I was freeing up space on my external drive when I came across a set of pictures which I have taken a year ago but never had the chance to blog about. Browsing it reminds me of how beautiful Japan is during the autumn season and I can’t wait to see the colourful leaves (koyo) once again.
So, for now consider this post as a teaser on what to expect during autumn in Tokyo (that will be in full swing a few weeks from now, fingers crossed) and offer a suggestion on where to go to admire the autumn colors.
Like other places across Tokyo, the garden was originally created as a feudal lord’s residence and a popular duck hunting ground back in the Edo period.
Reminder of what it used to be can be easily spotted across the garden like the old moat walls, kumoba (duck hunting sites) and of course, the ducks now swimming freely across the pond.
What I love most about Japanese landscape garden are actually at Hama-Rikyu Gardens- wooden bridges and tea house.
Walking along the 118m long bridge (O-tsutai-bashi) not only will give you the best vantage point to photograph the autumn leaves and the pond in one frame, it will also leads you to a tea house for a relaxing break and for another better view.
The teahouse (Nakajima-no-chaya) is selected as one of the venue for the annual Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony, though participating on this ceremony requires advance application. (Yup, application and not “reservation”).
A teahouse at a traditional style garden surrounded by skyscrapers in the background offers such an amazing contrast, as if in one afternoon you can have the best of Tokyo – the new and the old.
Personally, the high rise buildings in the background is what makes the Hama-Rikyu garden particularly so appealing to me. I love any green space in the city- sometimes, it’s a good reminder to take things slow and just breathe.
My most recommended thing to do at Shiodome is to order a cup of coffee at the 3rd floor café at NTV Tower, sit on the window side with full view of Yurikamome Train Line as it resemble a toy train when it moves long the track against giant buildings.
Both Hama-Rikyu Gardens and Shiodome are easily accessible on foot from Shimbashi station but in case your are traveling either from Odaiba or Asakusa, Tokyo Water Bus is another alternative to reach the park.
I predict that if I return to Hama Rikyu this year, the garden will look equally beautiful or even more.