On my Trip to Tokyo to see the legendary Kiss on their “end of the Road – Tour” I had a little time for sightseeing. So, I decided to visit the Koishikawa Korakuren Garden. I had no idea what was to be expected. Tokyo is the biggest city in the word, or maybe the biggest metro-area, depending on the sources. Therefore, my plan was to check out the sights relatively close to me. The Koishikawa Korakuren Garden was one of them. Apparently, it is supposed to be close to the Tokyo Dome, so perfect for my plan.
On the way to the Koishikawa Korakuren Garden
After arrival and checking into the APA Hotel in Kudanshita, I decided to find the Tokyo Dome, where the show will take place. According to my research it should be in walking distance. Google Maps became again very helpful. It is about a 15-minute walk. I simply wanted to know where to go. The Dome is an indoor baseball stadium with a capacity of 55.000 people.
Everything on my ticket was in Japanese. I had no clue what it said. With the help of some friendly, and rather cute, local ladies, I found the correct gate. They also helped me to explain me where to find my block and seat inside the dome. After some giggling (and they do that a lot) and a “Dōmo arigatō” from my side, they also pointed me into the direction of the Koishikawa Korakuren Garden.
There was an entrance just behind Tokyo Dome, but it was closed, I had to go to the other side where the main entrance is located. The walk along the garden walls through an alley was already very relaxing. While the whole day was cloudy, the sun decided just in time to peak through the clouds once in a while, coloring the autumn leaves of the trees in the most beautiful colors. I loved it, but that was really just a first taste of what was to come inside the garden.
There is an entrance fee of 300 Yen, which translates to something like 2.75 US$ or 2.50 Euro and it was worth each cent of it, as you can see in the following Video of the Koishikawa Korakuren Garden.
Brief History of the Koishikawa Korakuren Garden
This garden was originally built by the founder of the Mito branch of Tokugawa clan, Yorifusa as his secondary residence (later upgraded as the main residence) in early stage of the Edo period, in 1629. It was completed as a garden during the reign of the second domain lord, Mitsukuni. Its style is kaiyu-style (circuit style) with ponds and manmade hills centering on the pond. In developing the garden, Mitsukuni invited advises from Zhu Zhiyu, serving retainer of the Min dynasty. Typical sights in China were reflected as seen by Engetsu-kyo and Seiko-no-tsutsumi, and even the garden name was given by Zhu Zhiyu, resulting in a garden full of Chinese tastes and flavor.
The name “Korakuen” was derived from a Chinese text “Gakuyoro-ki” by Fan-Zhongyan, meaning “Worry before all worries in the world, and enjoy after all enjoyments in the world”. Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens is designated as Special Historic Site and the Special Place of Scenic Beauty of the country by the Cultural Assets Preservation Act. This double designation is quite rare in the country, limited to Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, Hama-rikyu Gardens, Kinkakuji Temple Garden and a few others.
I spent almost 2 hours walking around, sitting on a bench, relaxing and simply enjoying the great atmosphere. When the sun began to set it was time to walk back to the Hotel, having a shower and head out for dinner. There are rare and few gardens like Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens spread around Tokyo. When you visit the city, I can only recommend to spend some time in one of them. They are a great escape from the buying streets of this huge Metro.
歓声と使用済み下着 from Tokyo