Japan Tokyo Shinbashi

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

A historic Edo period landscape in Tokyo’s urban heart.

Photo of Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden, Japan (旧芝離宮恩賜庭園 浜離宮恩賜庭園 by Yoshio Kohara)

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden, also known as the Old Shiba Detached Palace Garden, is a historic site in Tokyo. Once a daimyo (feudal lord) residence of the 17th century, it is now a public space that demonstrates traditional Japanese garden design. Visitors can explore manicured landscapes, cross picturesque bridges, and experience tea ceremonies, enjoying the elegance once praised as one of Japan’s most beautiful scenes.

About Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

Created during the Edo period (1603-1868), a time of cultural development, Kyu Shiba Rikyu has witnessed the evolution of Tokyo. Its beginnings are linked to land reclamation from Tokyo Bay, creating the estate for Ōkubo Tadamoto, a samurai of the Tokugawa shogunate. Through the years, it was owned by various samurai families until it became part of the Imperial property and then a public garden in 1924.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu is one of Tokyo’s four remaining Edo-period daimyo gardens. Its “kaiyū-shiki” design—a stroll garden with a central pond—stands out for its intimate scale and precision rather than grandeur.

The garden experienced severe damage during the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. Restored and opened to the public the following year, it was designated a Special Place of Scenic Beauty in 1933 and reconfirmed as a Place of Scenic Beauty in 1979.

The central pond, Sensui, with its four islands and the sandy Suhama area, is a focal point. Freshwater has replaced the original saltwater, signifying the garden’s transitions. The Oyama hill, offering a view of the dry Karetaki waterfall, and the vibrant wisteria trellis in May are also highlights. The Fujidana and Yukimi-doro offer seasonal charm and insights into Japanese aesthetics.

The garden is a haven for various plants and birds, reflecting Japan’s natural beauty. The Kyudo range stands as a testimony to Japan’s martial traditions.

Nestled among Minato’s skyscrapers, Kyu Shiba Rikyu provides a tranquil counterpoint to urbanity. Nearby are other historical sites, including Hamarikyu Gardens. The garden’s circular paths encourage a comprehensive experience, representing the natural world’s oceans, lakes, and mountains. Through the year, the seasonal blooms—from early-year plum and narcissus to March cherry and willow—ensure a constant display.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

JY 28

 JR Yamanote Line + 1 more

 5-10 minute walk (500m)
A 09

 Asakusa Line + 1 more

 5-10 minute walk (600m)
G 08

 Ginza Line + 3 more

 10-20 minute walk (1.6km)

Around Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

Japanese Garden in Tokyo

open 9am - 4:30pm
closed Seasonal Dates


旧芝離宮恩賜庭園, 東京

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Updated 14 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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