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10 Beautiful Gardens in Tokyo

Tokyo is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the country. Learn about the best Tokyo gardens that the city has to offer.

By 5 min read

As one of the biggest cities in the world, it may come as a surprise that Tokyo is home to a good amount of green spaces. Sprinkled throughout the city are pockets of history and culture in the form of beautifully cultivated, century-old gardens.

Gardens in Tokyo provide a respite for locals and tourists from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you’re traveling to Tokyo or just looking for a place to unwind, we’ve compiled our list of 10 gardens to visit.

1. Rikugien Garden

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Rikugien is a stately strolling garden designed by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu.

Built at the end of the 17th century, Rikugien is a stately strolling garden designed by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, a government official. Yanagisawa, passionate about classical poetry, embedded many nods to Chinese and Japanese texts throughout the grounds. Watch for these as you explore the garden, such as a part of the curved shoreline of the largest pond, which evokes images of cranes and the weeping moon.

While the original landscape also included 88 references to famous Chinese and Japanese geographical landmarks, only 32 still exist today, including Fujishiro Toge, an homage to a Wakayama Prefecture mountain trail.

6-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo City, Tokyo - Map
Nearest train stations: Komagome or Sengoku 
Admission: ¥300; Students: Free

2. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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An escape in the city.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden’s history stretches back to 1591 when it was first established as part of a feudal lord’s private residence. After the Second World War, the park was opened to the public and granted National Garden status. Characteristic of the influx of European culture and technology at the turn of the 20th century, Shinjuku Gyoen blends French, English and Japanese garden styles.

With cherry blossoms in the spring, lush greenery in the summer, chrysanthemums in the autumn and tropical and subtropical plants to enjoy in the greenhouse during winter, this garden is a delight all year.

11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo - Map
Nearest train stations: Shinjuku-sanchome, Shinjuku-gyoenmae or Sendagaya 
Admission: ¥500; Students: ¥250

3. Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden

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The last surviving Edo flower garden in Tokyo.

Created by a wealthy antique dealer in the Edo period, this garden is the city’s last surviving Edo flower garden, whose name refers to hundreds of flowers blooming in all seasons. True to its name, Mukojima-Hyakkaen is beautiful to visit regardless of the season and is popular for its trellises of hanging flowers and fruits. In September, a 30-meter tunnel of hagi (Japanese clover) is stunning to visit, while August and September have ornamental squashes dangling from a trellis.

Meanwhile, the spring and summer trellises are dedicated to gorgeous akebia, wisteria, camphor and arrowroot. Also, don’t miss the 360 original plum trees blossoming in early spring planted by the founder!

3-18-3 Higashi-Mukojima, Sumida, Tokyo - Map
Nearest train stations: Higashi-Mukojima or Keisei Hikifune 
Admission: Adults: ¥150

4. Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

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A blend of Japanese and Western-style architecture.

The Kyu-Furukawa Gardens blend Japanese and Western-style architecture and landscaping and have been designated as important historical landmarks for their Taisho period (1912–1926) construction. The Western elements include a residence designed by the English architect Josiah Conder and a terraced rose garden in full bloom in spring and fall.

The Japanese garden was created by Ogawa Ueji and includes several notable aspects. Make sure to check out the pond in the shape of the Japanese character for “heart,” a 10-meter waterfall, a stone-based dry waterfall and a large stone lantern.

1-27-39 Nishigahara, Kita-ku, Tokyo - Map
Nearest train stations: Kami-Nakasato or Nishigahara
Admission: ¥150; Students: Free

5. Chidori-ga-fuchi and Kitanomaru

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Chidori-ga-fuchi Green Way also has a lot of pink.

The 700-meter-long Chidori-ga-fuchi Green Way is renowned for its stunning cherry blossoms, especially during late March to early April, drawing visitors to admire the blossoms’ reflection in the Imperial Palace moat. Once part of the Edo Castle’s outer moat, the park holds historical significance. Boating on the moat is popular, offering a unique perspective of the cherry blossoms and palace grounds.

