Tuesday, September 25, 2007

41. Garden Review: Kiyosumi Teien (Koto-ku)

The Kiyosumi Gardens were originally the residence of Kinokuniya Bunzaemon, a powerful businessman of the Edo period. In 1721, the estate became the second residence of a feudal lord named Kuze-Yamatonokami. Some of the garden was created at that time. In 1878, it was purchased by the founder of the Mitsubishi Financial Group, Iwasaki Yataro. Mr. Iwasaki expanded the garden and a large pond was created. He wanted a place to host company employees and guests of honor.
Water was drawn from the Sumida River to make the pond, and stones were collected from all over Japan. Some of the stones were placed in the water to form pedestrian bridges, 'ishi-watari'. A lovely 'ryotei', or traditional Japanese restaurant, was made the focal point.

In the back of the garden, there is also a lovely wooded picnic area. In 1932, the garden was donated to the city of Tokyo.

I was very impressed with this garden. There are a number of viewpoints from which no tall buildings can be seen. It is not well known, so it is usually very peaceful. The gardening is immaculate and the stepping stones are enjoyable to walk along. I definitely recommend a visit to this garden. For a pleasant day of sightseeing, start at this garden. Walk down the main street to the Fukagawa Edo Museum. Continue on to MOT, and then take a walk around Kiba Koen. Or wander along some of the waterways that criss-cross Koto-ku.

Admission: 150 yen, 70 yen for those over 65 years old. Children under 12 and Jr. high students living or attending school in Tokyo are free.

Hours of Operation: 9:00 - 17:00

Closed during the New Years holidays

Address: 3-3-9 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3641-5892

Access: 3 minutes walk from Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station of the Toei Oedo Line and Hanzomon Line.

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