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Hibiya Park

August 25, 2008

Hibiya Park

Sitting on land that was once home to the mansions of feudal lords (daimyo) in the Edo Era and used as a military training ground in the following era you will find Hibiya Park. The garden was first opened in June, 1903 and was the first western style urban garden in Tokyo.

Ponder the central grass square and it’s surrounding blooms from the patio of the park office, a German-style bungalow built in 1910 and one of the few remaining examples of western-style architecture from the Meiji Era in Tokyo, where you will find a restaurant and snack shop.  Then take a leisurely 1.2 kilometer stroll past monuments, seasonal flowers, ponds and fountains. As with many of Tokyo’s parks you will find yourself lost in the beauty of of your surroundings and hardly aware that you are in the center of a busy city. Highlights in the park include Shinji-ike pond which sits alongside a stone wall that was once part of the outer defenses of the Edo Castle, some clay figures that are remains from ancient burial grounds in Miyazaki Prefecture and a crane fountain that graces the center of Kumogata-ike pond. The fountain is a beautiful sight anytime of the year but particularly popular in winter when icicles hang from the spread wings of the crane. Hibiya Park is located a short walk from either Hibiya or Kasumigaseki Stations and sits on the outer edge of the Imperial Palace Plaza.

Image Credit: Personal Collection