The city of Tokyo has an amazing collection of traditionally landscaped Japanese gardens, some of which are hundreds of years old. Japanese traditional gardens have a very unique landscaping style, a practice that can be traced back around 500 years. These Japanese gardens in Tokyo vary greatly in size and construction, reflecting their age and era they were constructed in. They can be as small as a neighborhood corner parking lot, to massive gardens that cover many acres. Here is a list of Amazing Japanese Gardens in Tokyo.
Gardens in Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen is often referred to as “The most beautiful traditional Japanese gardens in Tokyo”. The garden grounds are massive, and it is considered one of the most picturesque landscaped gardens in the world. Shinjuku Gyoen Park is a collection of three different traditional garden styles; a Japanese garden, a French garden, and an English garden. The park is 144 acres and has a circumference of 3.5 km. There is also a large greenhouse that contains many tropical and subtropical plants and flowers. Shinjuku Gyoen features many wide-open lawns, several ponds, forested areas, and several buildings including a restaurant, an information center, and an art gallery.
This park has numerous early and late blooming cherry blossom trees, which provide an extended cherry blossom-viewing season that occurs from around the middle of March until well into April. Location: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo Train Access: Shinjuku Station, 5 min walk Google Maps
Rikugien Gardens was built over 300 years ago, during the Edo period. The gardens name means “Six Poems Garden.” At the time of its construction, this garden was considered one of the most beautiful Japanese landscaped gardens in the world. The garden revolves around a large pond with walking trails and bridges that features 88 different miniature scenes depicting specific historical poems. The visitors can also feed the giant Koi fish in the ponds. The park is famous for azalea flowers, which bloom from around mid-April to the beginning of May. Rikugien Gardens are highly rated during the cherry blossom season, which can be enjoyed during the last few weeks of March. Location: 6 Chome-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo City, Tokyo Train Access: Komagome Station, 5 min walk Google Maps
Koishikawa Korakuen is a stunning traditional Japanese garden. The garden was laid in 1629, during the Edo period. This garden is one of the oldest gardens in Tokyo and is popular for its creation of famous Japanese and Chinese sceneries in miniature size. This garden is enjoyable at all times of the year. The fall season from mid-November to the beginning of December is an especially nice time to enjoy season-changing autumn leaves. Location: 1-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo Train Access: Iidabashi Station, 8 min walk Google Maps
Koishikawa Botanical Garden is a large botanical garden, maintained by Japan’s leading university, the University of Tokyo. The garden displays a few thousand trees and plant species and includes a beautiful traditional Japanese garden. This is a fantastic place to visit during cherry blossom season in the last few weeks of March, as the garden hosts a wide variety of cherry blossom trees. Location: 3-7-1 Hakusan, Bunkyo, Tokyo Train Access: Myogadani Station, 7 min walk Google Maps
Hama-Rikyu Garden is a very large traditional Japanese garden that was a former duck hunting grounds, constructed alongside Tokyo Bay. Like most parks in Tokyo, the land was the residence of a feudal lord during the Edo period. The garden has a pond is connected to Tokyo Bay, and the view of the garden changes with the tides. This is the only garden in Tokyo where you can still enjoy seawater ponds that change with the moving tides. The park’s trees are beautiful all year round and visitors can relax at the teahouse in the middle of the pond. Location: 1-1 Hamarikyuteien, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Train Access: Shinbashi Station, 10 min walk Google Maps
Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden opened to the public in 1924. This traditional Japanese garden was built on reclaimed land from Tokyo Bay. It was the residence of various feudal lords and government officials during the Edo period. The park has a pond surrounded by man-made hills that symbolize the ocean, lakes, and mountains. It also has many walking trails that allow visitors to view the garden scenery from various angles. Location: 1 Chome-4 Kaigan, Minato City, Tokyo Train Access: Hamamatsucho Station, 2 min walk Google Maps
Kiyosumi Teien, or Kiyosumi Park, is a popular traditional Japanese garden that revolves around a stunning collection of very valuable landscape stones. The garden hosts some of the most famous landscape stones from all over Japan. There are walking trails around the central pond and you can walk on stepping stone pathways and you can see the swimming fish and turtles in the pond. This garden is also located near the ocean and is a good place to do some bird watching. Location: 2 Chome-2 Kiyosumi, Koto City, Tokyo Train Access: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station, 6 min walk Google Maps
