Travelers with only enough time to visit one of Tokyo’s many traditional Japanese gardens should seriously consider Rikugien Garden, widely considered the most beautiful, not just for its impeccable landscaping, but also for its views, free of Tokyo’s omnipresent skyscrapers.
From the 17th to 19th century, many of Japan’s wealthy feudal lords made their residences in northern Tokyo. Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, one of the most influential, designed Rikugien Garden, which was completed in 1695 after seven years of work. The Edo Period strolling garden has a large pond at its center with walking paths meandering around the perimeter.
The garden is most popular (and arguably most beautiful) during the autumn months when the maple leaves put on their colorful fall display, but the spring weeping cherry trees and azalea bushes are also very beautiful.
Since it takes a bit of effort to reach Rikugien Garden, make sure to leave yourself at least an hour to enjoy its scenery.