Follow Chidori-ga-fuchi Green Way north, and you’ll find Kitanomaru Garden, also within the former Edo Castle grounds. This serene retreat features lush greenery, ponds and traditional Japanese landscapes. Home to historical structures like the Nippon Budokan Hall, it’s beloved for its tranquility and historical significance.

1-1 Kitanomarukoen, Chiyoda City, Tokyo - Map
Nearest Station: Kudanshita

6. Kyu-Iwasaki-Tei Gardens

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The mansion was designed by Josiah Conder.

The Kyu-Iwasaki-Tei Gardens began as the residence of an Edo clan and has housed over 20 buildings on its impressive grounds over the years. The three buildings, gardens and tiled outer gate, which escaped demolition over the years, have been designated important cultural assets. Both designed by famed architect Josiah Conder, the remaining stately western mansion and the billiards building emulating a Swiss mountain cabin are worth a visit.

In the Japanese building, don’t miss the beautiful screens and sliding doors created by a popular painter of the period, Hashimoto Gaho. The surrounding garden also still contains elements unchanged from the Edo period, such as stone monuments, a stone hand-washing basin and a big Japanese evergreen tree.

1-4-1 Kaigan, Minato, Tokyo - Map
Nearest train stations: Hamamatsucho or Daimon
Admission: ¥150; Students: Free

7. Kiyosumi Gardens

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Spot the pond pathways built using large landscape stones.

Opened to the public in 1932, Kiyosumi is worth a visit for its scenic beauty. Formerly a merchant’s residence during the Edo period, Kiyosumi was fu developed and completed in the Meiji era. While here, check out the large central pond and isowatari (pond pathways).

These pathways use large landscape stones and are a key feature of the grounds for their rarity and character. Kiyosumi Garden has stone waterfalls and a miniaturized Mount Fuji covered with blooming azaleas in May.

3-3-9 Kiyosumi, Koto, Tokyo - Map
Nearest train station: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa 
Admission: ¥150; Students: Free

8. Mejiro Garden

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Autumn is when Mejiro Garden shines in red, yellow and orange hues.

The historical Mejiro Garden is a lovely and secluded green space close to the Yamanote line that remains undiscovered by tourists. Built in the style of a Japanese strolling garden, it includes a large pond, stepping stone path, gazebo and waterfall. Additionally, a tea house can be rented out for private events. The garden’s most popular season is from mid-November to late December. During the illumination of the autumn foliage, you’ll have to pay a small fee to enjoy the seasonal beauty.

3-20-18 Mejiro, Toshima, Tokyo - Map
Nearest train stations: Mejiro or Ikebukuro
Fees: Free, except during the autumn illumination

9. Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

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Koishikawa Korakuen’s moon bridge.

The beautiful Koishikawa Korakuen Garden opened to the public in April 1938 but has existed since the Edo period. The garden has several artificial hills and ponds inspired by Chinese poetry and landscapes. Head to the top of Shorozan Hill, named after China’s Mount Lushan, to look out on the entire park. Stop by Engetsukyo Bridge (moon bridge) and see the reflection of the stone archway, which forms a perfect picturesque circle. Elsewhere, flora fans love spotting cherry blossom trees and other flowers native to Japan.

1-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo, Tokyo - Map
Nearest station: Iidabashi 
Admission: ¥300; Students: Free

10. Hama-Rikyu Gardens

Photo:
Stop by for some tea before you leave the gardens.

This large landscape garden in central Tokyo is overflowing with historical significance. Moreover, the gardens were passed down through shoguns (military governors) before belonging to the Imperial family. Hama-Rikyu Gardens officially opened to the public in 1946. Home to a 118-meter-long hinoki (Japanese cypress) bridge and a traditional tea house, each season brings a new experience.

1-1, Hama Rikyu-teien, Chuo, Tokyo - Map
Nearest train stations: Shimbashi or Shiodome
Admission: ¥300; Students: Free
What did you think of our list of best Tokyo gardens? Got one we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!

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