example, those with limited mobility may want to consider visiting Rikugien Garden, which has paved paths and wheelchair-accessible restrooms.
Note that some gardens may be closed or have limited hours on certain days, so it’s recommended to check the official website or call ahead before planning your visit.