Hamarikyu Gardens

1000 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type



Date of travel

February, 2016

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

Next stop on our Tokyo city tour was the “Hama-Rikyu Gardens”:http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/hama-rikyu/index.html (fee ¥300 – £2) formerly the family garden of the Tokugawa Shogun.

At the entrance was a 300-year pine planted in 1709 when the 6th Shogun, Lenobu, renovated the garden. It’s one of the largest black pine trees in Tokyo and as befits its age, it was heavily shored up.

Next stop was a bronze statue of Umashimadenomikoto the son of Nigihayahinomikato (both nice short, snappy names: I wonder if they got shortened – Smashy and Nicey come to mind). This statue won a prize in a competition organised to celebrate the Silver Wedding anniversary of Emperor Meiji in 1894.

The garden had two teahouses (Matsu-no-Ochaya and Tsubame-no-Ochaya), both destroyed during World War II, but restored in 2010 and 2015 respectively. We reached the latter by crossing an elegant bridge built in 1707 from Japanese cypress trees. The gravel at the entrance had been raked aesthetically to represent the sea with large boulders resembling the mountains.

Having taken our shoes off at the entrance, and put on the provided slippers, we walked through the tea house onto a wooden deck, where we took off our newly put on slippers. We sat on red felt covered benches in unseasonal sunshine to drink tea.

Yoko explained how to drink the Japanese green tea. I call it tea, but essentially it resembled a mint green pea soup with cappuccino froth. Firstly, we were given a sweet – a soft dough ball with bean curd inside – which was decorated to coincide with the season and flowers. After ensuring the highly decorated front of the handleless cup (yunomi) was facing us, we picked it up with our right hand, whilst supporting it with the palm of our left. The ‘tea’ had to be drunk in exactly three and a half sips and on the final sip, we were able to make an audible slurp – think Arabic burp after a hosted meal. Having wiped the rim, looked under the bottom of the cup to admire any decoration, we returned it to the table. None of us were keen on either the look or the taste – it was nothing like the clear green tea we have at home.

The shoguns were fond of duck hunting and we saw two narrow trenches which the ducks were lured into by decoy ducks. They were unable to fly out due to the short runway and were caught by hawks.

The area where the shoguns arrived by water is now a waterbus station. So after finishing our tour of the gardens we caught one up to the area known as Asakusa passing under 14 bridges on the 40 minute journey.

Helen Jackson

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.