A dizzying mixture of old ways and modern style, crowds and calm, and arguably the best food scene on the planet.
Travel bucket list idea:
Tokyo, Kanto, Japan
In Tokyo’s less-visited Koto Ward, this historic pocket of greenery is a lovely example of a traditional Japanese stroll garden.
Originally part of the home of an Edo-era (1603-1868) merchant, and later transformed into a garden in the 1880s by the founder of Mistubishi, Kiyosumi Teien is built around a large carp- and turtle-filled pond with an island in its centre and walkways that wind through a series of scenic points.
The gardens are set out in what is called the sukiya style – a pond inhabited by birds and with three small islands.
It’s an excellent study in traditional landscaping, and because it’s off the tourist trail it’s a very peaceful spot to spend a quiet hour or two.
While you’re there
Stop by the excellent Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, at the northern end of Kiba Park, and check out the neighbourhood’s cafes – this is one of Tokyo’s artisanal cafe hotbeds.
Getting there & doing it
The nearest station is Kiyosumi-Shirakawa station (Oedo or Hanzomon subway line). It’s a 3-minute walk from there.
When to do it
The garden is open all year round, seven days a week. It’s designed for all seasons, though it always looks much better on a sunny day. Skip it if it’s raining, as there’s nowhere under cover to sit and enjoy the views.
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