Favorite Places // Hamarikyu Gardens
Over the past couple weeks I've received several e-mails from acquaintances who are planning trips to Tokyo. All of them wanted to know if I had any favorite places that shouldn't be missed on their visit.
There. Are. So. Many.
Tokyo's sheer size makes it an intimidating beast for travelers - even as a resident I'm well aware that I'll only ever know a very small part of it. I've thought about writing a comprehensive travel guide based on my (nearly) one year tenure, but as I was responding to the aforementioned inquiries I realized that it might be better to start small. With that in mind, I decided to establish a new blog series which spotlights my favorite places - a look inside the Tokyo sights, tastes and shops that I believe should be on everyone's checklist. So without further ado, meet Hamarikyu Gardens, one of my favorite green spaces in Tokyo.
While Tokyo has plenty of gorgeous manicured gardens to choose from, Hamarikyu is unique in that its grounds can be enjoyed while sipping matcha (powdered green tea) and nibbling on Japanese sweets, served tea-ceremony-style at its onsite tea house. Located on an island in one of the park's many seawater ponds, Hamarikyu's wood-clad tea house is about as picturesque as they come.
The timing of your visit is irrelevant as Hamarikyu has foliage for every season. There are ethereal cherry blossoms in spring, vibrant hydrangeas in summer, crimson maples in fall and fragrant plum blossoms in winter. With its prime location next to Tsukiji, Hamarikyu makes for an excellent add-on to a morning spent roaming the fish market for a fresh sushi breakfast. The park is also accessible via water bus on the Sumida River, with boat cruises available both to and from Asakusa (where you'll find the Tokyo Sky Tree and Sensoji Temple) on Tokyo Cruise.
Address: 1-1, Hama Rikyu-teien, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0046
Hours: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Closed: December 29th - January 1st
Admission: 300 yen
Guided Tours (in English, free): Mondays at 10:30AM; Saturdays at 11AM
- Shiodome Station or Tsukijishijo Station on the Toei Oedo Line
- Shimbashi Station on the JR Yamanote, Tokyo Metro Ginza or Toei Asakusa Lines
- Suijo Bus (by boat)