Tokyo (東京) has yet another wonderful garden up its sleeve, the Hamarikyu Gardens (浜離宮) in the Tokyo Bay area near Ginza (銀座). It has a slightly different feel to it as you can see the many surrounding skyscrapers from inside the garden. This creates a nice contrast of nature and man-made structures.
Being located in Tokyo Bay, it is connected to the sea water which is highlighted through some of the ponds that change level with the tides of the sea.
As with almost every one of Tokyo’s gardens, Hamarikyu Garden originally served as a residence for a feudal lord during the Edo period (1603-1867) as well as a duck hunting ground (yes, ducks! They had some interesting hobbies back then.)
Later on, it became the public park that we know and love today.
Visiting Hamarikyu Gardens
Hamarikyu Gardens is an all-seasons garden. It is not particularly famous for the scenery in either spring or fall but there is still loads to see!
There are a fair number of Cherry trees around and the fall colors are also plenty. This garden might even be a little less crowded than the more popular viewing spots like Ueno Park (上野公園) or Yoyogi Park (代々木公園).
In addition to that, there are also a few historic buildings spread throughout the garden. To top it off, there is a tea house in the middle of the biggest pond. The spacious lawns and beautiful flower fields offer an amazing amount of photo opportunities.
Opening Hours & Admission Fee
- 9:00 – 17:00 (last entry at 16:30)
- Closed from December 29 to January 1, otherwise opened all year
- Entrance fee is 300 Yen (2,34€/$2.68; exchange rate as of December 2018)
How to get to Hamarikyu Gardens
The nearest train station is Shimbashi Station, from which it takes roughly 10-15 minutes by foot to reach the gardens.
To get to Shimbashi Station, take the JR Yamanote Line (starting at Tokyo Station (東京駅)) for around 3 minutes and 140 Yen (1,09€/$1.25).
This one and any other ride on a JR Line are fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass or other passes.
Hamarikyu Gardens is yet another one of Tokyo’s great pieces of nature within the city and is totally worth your visit. The 300 Yen fee is a worthy investment to enjoy a lengthy walk with skyscrapers in the background and Tokyo Bay just next to it.
It might be that BECAUSE it has this fee that you can enjoy a less crowded Cherry blossom viewing in late March/early April, when most people go to the free spots.
Regardless of season, the gardens are a relaxing afternoon visit which is easily combined with a trip to Ginza, the old Tsukiji Market area or the new Toyosu market that is also not far!
That’s it for Hamarikyu Gardens, I hope you found it useful!
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