Next Stop, Japan


Hama-rikyu Gardens

Hama-rikyu Gardens (Hamarikyu Onshi Teien) are Tokyo's largest and most famous Japanese gardens. It is also one of two surviving feudal era landscape gardens in Tokyo today and one of only a small number of saltwater Japanese gardens in the world. The garden is actually an island as it is surrounded by the Tsukiji River, Shiodome River and the ocean on all four sides. The only way in is by bridge or water bus.

Chūō Ward

Hiroshima Botanical Garden

The Hiroshima Botanical Garden (広島市植物公園) is located to the west of Hiroshima City in Itsukaichi. They have played in important role since they opened in 1976 in preserving rare native plant species from Japan and from around the world through seed exchange programs with around 200 other institutes in 34 countries.
Saeki Ward
Hiroshima Prefecture

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens

Koishikawa Korakuen is the oldest surviving Diayamo garden in Tokyo and is typical of the stroll gardens of the Edo period. This 17.5 acre garden was originally a 65 acre garden. City planners reduced its size drastically during Japan's modernization. It was first laid out by Yorifusa Mito in 1629 and later completed by his successor Mitsukuni Mito. The garden includes many elements with Chinese origins.

Bunkyō Ward

Kyu Iwasaki-tei Gardens

Kyu Iwasaki-tei Gardens is the former estate of the Iwasaki clan who were the founders of Mitsubishi. The main attraction is the impressive two story (with basement) manor house that was completed in 1896 and was the Iwasaki's main residence. Around half of the original lands and most of an extensive complex of Japanese buildings have been lost to development but the northwest corner of the estate remains remarkably intact.

Taitō Ward

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

The Kyu-Furukawa Gardens include three distinct features that blend together in harmony. The first and second features are the early western residence and its rose garden. Finally, the Japanese garden uses the terrain to transition from the rose garden and into a beautiful woodland Japanese garden. All three have their separate charms that will attract people to here for different reasons.

Kita Ward

Kyu-shiba-rikyu Gardens

The Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Gardens are one of two surviving feudal era Japanese gardens in Tokyo today. It is located next to JR Hamamatsucho Station to the south of Tokyo Station and east of Tokyo Tower. The Hama-rikyu Gardens to its north is the only other garden from this era left in Tokyo.
Minato Ward

Mori Museum and Garden

It would be hard to find a clan in all of western Honshu's history that was more important and more powerful powerful than the Mori family. The origin of the clan's power is considered to be Oe no Hiromoto (1148-1225) who helped establish the structure of the Kamukura Shogunate. The clan rose to its height of power towards the end of the Muromachi period (1392-1573) when it controlled all of western Honshu.

Hōfu City
Yamaguchi Prefecture

Rikugien Gardens

Rikugien is a large Japanese garden that was built in the 1702 by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu for the Shogun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. The name pays tribute to the Chinese system of dividing poetry into six categories. This system influenced the development of Japanese waka poetry. Famous waka poems were the source of much of the design of the garden's landscapes and features.

Bunkyō Ward

Ritsurin Garden

Ritsurin Garden (栗林公園) is one of the most historic and beautiful gardens in Japan. It is tucked up against Mt. Shuin in northeastern Shikoku in Takamatsu City. The use of the land as a park for the local aristocracy is said to go all the way back to the 16th century with the first major improvements to the natural landscape beginning in 1625.

The relative stability of the ruling dynasty and a strong local economy as the closest port to the main island, Honshu, enabled the creation of one of Japan's greatest gardens.

Takamatsu City
Kagawa Prefecture

Shukkeien Garden

In 1619, Asano Nagakira became the lord of Aki province and he began ruling as the Daimyo from Hiroshima Castle. Despite ruling all of modern Hiroshima Prefecture and more, his villa lacked a garden worthy of a prominent ruler of Japan. As a result, a year later, his principal retainer and famous master of the tea ceremony, Ueda Soko, started construction of the Diamyo's new garden.
Naka Ward
Hiroshima Prefecture

Yume-no-Shima Tropical Greenhouse Dome

Yume no Shima (Dream Island) is a large recreation park north of JR Shinkiba Station located on the Rinkai Line to the east of central Tokyo. The park's sports facilities including two track fields, six baseball diamonds and the BumB sports building. There's also a public barbecue space and a multipurpose "colosseum" which is really a large circular grassy field surrounded by trees. It's main attraction for tourists is a large tropical greenhouse that can be seen poking its head above the park's trees from the train line.

Kōtō Ward
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