Rikugien – 六義園

Autumn illumination at Tōkyō’s showpiece

A German version of this posting you can find here.
Eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.

Rikugien (六義園)

Rikugien (六義園)

There is a good reason for the multitude of postings about parks and gardens in Tōkyō on this website right now: After all, autumn is the most glorious season in Tōkyō – and that’s not just because the weather is more stable than during the time of the cherry blossoms.

I would like to introduce the possibly most beautiful garden of the city in a kind of “special edition” depicting a special evening illumination – which is a double rarity: first it’s one of the rare occasions when one is allowed to enter one of the city’s gardens after the early evening hours, and secondly, these gardens don’t usually get illuminated. Something like that can only be seen during the cherry blossom season (late March) or at the most colourful time of the autumn foliage (late November to early December). And even though there is only little you can see of the splendid landscape of the garden, the nightly illumination has its very particular charm.

Please click one of the miniatures in the mosaic above to start a slide show in screen size.

This garden was created in 1702 based on the principles of Waka poetry. The fifth Tokugawa shōgun, Tsunayoshi (綱吉 / つなよし), had given the plot to his confidant, Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu (柳沢・吉保 / やなぎさわ・よしやす). Today’s park is (together with the Koishikawa Kōrakuen / 小石川後楽園 / こいしかわこうらくえん) a typical example for the beauty of gardens of the Edo period.

Like other parks once owned by members of noble families, in the early days of the Meiji era in the late 19th century Rikugien came into the possession of the founder of Mitsubishi (三菱 / みつびし), Iwasaki Yataro (岩崎・弥太郎 / いわさき・やたろ), or his family respectively and became their second residence. In 1938 the Iwasaki family donated the garden to the city of Tōkyō, and in the same year it was opened to the public.

Due to its extraordinary beauty the garden has been listed as “important cultural asset” in 1953. It is also regarded as one of the “distinguished sights” of Japan.

Please click one of the miniatures in the mosaic above to start a slide show in screen size.

Besides an extensive pond in the centre of the roughly nine hectare large garden, the Rikugien features three tee houses (one offering snacks and drinks), various bridges, islands, a waterfall and quite a diversity of landscapes. And on top of that there are also two traditional Japanese houses that can be (partially or completely) rented, the Shinsen-tei (心泉亭 / しんせんてい) and the Gishun-tei (宜春亭 / ぎしゅんてい) – the latter primarily to be used for tea ceremonies.


6-16-3 Hon-Komagome, Bunkyō-ku, Tōkyō 113-0021

How to get there:

Tōkyō Metro Namboku line (東京メトロ南北線 / とうきょうメトロなんぼくせん) to Komagome station (駒込駅 / こまごめえき), exit no. 2, and after that for about 350 metres alongside the Hongō-Dōri (本郷通り / ほんごうどうり) in southern direction (along the garden’s walls).

Or by Toei Mita line (都営三田線 / とえいみたせん) to Sengoku station (千石 駅 / せんごくえき), exit A4. Cross the Hakusan-Dōri (白山通り / はくさんどうり) in eastern direction and walk for about 600 metres in eastern direction on the left side of the Shinobazu-Dōri (不忍通り / )しのばずどうり) until you reach the crossing of the Shinobazu-Dōri and the Hongō-Dōri (本郷通り / ほんごうどうり) – the crossing is labeled “上冨土前”. Here turn left and, after about 30 metres left again – you’ll find the entrance to the Rikugien after another 30 metres.

JR Yamanote line (JR山手線 / JRやまのてせん) also to Komagome station (駒込 / こまごめ), south exit (南口 / みなみぐち). Cross the Hongō-Dōri (本郷通り / ほんごうどうり) in western direction and follow it for about 250 metres.

The entrance to the Rikugien is on its south-east corner. Only on special occasions (e.g. during the cherry blossom season and in late autum) also the entrance on the north-east corner is open.

Opening hours:

Daily from 9 am to 5 pm (last entry: 4.30 pm)
Closed during the New Year holiday (December 29th – January 1st).

Admission fee:

Adults*: 300 ¥
Seniors (65 years of age or older): 150 ¥
Children (elementary school or younger): free
*Junior highschool students living or studying in Tōkyō: free

There is a 20% discount for groups of 20 or more persons.

Rental fees for the tea houses:

Shinsen-tei (心泉亭 / しんせんてい):
All rooms together (max. 25 persons): 4,800 Yen
The rooms “Matsu-no ma” (松の間 / まつのま) and “Tsutsuji-no ma” (つつじの間 / つつじのま) together (max. 17 persons): 3,600 Yen
The room “Momiji-no ma” (もみじの間 / もみじのま) (max. 8 persons): 1,200 Yen

Gishun-tei (宜春亭 / ぎしゅんてい):
Rooms for tea ceremony (max. 5 persons): 7,400 Yen


One Response to Rikugien – 六義園

  1. […] englische Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.An English version of this posting you can […]

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