One of my friends from a Japanese garden group I’m active on introduced me to these lovely strolling gardens in the heart of Tokyo (metro station Kiyosumi-Shirakawa on Oedo Line).
In 1878, the founder of Mitsubishi, Iwasaki Yataro, chose this property to use a garden for the enjoyment of his employees and entertainment of important guests. After the design and construction phases ended, the garden opened in 1880 under the name of "Fukagawa Shimbokuen." In later years, the waters of the Sumida River were brought into the grounds to make the pond. Hills and waterless waterfalls were constructed and famous rocks from all over Japan were brought in to embellish the garden. The garden was completed in the Meiji Period and developed into a famous strolling-style tree-filled design centered around a large pond. On March 31, 1979 this garden was designated as a Tokyo Metropolitan Place of Scenic Beauty.
In addition, there was a Tudor-style red brick residence designed by the English architect Josiah Condor on the grounds. This building was, however, destroyed by fire in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.
The garden features iso-watari, stepping stone pathways that lead across shallow parts of the pond.
When crossing the pond using one of these stepping stone pathways, one can view the fish in the pond and enjoy the changing reflections of the trees and greenery of the garden that are reflected on the surface of the pond.
Location: 3-3-9 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0024
Access: Toei O-edo Line and Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Kiyosumi-shirakawa Sta. (3 minutes on foot) Toei Bus Line: JR Kameido Sta., North Exit, #7 Bus Stop (Line #33)
Take the Toyoumi-suisan-futo bus; get off at "Kiyosumiteien-mae" (3 minutes on foot).
*No parking available
Hours: Open from 9:00 to 17:00 (Entry until 16:30)
Closed: Year-end holidays (December 29 to January 1)
Entrance fee: ¥150 (Persons 65 and over: ¥70)