In between the skyscrapers, Tokyo is home to some fantastic traditional Japanese gardens that are a great place to spend an hour or two as you escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Here’s Tokyo Area’s list of the best Japanese gardens in Tokyo.
This was the residence of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, the fifth shogun of the Tokugawa Shogun, Tsunayoshi’s personal servant. Yoshiyasu himself designed and directed the garden, which is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty.
Address: 6-16-3 Hon-Komagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo TEL 3941-2222
Access: 7 min. walk from Komagome Stn. on JR Yamanote Line or Tokyo Metro Namboku Line
Admission: Adults: 300 yen / Seniors 65 and over: 150 yen (Free for elementary school students and younger, and junior high school students who live or attend school in Tokyo)
Old Iwasaki Garden
This site, located between Bunkyo and Taito wards, was the main residence of Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of the Mitsubishi zaibatsu. In 1886, Hisaya Iwasaki, the third generation of the Iwasaki family, commissioned British architect Josiah Conder to design and build the house. The building is a valuable example of the fusion of authentic Western and Japanese architecture, consisting of a Western-style building, a billiard room and a Japanese-style building.
Address: 1-3-45 Ikenohata, Taito-ku, Tokyo TEL 3823-8340
Access: 3 minutes walk from Yushima Station (C13) on Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line / 10 minutes walk from Ueno-Hirokoji Station (G15) on Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 10 minutes walk from Ueno-okachimachi Station (E09) on Toei Subway Oedo Line JR Yamanote Line “Okachimachi” alighting, 15 minutes on foot
Fees: Adults 400 yen / Seniors 65 and over 200 yen
Sanshunen (Spring Garden)
Matsudaira Yorimoto, the younger brother of Mitsukuni, the second generation of the Mito Tokugawa family, established his residence here in 1827. His son Yorisada became lord of the Moriyama domain in Mutsu Province, with a fief of 20,000 koku, and was appointed head of the university. The Ushunen Garden is a remnant of the garden in the Matsudaira family’s mansion.
Address: 3-29 Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo TEL: 03-3812-7111 (Bunkyo Ward Office)
Hours: 9:00 – 19:00 (9:00 – 17:00 from November to March)
Access: 5-minute walk from Myogadani Station on the Subway Marunouchi Line
In the Edo period, this villa was the residence of Kuroda Toyozenshi, the feudal lord of the Joso Kururi domain. In the Meiji era (1868-1912), it became the residence of Aritomo Yamagata, and was called Chinzan-so because there were many camellia trees. It became the property of the Fujita family in the Taisho era (1912-1926). The garden is said to have been built at the end of the 19th century. There is a three-storied pagoda of the late Muromachi period in the garden, which was moved from Hiroshima Prefecture.
Address: 2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo TEL: 03-3943-1111
Access: 8-minute walk from Edogawabashi Station on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line
●Fees: Free to visit the garden