Hama-rikyu Gardens is the largest Japanese-style garden in Tokyo. It served as a theme park for local residents to have fun and get close to each other about 300 years ago in Edo period. With quite a few historical buildings gathered in such a time-honored garden, Japanese culture and history are fortunately able to be preserved until nowadays. Want to know how the Japanese people in the old days spent their free time? Visit Hama-rikyu Gardens and seek for the answer!
Hama-rikyu Gardens is a garden by the sea
Hama-rikyu Gardens is situated in a seaside area near Tokyo station, at the mouth of Sumida River. As the garden itself is surrounded by a seawater moat filled by Tokyo Bay, getting there from the sea side by water bus is also a possible option other than trains and buses.
Hama-rikyu Gardens was the shogun's villa 300 years ago
This is the history of Hama-rikyu Gardens: In 1654, the shogun (the military dictator taking control of the country) decided to reclaim some land from Tokyo Bay and build a villa there on the reclaimed land. As a villa for shogun, Hama-rikyu Gardens was well-designed and fully-equipped with entertainment facilities. It was then remodeled as a public garden park, serving the public, until now.
In today’s word, such an entertaining garden can be said to be a theme park. While enjoying the view of Shioiri Pond, the old-time residents composed Japanese poems, listened to music performances, had picnics, and took walks around there.
The stunning pond gives you different scenery with the rise and fall of the tides
Shioiri Pond is connected to Tokyo Bay, from which sea water is channelled to the pond. The amazing pond makes a refreshing changes when the tide ebbs and flows, yet it is always stunningly engaging. Once you have the fortune to witness the beauty of it, you will understand why the Japanese people at that time enjoyed the pond so much and created poems depicting the inspiring views there. Do you want to experience being a poet? Visit Shioiri Pond and create your own pieces of work!
A living work of art: the biggest Japanese black pine in Tokyo
The 300-year-old Japanese black pine in Hama-rikyu Gardens is the biggest one in Tokyo. There are professional gardeners responsible for keeping it healthy and in a good shape. When you look at it very carefully and pay attention to all the details, you will discover that every branch is perfectly trimmed. Every detail makes it perfect! Starting from Edo period, appreciating the charm and elegance of the greenery has been one of the best ways to enjoy the garden.
Take a rest at a wonderful tea house! Japanese tea and sweets are offered
Getting tired after walking around for a while? In the middle of Shioiri Pond in Hama-rikyu Gardens, there is a tea house named “Nakajima tea house”. It serves as a resting place, offering seasonal Japanese sweets and matcha (a kind of Japanese tea) in a tea ceremony style. Even if you are not ordering anything, the admission is still free.
The tea house overlooks the garden, and there is always a delightful scenery in each of the four seasons. Back in Edo period, this place was already a resting place for local citizens to spend their leisure time and enjoy refreshment. It is said that the old-time people could spend even 10 hours there! Don’t you feel like experiencing taking rest at such a comfortable tea house, like the people in Edo period did?
A 360° panoramic view from the highest point in the garden
The top of Ochin-yama hill is the highest point in Hama-rikyu Gardens. You may enjoy a 360° panoramic view there, seeing Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree. Instead of high buildings, what people saw in the old times should be the whole landscape of the city and the highest mountain in the country, Mt. Fuji.
Ride a water bus and cruise Sumida River!
As Hama-rikyu Gardens is facing the sea, there is a water bus stop in the garden. From Hama-rikyu Gardens, the water buses depart for several famous tourist spots, including Asakusa and Odaiba. Just like in the old days, a ride on the water bus is not merely a transportation means, but a form of entertainment too. Don’t hesitate to create joyful memories!
Experience the leisure culture in the old times of Japan
When you are sightseeing in Tokyo, which is such a bustling metropolis, don’t you sometimes want to take a fresh breath? Wandering around Hama-rikyu Gardens is certainly one of your best options. Book your flight with us! We offer the best air fare.