I love morning strolls in the autumn and spring. I try not to go on walks in my neighborhood and prefer different locations to take a morning walk so that it does not become a routine. It also gives me the chance to explore the city of Tokyo. On the last weekend me and my wife went to Ryogoku and were walking around when we saw an entrance to a small garden. We thought to check it out and went in, free admission. What we discovered was a beautiful landscape of a Japanese styled garden with an awesome view of the Tokyo Skytree! See the photo story below.
The entrance does not give away the beautiful scenery it hides and me and my wife were still not sure what to expect when we entered this garden. We could see the Tokyo Skytree in a faint backdrop which was a promising thing to explore further.The gardens were rebuilt in 1971 by the Sumida Ward and restored to the beauty of the original garden constructed in 1701 by a feudal landlord named Honjo. A masterpiece of Daimyo Teien it now has the modern Tokyo Skytree in its background which gives it a beautiful mix of the old and the new which reveals itself when you cross the opening walkway and reach the pond built in the garden.
The garden makes optimum use of the space and the pond is well maintained. In 1923, the garden was damaged by the Kanto great earthquake, but with the reconstruction in the 1960’s this garden was registered as the one of the places to visit for Tokyo scenery in 1996. In earlier days, the pond in center of the garden had been fed water from Sumida river through a duct, so the water had continually risen and fallen according the ebb and flow of the river.A brief history of the Garden in English and Japanese is on display at the entrance. There are a lot of turtles in the pond and on this particular sunny morning we spotted a turtle resting on the stone enjoying the sunbath and getting a lot of Vitamin D. The spot is a offbeat location so quite peaceful and tranquil.A red colored bridge built over the pond to cross over between sides. The usage of the area is optimized and the garden feels quite larger than the actual space its been allocated. Since this garden successfully retains an appearance described in literature of the Meiji period up to the present, it is one of the typical gardens of this period comparable to Kiyosumi or Hamarikyu Gardens.The red colored bridge from a distance with some flowers of spring in the foreground. Maintained meticulously, the Kyu-Yasuda Teien (Old Yasuda Garden) is closed from December 29 to January 1 so take care not to visit it over the year end holidays.A view from inside a stone lamp to give a frame of view of the gardens landscaping. Somehow this snap gives a very warm Japanese feel to the garden. The garden closes at 16:30 for entry so do reach early since the garden is closed by 17:00 with no evening time entry.You can also see a few small shrines inside the premises of the garden. There are elaborate benches all over the garden and you can sit on these and take a view of the scenery as one spot I found as below. Fishes jumping out of the water and ripples in the pond. Peaceful.Rocky formations and the way on the waterside, Steppingstones for going over the Rocky shore & stone lamp viewing.Location of the Yasuda Garden: Few minutes walking distance from the JR Ryogoku Station
- From Shinjuku station,Sobu Line line (yellow JR line) to Ryogoku station (16 mins, 210 yen).
- From Tokyo station, take the Yamanote line (green JR line) to Akihabara station, then the Sobu Line line (yellow JR line) to Ryogoku station (9 mins, 150 yen).