Hama Rikyu

Hama Rikyu is a large green space located where the Sumida River flows into Tokyo Bay, just across from Tokyo’s central fish market.

dsc_0431

It is perhaps more park than garden, but it is certainly worth seeing.

dsc_0434

It’s a space that has had various uses over the centuries – hunting grounds, shipping center, nobleman’s estate. The canal above and all the ponds are filled with salt water that rises and falls with the tide.

dsc_0439

There’s an enormous Black Pine (Pinus nigra), known as the Three Hundred Year Pine. It was planted in 1709, and has been carefully shaped and pruned over the centuries.

dsc_0442

The twisting boughs make me think of an old man’s gnarled fingers.

dsc_0446

And like an old man with a walker, it leans on many wooden poles, without which it would collapse.

dsc_0456

One thing you will find in Hama Rikyu is a whole field of summer-blooming annual flowers. To be specific, Cosmos sulphureus.

dsc_0503

There were numerous butterflies nectaring on the flowers. Somebody told me the name of this species a while back, but I’ve already forgotten.

dsc_0509

I was starting to feel flower=deprived – all the subtle shades of green in the other Japanese gardens were becoming a bit wearisome so I was very happy to see a big field of orange flowers.

dsc_0519There were some other colors also.

dsc_0523

I noticed quite a few of these trees with the very ornamental summer berries.

dsc_0524

I feel like I should know this species, but I can’t think of it.

dsc_0529

Most of the Japanese gardens we visited have a sort of world apart feel, but in Hama Rikyu you don’t forget that you are still in Tokyo.

dsc_0531

I enjoyed walking along the waterfront areas of the park.

dsc_0545

In fact, there’s a water taxi station on the grounds should you want one.

dsc_0546

Though it was an overcast day, I loved the reflections in the water.

 

dsc_0566

In one spot there was a cormorant nesting area. I snuck up as close as I could get – it was fenced off – and got this picture.

dsc_0577

There’s an inviting-looking tea house on the grounds, but I didn’t go inside.

dsc_0582

This fierce fellow is the traditional god of war and his name has a lot of syllables.

Fields of flowers, venerable trees, and views of the city are all compelling reasons to see Hama Rikyu should you find yourself in Tokyo.

41 Comments on “Hama Rikyu

  1. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed traveling there while sitting in my living room 🙂

  2. Love the field of flowers, but for me, the essence of Japanese gardens are all the beautiful shades of green.

  3. I love the trees in Japanese gardens, they are just so different to anything we have here. Amazing to see trees from 1709…my goodness….in Sydney they have just pulled out 200 year old trees to build light rail.. …really hard to know what to do about human progress verses tree growth over a long period of time.

  4. With flowers and greens it seems to be all or nothing. I love that picture of the city reflected in the canal. It looks like ligularia on the left side right by the edge.?? I think it is fascinating how they can prune pines into clouds. Doesn’t it make you wonder when and why they started that? I can think of a why. Those big old trees are marvels. Such quiet beauty.

  5. This is still one of my favourite gardens in Tokyo. I absolutely love the big flower field, in spring it’s a sea of yellow rape blossoms.
    Vanessa

    • I’d like to see that. I thought Hama Rikyu was fairly unique among the gardens we saw in Tokyo. I’d like to see it in other season.

      • Yes it is, especially being so close to the river. There are so many beautiful gardens in Tokyo, ah I miss being there. Enjoy the rest of your stay,
        Vanessa

  6. What gorgeous flowers! And can you imagine planting a tree that lives a few hundred years after you are long gone? Lovely.

  7. As much as I love the green of nature and the color of flowers, I’m also a sucker for cityscapes. So nice to see both in this post.

  8. Hello Jason, the Japanese have a way of pruning that is so many levels above everyone else that it’s not even worth trying. The difference in the detail, elegance, style and form is so out of this world it’s immediately recognisable.

    • Hi Sunil. I agree, the Japanese have really excelled at pruning trees. By the way, I think my comments on your blog or going into the spam folder.

  9. Thank you for an interesting glimpse into Japanese gardens ! They have a very different feel to gardens here in the uk. I love the meadow of orange cosmos!

  10. The Black pines are stunning! I have used a few here in Japanese style gardens. I can only hope someday they look so beautiful. How cool the canal above ponds rises and falls with the tide. What an amazing trip!

    • I looked up black pines and apparently they are native to areas around the Mediterranean going as far east as the Crimea. Interesting that they were being planted in Japan at the beginning of the 18th Century.

  11. Such gorgeously pruned trees! I’ve visited Singapore and was amazed at how every tree was pruned so artistically. Pruning is such an interesting art form over there. What a great trip!

  12. Awesome! I like it all–including the green, green vistas, especially this time of year. But the meadows full of flowers…wonderful! Nice skyline photos, too.

  13. The 300 year old pine is impressive! One of my sons recently visited Tokyo. He mentioned the fish market, but not the nearby garden! I am glad you visited and posted these lovely photos.

  14. The butterfly appears to be a Blue Triangle. Very lovely. Is that berry plant a type of holly? I’ve never had luck with it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: