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Five gardens to get to know the wabi-sabi of Japan

Five gardens to get to know the wabi-sabi of Japan

Date published: 22 March 2016
Last updated: 22 May 2017

To Japanese people, there is a peculiar sense of aesthetics called "Wabi-sabi" where it is key to find the beauty in silence and the passing of time. We will introduce you to a number of gardens which will help you to understand the concept.

1 - The Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

1 - The Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

The Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden is a precious Japanese garden made in the Edo period (1600/1603 - 1868) around 340 years ago. You can see the influence of abroad in for instance "The bank of West Lake" modeled after the West Lake in China. From above, it looks like a miniature garden placed in between the buildings. The sight of the flowers in full bloom from season to season is also beautiful.
Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association

  • Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden
    Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden
    旧芝離宮恩賜庭園
    • Address 1, Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-0022
    • Nearest Station Hamamatsucho Station (JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line)
      1 minute on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3434-4029

2 - The Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden

2 - The Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden

Josiah Conder is a British architecture who made many western architectural style buildings in Japan. The former Iwasaki Family House is also a building designed by him. The garden inside the premises is a unique garden with a mixture of Japanese and western styles.
Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association

  • Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens
    Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens
    旧岩崎邸庭園
    • Address 1, Ikenohata, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0008
    • Nearest Station Yushima Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
      3 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3823-8340

3 - Kiyosumi Garden

3 - Kiyosumi Garden

It's a metropolitan garden designated as a Tokyo Metropolitan Place of Scenic Beauty. There are several water-worn boulders collected from all over Japan that were placed in the garden by Yataro Iwasaki (1835 - 1885) during the Meiji period (1968-1912) . The dry waterfalls, which represent flowing waterfalls and the flowing of water, in addition to the picturesque pine trees are both must-sees.
Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association

  • Kiyosumi Gardens
    Kiyosumi Gardens
    清澄庭園
    • Address 2, Kiyosumi, Koutou-ku, Tokyo, 135-0024
    • Nearest Station Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station (Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / Toei Oedo Line)
      3 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3641-5892

4 - The Hamarikyu Gardens

4 - The Hamarikyu Gardens

The Hamarikyu Gardens are known as the Japanese gardens that were once loved by the Tokugawa Shogun (de facto military ruler) family. It is known that the Shogun enjoyed falconry here. The seawater pond inside the garden is a rare pond because it changes its appearance around the flow of tide drawn in from Tokyo Bay.
Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association

  • Hamarikyu Gardens
    Hamarikyu Gardens
    浜離宮恩賜庭園
    • Address Hamarikyuteien, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0046
    • Nearest Station Tsukijishijo Station (Toei Oedo Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3541-0200

5 - The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

5 - The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden

Koishikawa Korakuen garden is a garden with strong influences from China. The stroll garden with a central pond in its center is modeled after famous places in China and Japan. the scenery is cleverly modeled after the picturesque lakes, mountains, rivers and country sides of various places,
Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association

  • Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens
    Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens
    小石川後楽園
    • Address 1, Kouraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-0004
    • Nearest Station Iidabashi Station (JR Chuo Main Line / Tokyo Metro Tozai Line / Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line / Tokyo Metro Namboku Line / Toei Oedo Line)
      8 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3811-3015

Spots showcased in the article

  1. Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden
    旧芝離宮恩賜庭園
  2. Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens
    旧岩崎邸庭園
  3. Kiyosumi Gardens
    清澄庭園
  4. Hamarikyu Gardens
    浜離宮恩賜庭園
  5. Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens
    小石川後楽園

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