Attraction Hamarikyu Gardens, 1-1 Hamarikyuteien, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0046, Japan Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Hama Rikyu Gardens is special ?
Hama Rikyu (浜離宮, Hama Rikyū), is a large, attractive landscape garden in central Tokyo. Located alongside Tokyo Bay, Hama Rikyu features seawater ponds which change level with the tides, and a teahouse on an island where visitors can rest and enjoy the scenery. The traditionally styled garden stands in stark contrast to the skyscrapers of the adjacent Shiodome district.
The garden has served many purposes over the centuries. It was originally built as a feudal lord's Tokyo residence and duck hunting grounds during the Edo Period (1603-1867), but later served as a strolling garden and as an imperial detached palace before eventually being opened to the public in its current form. Vestiges of these old roles are still visible throughout the garden including several reconstructed duck hunting blinds, and the remains of an old moat and reconstructed rock wall.
What to explore at Hama Rikyu Gardens?
Hama Rikyu is attractive in any season. Although not as famous for its fall foliage as some of the other gardens around Tokyo, it offers plenty of maple, ginkgo and other trees that show their beautiful autumn colors between late November and early December.
Late February brings plum blossoms, while the spring cherry blossom season from late March to early April is also nice but somewhat subdued compared to other hanami spots in the city. Several other species of flowers bloom in spring including fields of peony and canola blossoms.
An excellent, free English audio guide is available at Hama Rikyu which includes several self-guided walking courses through the garden. The courses vary in length from 60-90 minutes and use pictures and video to explain the various historical spots, flowers and trees that you can see along the way. The electronic guide is available at the Otemon and Nakanogomon Gate entrances.
How to get to Hama Rikyu Gardens?
Hama Rikyu is a 10-15 minute walk from JR Shimbashi Station or a 5-10 minute walk from Shiodome Station on the Oedo Subway Line and the Yurikamome elevated train.
Hama Rikyu can also be accessed from Asakusa by Tokyo Water Bus (35 minutes, 740 yen one way, admission to the garden has to be paid separately), but note that the water buses do not stop at Hama Rikyu in the opposite direction. A small detour via Hinode Pier is required to travel from Hama Rikyu to Asakusa (45 minutes, 740 yen one way).
- Hidden gem of Tokyo
- A quiet break in Tokyo
- For family and kids
- Beautiful garden
- One of the best places in Tokyo
Hamarikyu Gardens, 1-1 Hamarikyuteien, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0046, Japan
Tips for you
bring a bento, have lunch in the park, try green tea macha at the tea hut in the pond
It is a garden that a samurai lord used to own. It is pretty nice. Really close to Tsukiji and to Shimbashi station. I like hearing the birds sing, or crow. We took many pretty pictures. The view is pretty much surrounded by hotels and other very tall buildings. There is a lake in the middle that would change according to tides. Makes me wonder how they made that. There are also two tea house right across from each other in the pool. They make a picturesque scene. We were not allowed to go in though and our visiting time was very limited (tour group). Come over after visiting the attractions in the area!
Great place for a walk. You can also experience a mini tea ceremony at the small tea house. There is a paper explaining simple tea ceremony etiquette if you like , but they aren't strict.