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Koishikawa-Korakuen is one of Tokyo's oldest and best Japanese gardens. It was built in the early Edo Period (1600-1867) at the Tokyo residence of the Mito branch of the ruling Tokugawa family. Like its namesake in Okayama, the garden was named Korakuen after a poem encouraging a ruler to enjoy pleasure only after achieving happiness for his people. Koishikawa is the district in which the garden is located in.
Spend A Day At Koishikawa-Korakuen
One of the best things to do at Koishikawa-Korakuen tour is of course to enjoy its beautiful views. The garden features several scenes that represent famous Japanese and Chinese landscapes. Like most traditional Japanese gardens, Koishikawa Korakuen attempts to reproduce famous landscapes in miniature, using ponds, stones, trees and manmade hills to replicate both Japanese and Chinese scenery. A network of walking trails leads around to prescribed viewpoints from which visitors are meant to view the garden, which despite the relatively unobtrusive modern backdrop of Tokyo Dome and other buildings in the distance, remains a beautiful natural escape from urban Tokyo. The garden master designed the garden that the visitor sees a different scenery, a different view every few steps. The pond of the garden is fed by the water of the nearby Koishikawa river (Little stone river).
After getting your Kishikawa-Korakuen tickets, you will get an access to see the Full Moon Bridge. The reflection of the bridge in the pond produces a full circle with the appearance of a full moon. The design of this bridge is said to have been created by the Confucian scholar, Shushunsui of the Ming dynasty. It has important historical significance because, along with the Tokujin-do, it has survived in its original form and provides a glimpse of the early Edo Period.
area was separated from the pond part of the garden as a separate garden by the use of a Chinese-style gate. You can see this garden after getting the Koishikawa-Korakuen tickets. Then, move forward you will find the Tokujin-do. When Mitsukuni was 18 years of age, he read the 'Hakui Retsuden' story from the Chinese historical work called 'Shiki' and, thoroughly impressed, decided to enshrine his wooden statue in this temple.
How to Get Tickets?
Koishikawa-Korakuen tickets can be purchased when you get there. There is a ticket booth at the entrance where you can get your tickets. The admission fee is 300 yen.
How To Get Around?
The park is best explored by walking, there are so many beautiful things to see and you would want to take your time to enjoy them.
What Should I Wear?
There is no dress code to enjoy the things to do at Kitanomaru Park. You can wear anything comfortable depending on the weather to visit the park.
Best Time to Visit
Koishikawa Korakuen is beautiful throughout the year, but is especially so in late November and early December during the fall color season. Dozens of maple trees are planted around the garden's three ponds which turn vibrant shades of orange and red. There is also a small, almost hidden grove of ginkgo trees near the southeast corner of the gardens that turn a golden yellow during fall. The garden is also nice during the plum season from mid February through March and during the cherry blossom season which usually takes place in late March and early April and features several early blooming weeping cherry trees around the garden's entrance gate. A rice field can also be found toward the rear of the garden.
Will I Need a Guide?
There is no need to hire a guide to do the Koishikawa-Korakuen tour. The garden is beautiful and you can enjoy the nature by yourself.
How To Get There?
To get to the Koishikawa gardens, you can either go directly to Koshikawa station with the Marunouchi or Namboku line or take the Sobu line or Mita line to Suidobashi station. But the nearest Station is IIdabashi, which is served by the Sobu-Line, Tozai-Line, Namboku-Line, Yurakucho-Line and Oedo-Line. Koishikawa Korakuen is a 5-10 minute walk from Iidabashi Station along the JR Chuo Line (local trains only) and the Tozai, Yurakucho, Namboku and Oedo Subway Lines, a 5-10 minute walk from JR Suidobashi Station along the JR Chuo Line (local trains only), or a 10 minute walk from Korakuen Station along the Marunouchi and Namboku Subway Lines.
Keep the park clean, do not litter, leave your trash, or pick the plants there.