Rikugien (六義園) is a typical Japanese stroll garden created by a feudal lord. It was completed in 1702 as the garden of a suburban residence of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, a daimyo (domain lord) and one of the highest ranking official of the Tokugawa Shogunate in those days. He was well-educated and thus incorporated various elements relating to waka poetry, especially those that are related to Waka no Ura, a costal area renowned for its scenic beauty in present-day Wakayama Prefecture. The garden had been possessed by the Yanagisawa clan since during the Edo period, but when the feudal times ended in the 19th century, it changed hands and became a villa of the Iwasaki family who founded Mitsubishi Zaibatsu (conglomerate). This site was eventually donated to Tokyo City in 1938. Almost all of its architecture built prior to WWII are now lost because of WWII.
This garden is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty.
It's a 7-minute walk from Komagome Station of the JR Yamanote Line or the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. Entrance is on the south side of the garden. (Usually the north gate is closed.)
There are two sets of tea houses, one relocated here after WWII and one newly constructed after the war.
On Nakanoshima Island, there are two mounds called Imoyama and Seyama, which are modeled after two hills with the identical names in Wakayama Prefecture.
Horaijima is a small rock in the pond which is said to have been placed by the Iwasaki family. Fukiage Chaya is a rest house reconstructed after WWII.
Beside the waterfall, there's a rest house named Takimi Chaya. The term "Takimi" means "waterfall viewing".
Tsutsuji Chaya was erected by the Iwasaki family. Tsutsuji means azalea.
Zenkei no Nagare is the river flowing on the northern edge of the garden. It will be beautiful with colored foliage in autumn.
Fujishiro-touge is based on Fujishiro-zaka in Wakayama Prefecture.
The opening hours of Rikugien will be extended and the garden will be illuminated after dark in autumn foliage season and in spring sakura blossom season.