Did you know about this beautiful sanctuary in the heart of Tokyo?
In this feature, we will be introducing the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens (小石川植物園) in Tokyo. A short walk from either Myogadani or Hakusan station, this garden is about 300 years old and is spread across an area of 161,588m2 with more than 4000 species of plants. A botanical research garden operated by the University of Tokyo, this is a wonderful place to have a quiet, relaxed time.
Ticket machines are available at the gate to purchase entry tickets [Adults: 500 yen (high school students and older), children: 150 yen (elementary school, junior high school)]
Within this park, you will find many varieties of herbaceous plants, flowers, and trees. You may be familiar with some while there might be varieties that you’ve never seen before.
Every tree has been labelled making it quite an educational experience.
The garden has a natural water spring and you can see a myriad of greens through the gentle slopes from the pond. The paths can be quite steep so please wear comfortable shoes, and if it rains, walk with caution to avoid slipping.
It is one of the places that offers a spectacular sight in any of the four seasons of Japan. We visited the garden in autumn and like most gardens, there is a viewing point for autumn leaves.
Number 12 on the map below is a famous spot for viewing autumn foliage, so we decided to check it out.
The walkway to this area is quite steep, and it felt like almost climbing a hill. The atmosphere created by the warmth of the autumn foliage was truly mesmerising.
A pathway lined with Japanese maple appears like a tunnel of red in front of your eyes.
You can bring a picnic basket and sit under these glorious trees to admire their beauty. There is a general store from where you can buy snacks and drinks, or fill your water bottle at the water dispenser.
The area around the pond has features of a classic, traditional Japanese garden. Perfectly manicured shrubs and bushes, bridges going over the water body and rocks placed strategically create a sense of balance and harmony.
How about visiting this lesser-known spot in Tokyo on your next visit?
Closest stations: 15-min walk from Myogadani Station (茗荷谷駅), 10-min walk from Hakusan Station (白山駅)
Admission: Adults 500 yen (high school students and older), children 150 yen (elementary school, junior high school)
Opening hours: 10:00-16:30 (May vary by season, please check the official website)
Official website: https://www.bg.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/koishikawa/eng/
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