Exploring Japan

Koishikawa Korakuen in Spring

Koishikawa Korakuen is one of the few gardens in Japan with a designation as the Special Place of Scenic Beauty and Special Historic Site of the country. Like other Japanese-style gardens, this garden features a big pond; an array of different trees; and flowers that bloom for every season. However the inspiration from various classic literature as well as images from historic places makes it unique from other gardens.

The park is just beside Tokyo Dome and a few minutes away from the Tokyo station via Marounochi Subway train. It is also less than ten minutes walk from Iidabashi station via Oedo Line or Tozai Line.

Walking Around Koishikawa Korakuen in Spring

Last Sunday, my husband and I visited Korakuen for sakura viewing. It has been ages since my last visit to this park. Hence, it felt like it was my first time walking around. In early spring, the park has a late winter- early spring ambiance. Some trees do not have leaves yet due to the cold winter while some are in full bloom.

While my husband was queuing for our tickets, the park’s wooden map caught my attention. It is very impressive to see how the creator carved the minute details of the map.

Koishikawa Korakuen in Spring
The map of Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens on wood

Inside the park, the white blooms of the sakura trees welcomed us. These trees are lined along the big pond together yet separated from other trees.

Sakura viewing at Korakuen

Inspiration from History and Chinese Classics

Dai-Sensui, which is the main pond, is an attempt to resemble Biwa Lake. In olden times, people enjoy boating in this area.

The Dai-Senui Pond adorned with Sakura blossoms in early Spring

From the sakura trees, we walked along the forest-like path surrounded by ferns and tall trees going to Engetsu-kyo or the Full Moon Bridge.

Enjoying the cool shade, tall trees, and ferns

The Full Moon Bridge of Korakuen

Beside the bridge is an uphill path towards the ruins of Komachi-zuka.

After enjoying the garden from a higher vantage point, we walked down to the Ume Grove. Although it is still quite early, we saw some irises not from there.

Korakuen’s Ume Grove and Wisteria Trellis

Nearby the grove are the wisteria trellis and some rice paddies. The owner built the rice paddies for his wife and son to learn the hardship of farmers.

Learning the value of farming at Korakuen

Not far from there is a smaller inner garden separated by a Chinese gate. Inside was the former site of the shoin-style guest house of the Mito Domain. Although the house is no longer there, walking around the pond gave a nostalgic vibe.

Koishikawa Korakuen in Spring
Japanese Maple trees or Momijis in bloom

The lily pond behind the Chinese gate

Walking around the park was not a difficult navigation because of its pebble path. This winding path guides the visitors as they enjoy the different areas of the garden. Alongside the path is a small stream to reflect an image of the Mito highway during Edo period. The sound of the water helped us relax and be one with nature despite being in the city center.

The winding pebbled path similar to Mito Highway during Edo period

A small stream along the pebbled pathway

Small surprises one can find while walking on the the pebbled path

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