Although Tokyo is a bustling city, there is no shortage of garden and green space. With limited space available, you would never know it with the amount of adorned garden space there is to experience. You can seek out traditional Japanese gardens, or those that grow flowers and greenery indigenous to the Japanese landscape. While visiting, take some time to get away, and see the beauty of nature all around, found in the small spaces of a hustling city center.

Hamarikyu Gardens

Address 1-1, Hamarikyu-Teien, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0046Map
Description If you want to look at stunning traditional Japanese beauty, a trip to the Hamarikyu Gardens will certainly not disappoint. The gardens are based on the traditional Edo period layout, with ponds and trees creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxtion. The gardens are now a public park in Tokyo, after having been owned by a powerful family in the 17th century. Just a 7 minute walk from Tsukijishijo Station, the gardens are very accessible.

Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu Gardens

Address 1-4-1 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0022Map
Description Historically speaking, the Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu Gardens are unique. They are one of just two of the remaining Edo period gardens which have not been remodelled; what you see is as close to how it would’ve looked in the 17th century. Not only have the gardens been described as the most beautiful in Japan, they are also one of the largest gardens covering over 43 thousand square meters. A children’s playground has been added, so that a trip to the gardens is enjoyable for everyone.

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

Address 1-6-6, Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0021Map
Description In 1629, Yorifusa, the founder of the powerful Mito Tokugawa family, decided to create a separate residence for himself in the Edo style. As he was a great follower of Shushunsui, the Confucian scholar, he included many of his elements in his garden. These wonderful architectural and natural masterpieces remain today. The highlights of these gardens include an exquisite “Full Moon” stone bridge and a reproduction of Seiko Lake in China, amongst thousands of trees and other homages to Chinese culture and China itself.

Rikugien Gardens

Address 6-16-3, Honkomagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0021Map
Description The Rikugien Gardens date back to the 17th century, when the Edo Samurai Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu built them as his personal gardens. The gardens were donated to Tokyo city in 1938, and in 1953 were appointed an area of special beauty by the government. There are no parking spaces at the gardens, but Komagome Station is nearby for those travelling on the metro. The park is open daily from 9am-5pm, with an admissions fee payable for adults and senior citizens.

Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens

Address 3-18-3 Higashi-Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 131-0032Map
Description Although not a traditional Japanese garden, the Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens are still a charm to visit. They are the last remaining flower gardens from the Edo period (17th century) and cover almost 11 thousand square meters. A short eight minute walk from the Higashi-Mukojima Station, or a slightly longer 13 minutes on foot from the Keisei-Hikifune Station, the gardens are certainly accessible. An admissions fee is charged, like at many gardens owned by Tokyo city, but it is reasonably priced and popular with tourists.

Kiyosumi Gardens

Address 3-3-9, Kiyosumi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0024Map
Description Enclosed by the towering business sector, the juxtaposition of the Kiyosumi Gardens with its peaceful waterways and natural beauty epitomizes the diversity of Japan. There are different areas featuring manicured flowerbeds, open wetlands for duck hunting, plum groves and a tidal pond. Common in the Edo era, the environment of tidal ponds change with the ebb and flow of the tides. The Tsukijigawa River surrounds the gardens, and a waterbus not only provides access but also a chance to admire the gardens from the perimeter.

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

Address 1-27-39 Nishigahara, Kita-ku, Tokyo 114-0024Map
Description Located on the slopes of the Musashino Highlands, this garden has a feature of Tokyo’s aristocracy since the Meiji period. Now open to the public, the garden has three distinct areas. At the summit of the slope is the Western house with its mullioned windows and wide terrace. On the slope is the Western Garden featuring topiary and classical garden design. The lowland area is a testament to Japanese gardens with ponds, waterfalls and natural forests.

Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens

Address 1-3-45 Ike-no-hata, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0008Map
Description What were once the sprawling private grounds of the Echigo Takada Clan, this incredible 49,500 square meter property has some 20 buildings on the grounds alone. The gardens are now the property of the Japanese Government and it has become a very important cultural and heritage landmark in Toyko. The beautiful garden elements have been virtually untouched apart from maintenance and upkeep and the buildings are monuments of national pride.

Tonogayato Gardens

Address 2-16 Minami-machi, Kokubunji City, Tokyo 185-0021Map
Description Built and constructed over a two-year timespan in the early years of the Taisho Period, the Tonogayato Gardens were initially designed for the Vice President of the Manchurian Railway for his own private residence. Rolling manicured Japanese gardens, sparkling ponds, complete with a natural spring and many indigenous wild grasses and fauna, make the Tonogayato Gardens a magnificent Japanese heritage site that now attracts visitors from all over the world.

Guide Categories