Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens in Tokyo
Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens in Tokyo is self-described as a “special historic and scenic park”. The park’s brochure gives a little history of the park, including the fact that this garden was completed in 1629 as part of a Tokyo (Edo) residence for the second clan ruler, Mitsukuni, of the Tokugawa family. He was influenced by a Chinese Confucian scholar and thus incorporated some Chinese elements into the garden: a reproduction of Seiko Lake (in China) and a “Full Moon Bridge”. The name “Korakuen” means “the garden for enjoying power later on” (after one has successfully secured and maintained power).
The garden is a nice relaxing stroll away from all the noise and crowds in Tokyo. I’d recommend it if you need a breather. The garden’s highlight include the Full moon Bridge, the “Ume” (Plum) grove, a field of irises, the “inner garden”, the weeping cherry tree, one of the traditionally styled red Japanese bridges, and Tokujin-do, a small shrine.
The garden charges an admission of 300 yen per adult, or 150 yen for anyone 65 or older. It’s open 9-5, every day except Dec 29th-Jan 2nd. The closes train stations are Iidabashi, Korakuen, and Suidobashi. The park comes with an English brochure and map, which marks two different walking routes. One route takes about an hour, and the other about a half an hour. The park is not that large and most of the pathways are paved so just wandering it is fine too. There are events held throughout the year.