Koshikawa Korakuen Koen features rolling hills that surround a valley with a pond that makes it ideal for strolling. The garden has been designated as an important historical asset and a site of historical significance, a double designation given to only a few sites such as Hama Detached Palace and Kinkakuji. This park incorporates several Ming Dynasty Chinese features such as a garden reproduction of Seiko Lake in China, and the “Full Moon Bridge” and so allows the visitor to take a cultural trip to China’s Ming dynasty while in the shadow of the Tokyo Dome.
Japanese architect, Junya Ishigami draws his inspiration from nature. This can be said about a great deal of architects, yet it seems that Ishigami draws more criticism than most. Perhaps it is because he has taken that ideal to its furthest reaches, in paring down a structure to only the most basic elements, and creating a structure that appears to have very little substance at all. This doesn't go down well in a country that writer Alex Kerr accuses of being addicted to concrete. Yet the critics are not the only ones talking about Ishigami. At the young age of 42, he has already won numerous awards, most admirably, the Golden Lion for Best Project at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, as well being as the youngest ever recipient of the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize for the Kanagawa Institute of Technology KAIT Workshop in 2009.
Hamrikyu Gardens in the Shimbashi district of Tokyo are yet another example of the exquisite Edo period gardens that still remain today. This park first served as leisure spot for members of the ruling class beginning with the Tokugawa clan. Later, after the Meiji Restoration, the garden became a detached palace for the Imperial family. Over the years it received significant damage from catastrophes like the Great Kanto Earthquake and the fire bombings of Tokyo in WWII. After the war the Imperial family gave the park to the city of Tokyo. This park is notable for the pond, which draws water from the bay. This is the only remaining seawater pond within Tokyo.
If you travel north on Hongo-dori after visiting the enchanting Rikugien Gardens you will encounter another of the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association’s delightful gardens, Kyu-Furukawa Gardens. This was originally the residence of Meiji era statesman, Mutsu Munemitsu, but when his second son was adopted into the Furukawa family the property changed hands. The original buildings on the property no longer exist, and the current Western-style residence and garden were designed by the famous Meiji era British architect Josiah Condor. The main residence now serves as the Otani Art Museum. The designer of the impressive Japanese-style gardens was Kyoto native Ogawa Jihei, also known as Niwashi-Ueji.