garden, architecture, art

The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, completed by Mito Mitsukuni (a.k.a. Mito Komon).

The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, covers an area of 70,000 square meters and offers a richly Chinese flavored view of a Chinese landmark. It’s also famous for being completed by Mito Mitsukuni, also known as Mito Komon

Here you can learn more about the history of Koishikawa Korakuen Garden and its facilities.

What is the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden was created in 1629 as a garden for the spare residence of Edo, and was completed by Mitsukuni Mito, the second lord of the Tokugawa family in Mito. The word “Korakuen Garden” is a reference to the Chinese teachings of “gloom before the sorrow of the world and enjoyment after the joy of the world.

The garden is a “strolling style garden with an artificial hill and a pond “, with a pond at the center of the garden, modeled after a famous Chinese place.

In 1952, the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden was designated as a Special Historic Site and a Special Place of Scenic Beauty under the Cultural Properties Protection Act. There are two metropolitan gardens and nine national gardens that have also been designated as such, making it a valuable garden not only in Tokyo, but also in Japan.

Highlight at Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden has a lot of attractions mainly around the pond. We’d like to introduce some of the must-see places in the garden.

Daisensui

Daisensui is the central pond in the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden. It has been created with the use of Hourai Island and Tokudaiji Stone to realize a landscape that resembles Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. The pond can be viewed from various angles, such as from a walkway or a bridge, and its expression changes depending on the angle, so let’s observe it while strolling through the park.

Inner court

The inner court was once the garden of the Mito clan’s study house. In the Edo period, it was called “Uchi no Oniwa” and it is remaining as a typical Japanese garden with a pond at its center. The pond is filled with water lilies and has a vivid green color.

Oigawa

This is the spot in Koishikawa Korakuen Garden where you can enjoy the view of the river. It is named after the Oigawa in Arashiyama, Kyoto, where the flow of the river and stones of all sizes are used to create a beautiful view of the river.

Engetsukyou

This bridge is said to have been designed by the Chinese Confucian scholar Zhu Shunsui, and is reminiscent of an old bridge in China. The bridge was named Engetsu because the reflection of it on the river below the bridge looks like a full moon. Although the bridge is not accessible due to its age, it is a must-see spot.

Shourozan

Shourozan is said to have been built after Mt. Lushan in China and was named after the Confucian scholar Lin Luoshan from the Edo period. It features a view of the entire garden from the top of the mountain.

Inada

Inada is a rural landscape with rice paddy that extends north of the park. It is rare to find a spot where a rice field is located along with a garden, and just looking at it gives you a sense of calmness.

Tokujindou

Tokujindo was built by Mito Mitsukuni when he was 18 years old. It was built after being inspired by the historical book “The Biography of Hakui”, and houses wooden statues of Hakui and Shukusei. The name “Tokujindou” comes from the words of Confucius: “Seeking humanity and getting humanity”.

Check out the facilities in Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden is not only a charming place to visit, but it also has a number of other facilities that are worth a visit. We recommend you to take a stroll through the garden and also visit the facilities in the garden.

Kantoku-tei

Kantoku-tei was rebuilt in 1986 and is now rented out as a gathering place. It was once called “Glass Tea House” or “Bidoro Tea House” because glass shoji paper was used to get light in the room.

The Biidoro Tea House in Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

The Koishikawa Korakuen Biidoro Tea House is located inside the Kantoku-tei, where you can enjoy the lunch menu from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and the tea ceremony menu from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We recommend the matcha tea set that you can enjoy while looking at the garden. A banquet menu is also available for the use of the meeting hall, so you can use the Bidoro Tea House for various occasion.

Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m.

Closed: Depends on the availability of Kantoku-tei

Oishikawa Korakuen Aoi-ya

Aoi-ya is a souvenir shop in Koishikawa Korakuen Garden. They have a wide range of original goods and souvenirs. You can buy the memories of your visit to the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden there.

Summary

The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden is one of the best gardens in Tokyo and in Japan. The garden was completed by Mito Mitsukuni, and the pond is the center of the garden, with beautiful scenes of the pond, river, bridges, and rice paddies expressed throughout the garden. There are also restaurants and souvenir shops, and you can enjoy lunch, tea, and a selection of souvenirs. If you’re interested in Japanese gardens, you should definitely visit Koishikawa Korakuen Garden to experience the beauty of the garden and Japan firsthand.

Auther:Mamiko Kusano

CREAZIONE Co.Ltd. Director
From Tokyo
2006 Established CREAZIONE Co. Ltd. I mainly work on branding, digital branding, space design, and furniture design.

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