The Imperial Palace East Garden, Ninomaru Gardens and Kokyo Gaien National Garden occupy parts of the Japanese Emperors Imperial Palace grounds. The Japanese style landscaped gardens are set in a historical setting that is part of the remaining foundation of the castle of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled from 1603 to 1868. The gardens are surrounded by moats and tall walls made from massive stones and it is quite a sight to see. Location: 1-1 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Train Access: Takebashi Station, 3 min walk Google Maps
Kitanomaru Park is actually part of the Imperial Palace Outer Garden. It is located next to The National Museum of Modern Art and the Science Museum. Kitanomaru Park is not a traditional Japanese garden, as this is a wooded forest park that has a wide range of different kinds of trees and plants and walking trails. This is a unique park that offers visitors the opportunity to rent rowboats from the spring until fall seasons. You can row around the moat and see the walls along with an amazing collection of trees, plants, and vegetation that showcases Japanese style landscape gardening. *Note: The rental rowboats prices increase the last few weeks of March during the cherry blossom season. Location: 1-1 Kitanomaru Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Train Access: Kudanshita Station, 10 min walk Google Maps
Kyu Yasuda Garden is a Japanese garden that was constructed between 1688, and 1703. The garden was once connected to the Sumida River, and due to the movement of the tides, people came to enjoy the changing scenery which it became famous for. Today, the park uses water pumps to help recreate the tides, similar to when it was connected to the Sumida River. This is a nice garden that has all of the elements of a Japanese landscape garden with a pond and walking paths, many scarlet bridges, Koi fish and turtles. Location: 1 Chome-12-1 Yokoami, Sumida City, Tokyo Train Access: Ryogoku Station, 5 min walk Google Maps
Happo-en Garden is a traditional Japanese garden that is part of a large wedding hall. It is open to the public and popular in May when the azaleas are in bloom. This is a garden with nice walkways, a pond with plenty of Koi fish, sitting areas, gardens full of beautiful flowers, a mini bamboo forest, trees and a nice collection of Bonsai trees. Here you can learn about Bonsai trees, tea ceremonies or relax in the sitting areas. Location: 1-1-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo Train Access: Shirokanedai Station, 7 min walk Google Maps
Mejiro Garden is a stunning traditional Japanese garden. The garden houses a large pond in the middle of the park that is surrounded by a wide variety of trees, plants, and flowers that change colors with the seasons. On the garden’s main walking path there is a small waterfall, teahouse and a few benches where you can sit and relax or have a snack. This garden is scenic all year round, but the best time to visit the garden might be during the fall season from mid-November to early December. Location: 3-20-18 Mejiro, Toshima, Tokyo Train Access: Mejiro Station, 5 min walk Google Maps
Higo Hosokawa Garden is a picturesque traditional Japanese garden. This garden has a large pond in the middle, typical of many Japanese gardens. The garden contains walking trails, bridges, Japanese ornaments, and well-manicured trees, plants and greenery. There is also a large collection of plants and trees that bloom during different seasons. The park can be very busy during the cherry blossom season! Location: 1 Chome-1-22 Mejirodai, Bunkyo City, Tokyo Train Access: Zoshigaya Station, 17 min walk Google Maps
Hotels with Gardens
The New Otani Japanese Garden is located at the famous 5-star New Otani Hotel. It’s open to the public, even if you’re not a hotel guest. The 4-hectare Japanese style landscaped garden has over 400 years of history. There are several ancient stone lanterns, scarlet bridges, ponds with Koi fish, a stone garden and a 6-meter high waterfall. These are all surrounded by a fantastic collection of trees, flowers, plants and nice greenery that bloom and change colors with the seasons. Location: 4-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo Train Access: Akasaka-Mitsuke Station, 7 min walk Google Maps
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo Garden was constructed in the late 1800s. It’s open to the public, not just the hotel guests. This traditional Japanese garden has had historical monuments brought in from all over Japan, and incorporated into the garden. One of the monuments is a three-story pagoda from Hiroshima, installed at the top of the garden. The pagoda is estimated to be a 16th-century (late Muromachi Era) structure. It has been recognized as a National Registered Tangible Cultural Property. There is a great collection of trees, plants, and flowers that bloom and change with the seasons with the winter camellia and the spring cherry blossoms the most notable. Location: 2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo, Tokyo Train Access: Edogawabashi Station, 10 min walk Google Maps
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