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Blooming Marvellous

March 30, 2015
Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden
Spring is here! And in Tokyo that means only one thing: visitors and locals alike are preparing for the country’s most celebrated floral festival, hanami (literally meaning ‘flower viewing’). Of course, there are many great places to gaze upon these ravishing blush-hued cherry trees (only last year we told you about the enchanting Midtown Blossom event), however, if you hope to hightail it away from the crowds, a lesser-known but equally florid spot is to be found in Koishikawa Kōrakuen.

One of just two surviving Edo period clan gardens in the city, the seven-hectare space is a perfectly preserved example of Chinese-influenced C.15th Japanese landscaping with water lily-lined lakes, man-made hillocks, hidden paths and picturesque bridges. Sakura-seekers need look no further than the main entrance where dozens of stilt-supported, blossom-heavy weeping trees hang over the main walkway, but for the next few weeks it’s also worth venturing down to the rear of the park to ogle the grove of ume – these pretty plum buds were the original cynosure of hanami during the Nara era. Missed the springtime splendour? Fret not, Lil, this leafy enclave is just as pretty in verdant summer, or come for koyo in autumn, a fiery explosion of red maple and golden ginkgo leaves. Blooming marvellous!

1-6-6 Koraku / Bunkyo-ku / +81 3 3811 3015 / 9:00 am-5:00 pm daily /