Hamarikyu stands out from other gardens in Tokyo in that it isn’t known for its weeping cherry blossom or maple foliage, but its bright pink plum trees that blossom in late winter. This tranquil garden, once a hunting ground for the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo era (1603-1867), now cowers in the shadow of the Shiodome development.
The garden’s main appeal lies in the abundance of water and the fact that it feels deceptively spacious, thanks to beautiful landscaping. Situated on an island, it is surrounded by an ancient walled moat with only one entrance, over the Minamimon Bridge (it’s also possible to reach Hamarikyu by boat from Asakusa). The focal points are the huge pond, which contains two islands (one with a teahouse) connected to the shore by charming wooden bridges, and a photogenic 300-year-old pine tree.