Japan is full of its indigenous cherry blossoms, and Tokyo boasts some of the most beautiful gardens showcasing these natural wonders. In addition to the Prunus' special flower, the greenlife in Tokyo is some of the best in the world. On your next visit, be sure to check out one (or more!) of these seven gardens.
Imperial Palace East Gardens
The Imperial Palace East Gardens are open to the public from the inner palace area, and they are a very popular destination for travellers everywhere, as these gardens allow visitors to walk on the remains of the foundation of the former Edo Castle tower. These are also the same grounds of the rebuilt Imperial Palace. A Japanese garden has been placed where the secondary circle of defense once was.
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Rikugi-en is a park in Tokyo containing a traditional Japanese garden within the park. Constructed around 1695, this park has been in Tokyo for hundreds of years, and it is a typical example of a garden from the Edo period. The Japanese government specified it as a special place of scenic beauty in 1953, as it is quite the spectacle. During spring and autumn, the foliage of the cherry blossoms is lit up, and the park remains open until after sunset.
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Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
A tranquil oasis that is well-worth a visit, the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden is a peaceful garden and one of the oldest in Tokyo, with some of its oldest structures still standing, dating back hundreds of years. This garden stands out because it incorporates elements of both Chinese and Japanese taste, as it was created with advice from the Chinese scholar Zhu Shun Shui. It is one of three surviving daimyō gardens of the many that were created in Edo after it became the military capital of the country.
Originally the residence of an Edo era merchant, the grounds of Kiyosumi Teien have been completely transformed into a beautiful landscape garden with iconic stones set around the grounds. A highlight of this garden is its collection of stepping stone paths in the water called “isowatari.” Stepping across these stones, you can observe fish and turtles swimming right beneath you, a fascinating sight. Another highlight of this garden is the teahouse styled Ryotei, a traditional Japanese restaurant, that looks over the water from across the pond.
Tokyo National Museum Garden
Adding color to the museum grounds, the Tokyo National Museum Garden is a staple to any visit to the National Museum. This garden is rich in trees, providing beautiful colours during the height of the cherry blossom season as well as the crimson foliage season. The garden also includes five historic teahouses within its grounds, providing the perfect opportunity to indulge in the Japanese tea ceremony tradition.
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A popular backdrop for traditional Japanese celebrations, the Happō-en gardens are some of the most exquisite gardens in Tokyo with breathtaking stone works, buildings, and gates. Built in the early 17th century in the old Edo’s gentle hills, the garden includes Bonsai trees that are over 100 years old; one of them is even 520 years old. This is an historical attraction that you don’t want to miss.
Hotel New Otani Japanese Garden
Featuring several ancient stone lanterns, scarlet bridges over koi ponds, a stone garden, a waterfall, and rich foliage and cherry blossoms that change colour by season, Hotel New Otani Japanese Garden might as well be the best saved for last. Located in the heart of Tokyo, the garden radiates a peaceful and quiet ambience away from the busy city. It is open to both hotel guests and visitors alike. A 400 year-old garden, this is an astonishing attraction from the Edo period.
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