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26.06.2015
Previously the emperor’s residence you can imagine that the garden here would be bar-none.
A well kept secret in Tokyo, the Rikugien Gardens are definitely off the beaten path, straddling between cities Sugamo and Komagome, on the out skirts of Tokyo.
The Korakuen also has a particularly beautiful pond and island hidden away in one of its corners, it like many other things in the garden is well hidden and must be searched out by the visitor. Being the capital of Japan since the Edo period (1603-1868), Tokyo's gardens are fundamentally different from the ones you can find in Kyoto.
If Yoyogi Park is the most entertaining green space in Tokyo, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is the most beautiful. My second favorite garden in Tokyo is Hama-rikyu (admission: $3), which was a feudal lord's retreat during the Edo period.
For Takashimaya or Tokyu Hands, the entrance is across from Shinjuku Southern Terrace — after Krispy Kreme, turn left and take the bridge over the train tracks. Rikugien is quite spacious, and it takes about an hour to cover the garden's entire network of walking paths at a leisurely speed.


One of the best times to visit Rikugien is in autumn when the numerous maples trees turn the garden into one of Tokyo's best autumn color spots.
Rikugien is also nice to visit in spring when the various flowering trees and shrubs bloom around the garden. Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is one of the city's most convenient and comfortable hotels. Not only is it just under one square mile, it hosts a wide assortment of features, including the largest traditional Japanese garden in Tokyo, a Taiwanese Pavilion, a greenhouse, a French rose garden, rivers, ponds and more.
Built around 1700 for the 5th Tokugawa Shogun, Rikugien literally means "six poems garden" and reproduces in miniature 88 scenes from famous poems. The trails wind around the gardens, through forests and open lawns, and lead to several teahouses which are open to the public.
The most notable are the weeping cherry trees near the main gate which typically bloom from late March to early April, and the azalea bushes planted along the shore of the garden's large central pond which are in bloom from April to May.
Rivaling the Shinjuku Gyoen’s Gardens, The East Gardens not only has a breath-taking garden and pond it has a tower which gives one a full panorama of the downtown area.


From most any vantage you can view the entire garden and all of its elements, unlike most where things are segregated and you can only see one area at a time. At the garden gate you leave the hectic world behind you and take sanctuary in a perfect mini landscape. You can buy a variety of take-away items at the gourmet food hall in the basement level of Takashimaya department store, just south of the Shinjuku Station (east of the JR line tracks) and about 500 meters west of the garden's Shinjuku gate entrance. The garden is a good example of an Edo Period strolling garden and features a large central pond surrounded by manmade hills and forested areas, all connected by a network of trails. If you get the itch to shop, there's also a massive Tokyu Hands department store in the same mega-mall complex (called Times Square), selling everything from gold body stockings to Japanese tea sets and stationery.



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