Bunkyo is not an area that I came across before, but when we realised that it is home to Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, one of the two surviving Edo period clan gardens in modern Tokyo, we decided to explore this area a little bit.
Our first stop was the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, which dates back to 1629. Like most traditional Japanese gardens, Koishikawa Korakuen attempts to reproduce famous landscapes in miniature, using ponds, stones, trees and manmade hills to replicate both Japanese and Chinese scenery.
In this case, the garden shows a strong Chinese character in its design, as it was influenced by the West Lake of Hangzhou. It is a beautiful garden, with lots of different view points – it is easy to forget that the garden now sits in the middle of urban Tokyo.
Every now and then the modern backdrop of Tokyo Dome and other buildings can be seen in the distance, and sometimes you can hear the screams of the riders on the rollercoaster (it must have been very different hundreds of years ago…) but it is still very quiet, scenic and relaxing.
We enjoyed walking around the lake, up the hill, across the bridges as well as strolling along the small river and the rice paddy. It was very nice, despite the warm temperature – we just tried to stay in the shade as much as possible.
Next to the garden is a small teahouse, where we had a tasty lunch set. Nothing fancy, just some grilled meat or fish in a bento box with some side dishes. Other options included sushi or udon soup, which also looked nice – but we did not try them.
Feeling much more energetic after the lunch, we walked past the Tokyo Dome – a big stadium that can host up to 55,000 spectators …
… and the entertainment complex that is known as Tokyo Dome City. This is a amusement parkt that includes a roller coaster and a small Ferris wheel – which was the first one that Lina ever tried, back in July 2015!