Tokyo’s Hama Rikyu Garden in the Rain
Our first day in Tokyo this past September, Judy and I visited Hama Rikyu Garden. Some four hundred years ago this garden consisted of a shallow pond and marshland used by feudal lords for duck hunting. Today, however, it is surrounded by the skyscrapers of downtown Tokyo.
As a landscape garden, Hama Rikyu is still built around saltwater ponds and moats which rise and fall with the tides. It’s located across the Sumida River from the old central fish market.
The day that we visited ranged from misty to rainy and so the skies were rather gray.
One of the landmarks of Hama Rikyu is a three hundred year old pine tree known, not surprisingly, as the Three Hundred Year Pine. (It’s actually three hundred and eight, but let’s not quibble.) All those stilts make me think of an old man and his walker. I sometimes wonder if this sort of pruning is really good for a tree, but it’s hard to argue with the longevity of this specimen.
Fields of Orange Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) make Hama Rikyu fairly unique among Japanese gardens. Masses of colorful flowers are exceedingly rare here during August and September.
I do love Orange Cosmos. This was an unusually tall variety.
Even in the rain, the Cosmos attracted butterflies.
The bark on these Black Pines (Pinus thunbergii) is really striking.
A view of the tidal pond.
A wooden bridge leads to the tea house on a small island.
Another view of the tea house. It’s more of a cultural than a culinary experience (unless you love cold green tea and rather bland Japanese sweets). However, you don’t want to miss the views from the island or connecting bridges.
Hama Rikyu is a good place to meet up with various aquatic birds.
If you walk along the Sumida River you will come to a sluice gate that controls the flow of water into and out of the garden.
Around the corner from the sluice gates you can pick up a water bus to take you back up the river.
Which is exactly what we did.
More next time about our rainy day in Tokyo.