Shiba Park 芝公園
Shiba Park has a number of lawns which are popular at lunchtimes with young mothers and children. There are exercise machines that draw salarymen out of their offices for work-outs, and joggers run the perimeter.
Shiba Park is Japan's oldest public park, being the first to be officially designated as a park in 1873, only five years after the beginning of Japan's modernization. Parts of the present day park were once the Edo-period Okubo clan garden.
It originally encompassed the adjacent Zojoji Temple, but with the separation of church and state after the Second World War, the temple was detached from it. Shiba Toshogu Shrine, once part of Zojoji Temple, is known for an ancient gingko tree near the entrance, which is listed as a National Treasure.
The park is home to the ancient Maruyama burial mound (kofun), one of the biggest in Tokyo at 110 meters (361 feet) long. It is actually very indistinct: a simple mound covered with trees, indistinguishable from the natural terrain. Nothing is known of its history.
Shiba Park also has an artificial ravine, Momiji-dani ('autumn leaf valley') restored in 1984. As the name suggests, it is a sight to see in autumn. It features a massive Japanese zelkova tree, 20 meters (66 feet) tall with a trunk circumference of 2.5 meters (8 1/4 feet).
Scottish merchant Thomas Glover (1838-1911), known for his associations with Nagasaki, had a residence in Shiba Park and he died here in 1911.
Shiba Park is divided into a number of separate areas. One area is around the base of Toyko Tower and another is to the west of Zojoji Temple near The Prince Park Tower Hotel.
Open 24 hours, 365 days.
Access - Getting To Shiba Park
Shiba Park is accessible from a number of Tokyo subway stations including Shiba Koen (Mita Line), Onarimon (Mita Line), Akabanebashi (Toei Oedo Line) and Daimon (Toei Oedo & Toei Asakusa Lines) as well as JR Hamamatsucho on the Yamanote Line.