It's quite possible to escape the madness of Tokyo in its many parks and japanese gardens, and Koishikawa Korakuen is living proof that these act as lungs within a megalopolis that seems to never end. Quite central inside the capital, Koishikawa is located north of the imperial gardens, just adjacent to Tokyo Dome, the huge stadium / concert hall.
During the visit, you'll walk along small trails around the main pond, but rarely Tokyo Dome City and other neighboring buildings will be forgotten in the background. Yet Koishikawa Korakuen dates back in the XVIIth century, at the beginning of the Edo era, making it one of the oldest Japanese gardens in Tokyo.
I had the opportunity to visit it during late November, the season of momiji (red maple trees).
Note that there is another Korakuen located in Okayama, near Shikoku island.
How to get to Koishikawa Korakuen
By train -- JR Chuo line (local): Iidabashi or Suidobashi station and 8 minute walk
By subway -- Tokyo Metro :
- Oedo line: Iidabashi station (E06) and 3 minute walk
- Tozai / Yurakucho / Namboku line: Iidabashi station (T06, Y13 or N10) and 8 minute walk
- Marunouchi / Namboku line: Korakuen Station (N11 or M22), and 8 minute walk
Location reachable with the JRP : order your Japan Rail Pass (from ~US$ 271)
¥300 (~US$ 2.70)
Free guided tours on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 11am and 2pm
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
Open every day from 9am to 5pm (last admission at 4:30pm)
Closed from December 29 to January 1st
How long / when to visit
One to two hours
Ideal during the plum blossom (late February / early March) and maple trees (late November / early December)
Minor renovation works from 2010 to 2015