One of the best things about our job is that we get to go to places in Tokyo, and Japan in general, that we would never otherwise go. Last year we got to work in Nara; earlier this year we went to Hakuba, and, more recently, we checked out some elegant little gardens closer to home. One of which, Kiyosumi Garden, just blew us away!
It is a place we have been meaning to go to for a while, but not had the excuse (not that we should need one)! To say Kiyosumi is beautiful is an understatement. It is a slice of heaven right in the heart of the city, and a stones throw away from Tokyo Sky Tree (right).
Kiyosumi Garden (清澄庭園 Kiyosumi Teien) like Mejiro Teien, is designed in the traditional kaiyu (walking promenade) style. It is located in Fukagawa, Tokyo, about a 10 minute drive from Tokyo Station.
The grounds of the garden used to belong to an Edo era merchant, but eventually changed hands to a feudal lord who landscaped it into the garden we see today. During the Meiji Era, the founder of Mitsubishi, Iwasaki Yataro, bought the garden and used it for his guests and employees. After his death, it was donated to the city of Tokyo and opened to the public in 1932.
The first thing that strikes you is its size. It is huge!! 81,000 square meters huge! A large central pond is encircled by a winding path, that take the visitor past many stepping stones, bridges, inlets and water worn boulders. There are many, many perfect locations for a photoshoot.
When the garden was owned by the Iwasaki family, they added to it by importing the boulders from all over Japan, to give the garden its unique character. These stones were used to create hills, dry waterfalls, paths and stepping stones across parts of the lake, which is so large, it almost entirely fills the garden!
The lake has three islands, one of which is connected with a romantic, rustic, arched bridge (right) – perfect for
photography! The pond itself is teeming with life, including carp, turtles and waterfowls; being close to Tokyo bay it attracts many birds.
As a location for a wedding ceremony and/or photoshoot, it is probably up there with the best we have seen. It looks great throughout the year, so what ever the season, it is sure to be a wonderful backdrop for your wedding pictures. But, and this is a big but, booking in advance is not much of an option. While it is available to book, and the beautiful gazebo is in demand, they put the following restrictions in place:
- it is only possible to book the gazebo one month in advance
- photo-shooting is generally limited to inside the gazebo, however, with three days notice, you can, subject to availability, book to have the photography throughout the park.
- the gazebo costs ¥50000 ($452.64)
While not impossible, these restrictions leave too much to chance for anyone wanting to plan well in advance. However, for last minute bookings, and people willing to take a chance, it can be the perfect Japanese experience.
Whether or not you wish to have your own ceremony and photoshoot here, be sure to leave time in your travel itinerary to check this gem out.
|Name||Kiyosumi Teien (清澄庭園)|
|Price for visitors||¥150 for adults; ¥70 for seniors and children 11 and under|
|Nearest Station||Kiyosumi Shirakawa Station, (Tokyo Metro Hanzomon & Toei Oedo Lines)|
|Opening Hours||9am – 5pm daily|
For more information check the following: