The name, Rikugien has the meaning of "Garden of the Six Principles of Poetry". The six forms of Waka are expressed in the beautiful scenery of Rikugien.
Rikugien (六義園) is a Kaiyu Style garden which was designed and built in the feudal era for the daimyo, the fifth Tokugawa Shogun.
Rikugien garden was designated as a special site for exceptional beauty and an important cultural asset in 1953. You will need approximately one hour.to completely explore the whole course of the garden.
The garden used to be the second residence of the founder of Mitsubishi, Iwasaki Yataro.
In this garden, you will see 88 sceneries inspired by these famous poems. In the past there used to be rock markers each indicating the beauty spots, but after many years, only around 32 rock markers are still standing. Occasionally, there are also performances in the park.
At the start of the Sakura blossom season the garden is one of the more peaceful places to be. There are less crowds, so you can have a quiet, serene, relaxing walk.
The entrance fee is 300 yen per person, and 150 yen for elders (aged above 65).
No fee is charged for primary school going children, younger children and junior high school students living or studying in Tokyo.
Unforgettable Sights of Rikugien
Naitei-Daimon is the most notable gate in Rikugien since it is where a large sakura tree stands.
A stone bridge named after a famous Waka poem. The poem is about the sight of the moon crossing the sky, accompanied by the cry of a crane in a rice paddy nearby.
A small island in the middle of the garden, the island is based on the main theme of Taoist paradise (Horai-jima).
Covered by dense foliage, these small winding paths, sasakani-no-michi, are called the spider’s nest. 蛛の道（Sasakani）is the old way of pronouncing spider. It is the 87th sight of the 88 wonderful sights of Rikugien.
Rikugien Garden Illumination
Rikugien is ranked second in night time illumination. Seeing the lights with your own eyes is more beautiful than any photos you can find online since there is only so much that cameras can capture as the low light starts setting in.
In Spring when the Sakura blossoms and in autumn when the leaves turn rusty red, the garden is open for visitors up to 9.00 pm.
The sakura trees that are the symbol of Rikugien are almost 15m tall and as wide as 20m.
The highlight of the night time illumination is the sight of delicate pink petals falling non-stop from the Sakura tree.
You can enjoy a meal at the restaurant in the garden while watching the petals scatter in the wind.
As you prepare for the night photography ensure you are equipped with tripod and flashlights before you head to the garden for some night time fun, adventure and memories creation.
The garden is usually open for night time illumination in the middle of March to first ten days of April.
From November 22 and December 8, the park is also open for night illumination.
Rikugien Garden Opening Hours
Remember to visit Rikugien within the hours it is open! The garden entrance hours are half an hour before the garden closing hour.
It is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Remember to be there before 4.30pm.
On certain days such as 4th May and 1st October, it is free to enter the garden. Do note there may be larger crowds than usual.
Night Illumination hours
Only available in certain months. Check their website for seasonal illumination days. Usually the garden is open until 9.00pm on these days.
- Spot name: Rikugien
- Street address: 6-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo 113-0021, Tokyo Prefecture.
- Access: The nearest station is the JR Komagome Station.