Tokyo Journals

Tokyo Parks and Gardens

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An April 2005 trip to Tokyo by michaelhudson

Horikiri Gardens Photo, Tokyo, Japan More Photos
Quote: Think Tokyo's all neon lights, karaoke bars, and skyscrapers? Think again.

Tokyo Parks and Gardens

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Overview

Shinjuku Gyoen Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Tokyo’s parks and gardens are among the highlights of a visit to the city, providing calm and tradition among the concrete sprawl and neon lit skyscrapers. Rikugien, Hama Rikyu, Kyu Shiba Rikyu, the Hotel New Otani and Koshikawa Korakuen are the best examples of Edo stroll gardens, though the East Gardens at the Imperial Palace and Shinjuku Gyoen both have excellent Japanese gardens as well as expanses of grass to lie on. Yoyogi Park is great on a Sunday and is one of the few central parks where ball sports are allowed. Nearby, the Meiji Jingu Shrine is, along with Horikiri Gardens, the best place to see the iris displays every Ju...Read More

Horikiri Gardens

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Attraction

Horikiri Gardens Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
A few miles east of Ueno on the Keisei Line, the 6000 pink, purple and white irises at Horikiri burst open every June, turning a small space jammed into the anonymous twists and turns of suburban Tokyo into one of the city’s busiest public gardens. Stuck between a concrete road bridge, an apartment building and a children‘s playground, the garden is virtually deserted outside of the month long Japanese Iris Festival, when thousands of kimono clad women and old men in floppy hats converge on the flowers to stroll and take photos. The whole of the small garden can be seen in one sweeping gaze. Near the entrance a stone bridge no more than a foot above water level traces a gentle ar...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 6, 2005

Horikiri Gardens
Horikiri, Katsushika-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Shinjuku Gyoen

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Attraction

Shinjuku Gyoen Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Next to the busiest station in the busiest part of the busiest city in the world, Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo’s largest parks at almost 150 acres. Laid out by a French engineer on the site of a feudal mansion, the park was initially an imperial garden before its opening to the public after World War 2. It’s a wonderful place to escape the orderly madness of the surrounding streets, only the occasional train engine and station announcement drifting over the outer walls to intrude on the studied hush. The 200-yen entrance fee gets you into several very distinct spaces. The English Landscape Garden at the centre of the park is instantly reminiscent of London or New York; wide, ce...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 6, 2005

Shinjuku Gyoen
Naito-cho
Tokyo, Japan 160-0022
+81 (0)3 3350 0151

Ueno Park

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Attraction

Ueno Park Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
Almost everyone in Tokyo ends up at Ueno Park one time or another. Once the site of Kan‘eiji Temple, which protected the north eastern approach to Edo Castle, it was turned into a public park after most of its buildings were destroyed in battle during the Meiji Restoration and now houses six of Japan‘s best museums, its oldest zoo, a boating lake, lotus pond, and over 1,000 cherry blossom trees. The zoo is famous for its three giant pandas and a five-storied pagoda, one of the few surviving structures from Kan‘eiji. The spacious grounds are split into two sections linked by a short monorail ride and, though cramped and dingy in a few corners, have impressive new faci...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 9, 2005

Ueno Park
5-20 Ueno Koen
Tokyo, Japan 110-0007
+81 (3) 3828-5644

Kyu Shiba-Rikyu

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Attraction | "Kyu Shiba Rikyu"

Kyu Shiba-Rikyu Photo, Tokyo, Japan
Quote:
A few metres from Hamamatsucho Station, the Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens is a seldom-visited stop along the well-beaten path to Hama Rikyu and Takeshiba Pier. Reputedly the oldest garden in Tokyo, it was first laid out for a feudal lord in the mid-17th century, designed around a large pond filled with sea water from the nearby Tokyo Bay. After being almost destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the garden is now bordered by some of the city‘s most famous landmarks: Tokyo Tower and the World Trade Centre building rising in the background of passing bullet trains and monorails, neon-lit billboards, and many-storied building sites. The pond still dominates the garden, crisscrossed by s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 9, 2005

Kyu Shiba-Rikyu
1-4-1 Kaigan Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan
+81 3 3434 4029