In the centuries before the Edo Period, the land now occupied by Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo was known as Tsubakiyama, or Mountain of Camellias. In the beginning of the Edo Period, famous Haiku poet Matsuo Basho made his residence overlooking the property, and during the Meiji Era, former Prime Minister of Japan Aritomo Yamagata took ownership of the land and built a mansion there, which he named Chinzanso, or House of Camellias.
Today, the 710,000-square-foot (66,000-square-meter) garden sits on the grounds of the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. Over a dozen historical artifacts are scattered throughout, including a three-level pagoda thought to date back as early as the fourteenth century. Each season brings new sights and colors to the well-manicured garden: azaleas, cherry blossoms and irises in spring; hydrangea, crape-myrtle and fireflies in summer; migrating birds and colorful fall foliage in autumn; and in winter, plum blossoms and the famous camellias the garden is named for.
You need not be a guest at the hotel to visit the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo Garden.