Koishikawa Korakuen is a pocket of peace and lush greenery tucked in the middle of the sprawling Tokyo cityscape. The park is an enjoyable visit all year round, although a visit coinciding with the peak of autumn colors in Tokyo from late November to early December is guaranteed to be a visual treat as dozens of maple and ginkgo trees transform the garden into hues of vibrant yellow, orange and red.

Lone Pine Tree

Koishikawa Korakuen’s Hitotsu Matsu (Lone Pine Tree). Tokyo, Japan.

Korakuen was built during the early Edo Period by the feudal lord Tokugawa Yorifusa and completed by his successor Tokugawa Mitsukuni. The garden was influenced by Chinese elements and, in traditional Japanese style, attempts to recreate scenic landscapes such as Hangzhou’s West Lake using rocks, ponds and small hills. Being situated right beside Tokyo Dome, the garden’s giant stadium neighbor is most likely to appear in photos but it does so in a subtle way.

Tokyo Dome

Tokyo Dome and Koishikawa Korakuen

With the exception of area around the huge central pond, the garden’s sights are laid out such that visitors will see portions of the garden one at a time. The winding pathways guarantee a surprise at every turn.

Koishikawa Korakuen

Koishikawa Korakuen’s Momiji Grove (left) and Osensui (Central Pond)

At this time of the year, momiji (maple) groves turn into rows of brilliant red and orange.
Koishikawa Korakuen

Momiji (Maple) at Koishikawa Korakuen

Koishikawa Korakuen has been designated an Important Historical Asset and Site of Special Historical Significance, a double designation given only to seven other sites in Japan such as Kyoto‘s Kinkakuji and Hiroshima’s Itsukushima Shrine.

Getting There

Koishikawa Korakuen is right beside Tokyo Dome City, a 5-10 minute walk from either Suidobashi or Iidabashi stations of the JR Chuo Line.