Created: -8441625600
Designer: Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa
Days Open: Daily (closed Dec 29 to Jan 1)
Hours Open: 9 am to 4:30 pm (gates close at 5 pm)
Entry or Parking Fees: Y300, Seniors 65 and older: Y150, Primary school and younger children/Jr. high students living or studying in Tokyo: Free
Garden Phone: +81 3-3941-2222


Rikugi-en is a Tokyo area stroll garden built in the Edo period by Samurai Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu. The garden name refers to the six rules of Waka poetry.

From the official website:

  • Rikugien was constructed by Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa on this land given to him by the fifth shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa. Yoshiyasu spent seven years from the time he was granted the land in 1695 constructing a garden with paths around artificial hills and a pond. As it was a flat part of Musashino, he had to dig a pond, build up hills, and bring in water from the Senkawa water supply to fill the pond.Rikugien reflects the depth of Yoshiyasu’s literary knowledge to form a detailed, tranquil Japanese garden themed based on his interest in poetry.The name Rikugien comes from shi no rikugi (six tenets of poetry) ? airs, straightforward narrative, explicit comparisons, implied comparisons, odes, and hymns ? in “Mao Shi,” a collection of Chinese poetry which Ki no Tsurayuki and many others used as rokutai (six tenets of poetry) of Japanese poetry in “Kokin Wakashu.”
  • Woods encircle the pond with an island in the middle. Scenery in the garden employs scenery such as Wakanoura in Kishiu present-day Wakayama) and areas nearby and from ancient Chinese stories. Scenes in the park are given names from those texts.After the Meiji Restoration, the gardens became the property of the Iwasaki family, founders of Mitsubishi. They were donated to Tokyo City in 1938 and opened to the public. And in March 31, 1953 they became a nationally designated scenic spot.

From Wikipedia:

Rikugien Garden ( Rikugi-en ) is a Tokyo metropolitan park in Bunkyo-ku. The park consists of a small pond, trees, and a hill. The traditional Japanese garden within the park is a tourist attraction.The construction of the park took place between 1695 and 1702 and was headed by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu by permission of the fifth shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi and is a typical example of a garden from the Edo period. After the death of Yanagisawa it was neglected. The founder of Mitsubishi, Iwasaki Yataro bought the garden in 1878 and restored it.

In 1938, it was donated to the Tokyo City government. It was specified as a special place of scenic beauty (tokubetsu meisho) by the Japanese government in 1953.