Koishikawa Botanical Gardens 小石川植物園
Koishikawa Botanical Gardens, Tokyo
Koishikawa Botanical Garden is a 40 acre garden owned and operated by the Graduate School of Science of the nation's foremost university, the University of Tokyo. It offers serene natural forested and landscaped spaces far removed in atmosphere from the roar of the surrounding city.
Koishikawa Botanical Gardens are not to be confused with the Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens nearby.
The Gardens are the oldest botanical gardens in Japan, dating from 1684, when the Shogun, Tsunayoshi Tokugawa (1646-1709) ordered the planting of the Medicinal Herb Garden - still part of today's gardens. Incidentally, Tsunayoshi was well-known for his fondness for animals, the laws he passed protecting dogs in the latter part of his reign earning him the "Dog Shogun" nickname.
As Japan's first botanical gardens, they became the center of botanical research with Japan's post-1868 modernization.
The Gardens' thousands of species include many species native to east Asia, and cherry trees, making it a good hanabi spot in early April. It is home to remnants of the actual deciduous forest that covered much of this area over 300 years old.
The Gardens are home to over 1.7 million plant specimens and a library of over 20,000 volumes devoted mainly to plant systematics, i.e. the biological classification of plants.
Architecturally, the Gardens' offices are notable for being in an art deco building, constructed in 1921.
Hours: 9 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. (last entry: 4 p.m.)
Closed Mondays (open all other days) except when Monday is a national holiday when it is open Monday, but closes the next day, Tuesday.
Closed: December 39 - January 3
Admission: 400 yen for adults, 130 yen for elementary school pupils and under.
Free entry on Midori no Hi.
Koishikawa Botanical Gardens Access
From Myogadani Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line, turn right out exit no. 1 and go along Kasuga-dori Street about 150m to the next traffic lights. Cross to the other side, and keep going straight the way you crossed, i.e. off Kasuga-dori street. Keep going straight for about 400m and turn right at the first intersection that has traffic lights (Hakusan 3-Chome). Go about 320m to the next intersection with traffic lights (Shokubutsu-en Mae) and turn left. Go to the end then turn right. The entrance to the Gardens is about 110m on, on your left.
3-7-1 Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo, 112-0001, Japan
Tel: 03 3814 0138
Google Map to Koishikawa Botanical Gardens