|■Gate to Office
This month's feature is a walk in Hama-rikyu Gardens. In the Edo Period, this area was an official hunting ground for the Tokunaga Shogunate. This is the entrance to Hama-rikyu Gardens. After entering the garden, you can check your baggage at the Garden Office.
■Vestige of Enryo-kan
This is where Enryo-kan used to be. President/General Grant of the United States stayed for two months here. The wisteria trellis and the lantern in the back yard remain the same.
This is a rest house. There are many pictures displayed here. You can enjoy the four seasons of the garden at once.
Hobai-tei House is the only building that has survived through the great earthquake and the air raids. You may walk through the path and find a panoramic view of Shioiri Pond.
■Vestige of Matsu-no-Ochaya (teahouse)
This is where Matsu teahouse and Tsubame tea house once stood. The scenery's reflection on the water's surface compels a sense of tranquility.
This is Otsutai Bridge. The 118-meter bridge is composed of Japanese cypress cedar.
It once had a wisteria trellis covering the bridge. It must have been breathtakingly beautiful.
Hama-chan is the idol of HAMARIKYU! He is very friendly, but sometimes it is difficult to find him in the vast garden.
Nakajima-no-Ochaya is an old Japanese traditional teahouse. You may have a bowl of green-tea and Japanese sweets for 500 yen. It is said that President/General Grant and The Meiji Emperor spent some pleasant time together here. You may feel special having some tea and viewing the scenery just as the president and the emperor had done.
After crossing the bridge, there is a clearing. During cherry blossom season and special events held here, tables and chairs are set. You may eat and relax here. However, alcohol is not allowed on the garden's premises.
■The director's recommendation
The director of Hama-rikyu suggests a superb view. Starting from Nakajima-no-Ochaya, you may cross the south bridge and turn left, walking along the lakeshore. You'll discover splendid scenery as if you time-traveled to the Edo Period.
You can see Rainbow Bridge from here as this side of the garden faces Tokyo Bay. You can smell the ocean, too.
This is a landing used by the shogun during the Edo Era. Part of the staircase was destroyed, but the remains of the pier is still maintained.
■Koshindo-Kamoba (hunting ground)
This is the only hunting ground that remains today. Hunting on the ground ceased in 1944. There is a small lodge in which hunters observed wild ducks. The hunters lured the wild ducks into a small moat with food.
Here, observers watched the wild ducks through a small holes, and they directed the hunters.
This floodgate is adjusting the water level of Shioiri Pond.
■Water Bus Berth to Plum Grove
Nonstop water buses for Hama-rikyu were initiated since April of this year. Unfortunately, most passengers get off at Hama-rikyu and pass through the plum grove straight to the exit.
■Narcissus field & Tree peony garden
You may walk by the lovely narcissus field to the tree peony garden. Wow, what beauty! There are 1200 flowers.
After the tree peony field, there are 300.000 rape blossoms. It looks as though there is a huge yellow carpet right in front of you when it is in full bloom.
■A pine tree of 300 years
The finale of the walk in Hama-rikyu is this pine tree of 300 years! This is the biggest black pine tree in Tokyo.
That's all for the walk in Hama-rikyu. You!! can enjoy a short walk there as your time allows, or stay there for a whole day and thoroughly experience its immense beauty.