Monday, February 22, 2016

Tokyo Travel Diaries: Rikugien Garden

We went to Japan end of November last year which was just in time for the peak of autumn. So it was one of the best times to visit the gardens and parks (aside from the cherry blossom season) because you would get to see all the beautiful fall colors.

One of the places we made sure to go to was Rikugien Garden, which is a spectacular and very popular autumn color spot. Because it was the autumn season, they had an evening light up scheduled for about 2 weeks (Nov. 19 to Dec. 6, 2015) and they would close much later at 9pm instead of the usual 5pm. Because of this, we made sure to schedule our visit mid-afternoon (around 3:30pm) so we would have time to go around before sunset.

entrance fee is 300 yen each

Rikugien literally means "six poems garden" and is often considered one of Tokyo's most beautiful Japanese landscape garden. And indeed, every area was so pretty and picture perfect.

The garden features a large central pond surrounded by man-made hills and forested areas, all connected by a network of trails.

We saw a couple of teahouses, which are open to the public if you want to take a break from all that walking and have something to eat.

We also saw a stall selling these snacks that looked like banana cue, except they were like glutinous rice balls. It was surprisingly yummy! And it was really hot too, so it was so good to eat in the cold weather.

The sun started to set at around 4:30pm and after a while, the lights around the park were opened. It was amazing to see the garden in a different way at night.

By this time though, there were already so many people and also professional photographers everywhere so it was getting quite crowded. We left at about 5pm and headed to Akihabara for dinner. Anyway, if you're planning to visit Japan in the fall, check out this page for a list of the different autumn color spots with the best viewing dates.

Get There and Around
Rikugien's main entrance gate is located on the eastern corner of the park about a 5-10 minute walk south of Komagome Station on the JR Yamanote Line or Namboku Subway Line. The more convenient Someimon Gate is not open to the public except during a few weeks in autumn (late November to early December) and spring (late March to early April).

Hours and Fees
HOURS - 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30) 
Evening light up until 21:00 during autumn color and cherry blossom seasons.
CLOSED - December 29 to January 1
FEES - 300 yen

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