Rikugi-en Garden



If you love formal Japanese gardens, we have to go to Rikugi-en! This garden was designed so the grand chamberlain’s aristocratic friends would discover 88 views from famous waka poems as they strolled around the pond.

Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (last admission 16:30)

Open: Every day except 12/29-1/3

Admission: ¥300

Rikugi-en is a great example of a garden designed to look different, but stunning, in every season.




In early April, the weeping cherry tree near the entrance draws record crowds of camera-toting visitors. Later that month, azaleas of all colors cover a steep hill just beyond the teahouse, and the round bushes dotting the grounds are ablaze with pink.

This famous cherry tree is also lit up at night until 9:00, for your blossom viewing pleasure.
This famous cherry tree is also lit up at night until 9:00, for your blossom viewing pleasure.

But my personal favorite time to see this garden is in the fall.

Everywhere you look, color.

This garden is so famous for its brilliant autumn leaves and cherry blossoms that special evening hours are added in November and April so people can visit after work. The trees are lit up with spotlights so you can appreciate the colors, even after sundown.

Nice, huh?

During leaf season and cherry blossom season, they often have special food stands set up in the park, selling traditional foods like skewers of roasted mochi (sticky rice cakes) dipped in soy or miso sauce, and tonjiro (a hearty soup made with bacon and vegetables).

If you are with me, I will make you try one of these. And they you will go back for another!

Partway around the lake is a teahouse, where for ¥500 we can get a bowl ofmattcha (intense traditional tea ceremony tea) and a lovely bean-paste sweet.


Nearby destinations: Ikebukuro, Koraku-en Garden, Koshinzuka Market, Nezu Shrine, Origami Center, Yasukuni Shrine, Yushima Shrine

Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo. And her fourth book, Painted Doll, hits Detective Kenji Nakamura much too close to home…

It's been nine years since she didn't make it home, but now Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura's life is about to unravel... Read more
When Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death ten years ago wasn’t an accident, his world begins to unravel. New evidence links her to…Read more

PAINTED DOLL book trailer (1:08)




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