Tokyo Days 35 - Koishikawa Korakuen

Located in Suidobashi and right next to the famed Tokyo Dome, Koishikawa Korakuen is one of the 9 Tokyo Metropolitan Cultural Heritage Gardens. Despite its seemingly popular location, this historical garden of beauty remains to be relatively unknown among foreign tourists.

On the day of my visit, it also happened to be the Tanabata Festival. On this day, people would hang up colorful wishes on bamboo trees. This is a very common sight in temples and shrines so, I was pleasantly surprised to see it done here in the garden as well.

The entry fee for an adult is 300 Yen and half that for senior citizens (age 65 and over). Special exceptions such as local junior and elementary school students as well as those who are mentally handicapped receive free entrance.

The water faucet present at the start of the park sure is a welcome sight in this summer heat.

For ease of navigation, written guides are prepared in various languages including English.

Signs were written in both Japanese and English for ease of understanding.

Almost every Japanese garden has a man-made pond and this was no exception with a lotus pond too. They start to bloom in the second half of July till August.

As is to be expected, every tree is cared for to a meticulous degree.

An odd looking tree stump which seems to have now become the residential area of ants.

Some parts of the park was under construction and maintenance so, caution is advised.

Flower bloom all throughout the year in this garden and these can be identified by the helpful Flower Calendar within the provided guides.

No feeding the animals unless you are ready for some pain.

Enter at your own peril.

Wildlife were allowed to roam freely and occasionally you would stumble across a few.

I never expected to see a paddy field in the garden yet, there it was.

Not every part of the garden is accessible though largely due to maintenance  purposes.

The Japanese Fountain of Youth.

A traditional dam?

Birds were a common site in the park.

Especially the more common species like sparrows and crows.

Other species were in and around the garden too but, you would need to keep a keen eye out for them.

I only had enough patience to observe the common sparrows.

Near the paddy field and irises, if you stood still long enough, they would begin to flock around.

And this meant great photo opportunities!

A telephoto zoom lens definitely helped too.

As was shooting in sequential burst mode but, that is enough about the birds.

Now, a long climb awaits ahead.

From atop the short climb, you will get this rather lovely view of the garden and the small stream which passes through.

Well, I would not know how to say it any better really.

At this time of the year, lilies were beginning to bloom.

Often, you could smell them before you could spot them.

Few in numbers they may be but, their bright colors easily stand out among all the sea of green.

More rocky steps.

Climb within the interior of the garden, up the man-made hill and you will reach the peak of the garden offering this view. It may not have looked like this several centuries ago but, there is an undeniable charm to to a garden in the city.

Aside from the main pond, there are two other smaller ponds surrounding the garden.

These three rocks were apparently once a favorite resting place of the ruling shogun.

Approaching the entrance again, there is a definite Japanese garden feel to the entire area.

The only difference is it was surrounded by tall structures of glass and concrete.

The little island in the center of the main pond was designed to resemble a turtle with a small shrine located at its peak.

The third and final pond, Uchi-niwa was once the site of a guest house.

Sometimes I wonder, how the tree came to grow like this.

Having spent a sizable two plus hours walking around the garden, I had seen my fill and was ready to head on back home.

Towards the left of the map are all the flower in bloom during your duration of visit.

Please come again? Most definitely! Despite having visited Tokyo several times, this was my first time visiting this majestic garden. There is an undeniable charm to Tokyo's city gardens which make you always want to come back for more. This case is no exception as I look forward to my next trip back. Until then, thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day ahead!


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