Metropolitan parks include nine gardens, which are valuable assets of historical and cultural significance dating from the Edo period. They are all cultural properties designated by the national government or TMG, and among the most distinguished gardens in Japan.
The management and maintenance of the gardens is carried out in a way to ensure that gardening skills are passed down to younger generations. Also, efforts are being taken to make the gardens more attractive and accessible to a wider range of people. For example, the gardens are open on the 2nd and 3rd of January to accommodate visitors during the New Year’s holiday season. Other seasonal arrangements include extending the opening hours during the summer vacation season, providing nighttime lighting during the cherry blossom season and when the foliage changes color in autumn, and holding a fall-colors-season “stamp rally.”
At the Hama-rikyu Gardens and Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, which have been designated by the national government as special places of scenic beauty and also special historic sites, restoration works are ongoing to bring back the atmosphere of daimyo gardens, as they were originally created by feudal lords of the Edo period.
With the aim of recreating the feel of a daimyo garden and letting visitors experience the culture of the Edo period, a restoration project is underway at the Hama-rikyu Gardens to restore structures including teahouses which were burned down during World War II. The restoration of the Matsu-no-Ochaya teahouse was completed in 2010, and another teahouse, Tsubame-no-Ochaya, went under restoration in fiscal 2013.
This gardens offers rental of portable devices, called Ubiquitous Communicator, which provide audio and video guides in six languages for visitors.
At the Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, a restoration project on the entire park, the first of its kind since the one after damages in World War II, is underway. The project covers, for example, a garden pond called Daisensui, which is modeled on Lake Biwa and plays a prime role in shaping the landscape of the gardens. The restoration of Engetsukyo Bridge was completed in fiscal 2012, and works on structures called Tokujindo, Kuhachiya and Maruya are still in progress.
Hama-rikyu Gardens Tsubame-no-Ochaya teahouse
Koishikawa Kourakuen Gardens Ishibashi