Last Year’s Autumn at Hama-rikyu Gardens, Tokyo


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.

Hama-Rikyu Gardens is a landscape garden located along side Tokyo Bay, which feature a vast and the last remaining seawater (courtesy of Sumida river) pond in the city.
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

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.
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

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.
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

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”).
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

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.
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

Speaking of those sky scrapers in the background, they are mostly located in the recently re-developed district of Shiodome. The buildings are mixtures of residential and commercial use.
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

The most prominent high rise of all is Nippon Television Tower (NTV Tower) with its Tower Clock designed by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki.
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

Mostly visited by families during weekend and occupied by office workers on weekdays due to the variety of restaurants and museum/showrooms available like the free admission Advertising Museum.
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

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.
hama-rikyu gardens

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.
hama-rikyu gardens
hama-rikyu gardens

I predict that if I return to Hama Rikyu this year, the garden will look equally beautiful or even more.

25 thoughts on “Last Year’s Autumn at Hama-rikyu Gardens, Tokyo

    1. i love autumn in Japan, the only issue i have is waking up earlier to roam around or else i will miss the sunlight 🙂

  1. My daughter’s father was stationed in Japan when he was in the service. He raves about it and loves it. He’s an artist and from your beautiful photo’s I can see that it is an artist paradise. Thank you for taking me on your tour of Japan.

    1. yes it is.. like many others, i never like photography before but Japan is beautiful, it will be a shame not to capture and share 🙂
      thank you!

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