Considered to be Tokyo’s best green space, the Hama Rikyu Gardens offer a Central Park-like experience with Tokyo’s skyscrapers towering in the background. The sprawling garden, landscaped in the Edo style, originally served as the duck hunting grounds for Tokyo’s feudal lords more than 300 years ago. Today, the pools, bridges, ponds, tea houses and viewing pavilions are perfect for a quiet morning or afternoon outdoors.
Birdwatchers can spot the herons, ducks and other migrating birds who take up residence around the many ponds. For a different kind of wildlife spotting, visit the park’s most unique asset, a saltwater tide pool that rises and falls with the ocean. The teahouse on an island in the middle of the tidal pond is a pleasant place to sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.
Hama Rikyu certainly isn’t one of Tokyo’s best spots for cherry blossom viewing in spring, but you’ll still be able to see them and without the crowds of the city’s more popular viewing points.