Designated a natural scenic beauty spot since 1953, Rikugien Garden is typical of the Edo period style, offering various perspectives and vantage points throughout its grounds. Rikugien is in central Tokyo, offering a few hours of reprieve from the city's more hectic destinations.
The garden was created in 1702 by Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa
During the Meiji period, the garden was a second residence for Mitsubishi founder Yataro Iwasaki
Rikugien is a 10-minute walk from Komagome Station on the JR Yamanote Line and Nanboku subway line.
The name "Rikugien" refers to the six elements of traditional Japanese poetry. True to its name, the structure and flow of Rikugien allude to scenes from famous waka poems.
Central to the garden's design is a lovely pond surrounded by walking trails that take you to different areas of the garden. Most of the walking trails are fairly flat, and offer people of all ages and physical conditions a place to enjoy Japan's natural beauty.
When you need a break, visit Fukiage Chaya teahouse for some matcha (green tea) and Japanese sweets while overlooking the central pond. Other options include Takimi no Chaya teahouse on the southwestern side of the garden and Tsutsuji Chaya on the northern side.
Rikugien is especially popular during the cherry blossom and fall foliage seasons when the garden is blanketed in seasonal hues. At these times, both locals and foreigners flock to see the colorful transformation and take part in hanami (cherry blossom viewing) and momiji-gari (fall-leaf viewing).
Most gardens, Rikugien included, close early. During the cherry blossom season and fall foliage season, however, Rikugien Garden extends its hours and holds special illumination events, allowing guests to appreciate the beauty of nature at night. In fact, many consider Rikugien to be one of Tokyo's best spots for viewing maple leaves in autumn.