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It was merely 10am in the morning when I found myself sitting on a wooden bench under the shed of a tea house, staring into the 88 views of summer, birds singing nonchalantly in my ears, with morning wind gently stroking my hair as I was sipping iced green tea after a bite of sweet pastry.

This was my morning at Rikugien Garden of Tokyo, Japan.

Rikugien, know as 六義園 in Kanji, means garden of six poems. Built in 1700s of Edo period for the 5th Tokugawa Shogun, with 88 miniature scenes from the poems of the time. A garden that is couple hundreds of years old, yet was preserved till today, and best known for its sakura and foliage scenes during spring and fall.

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Fukiage Chaya, the tea house of the garden, is a great place to try traditional green tea with Japanese pastry. The outdoor wooden bench seating allows the guests to view the beautiful surroundings without the hassle of tatami formality.

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The simple yet delightful taste of the tea and pastry cleared my head up. And as I look around every time, never has I felt so calm and joyful.

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After Edo period, Iwasaki family of Mitsubishi Corporation bought the land. Just imagine, every morning you get to enjoy the view like this all by yourself….

Definitely a luxury that we do not have much nowadays.

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Somewhere in the garden there is small gift shop that also sells flavored snow ice during summer time.

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In the 1930s, Iwasaki family was kindly enough to donate the garden to the City of Tokyo, and the public was finally allowed to first enjoy the beautiful Rikugien.

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Tips:

1. Come early in the morning when it just opens around 9am to avoid crowds of people, especially during sakura and foliage season.

2. Recommend Rikugien as the first place to visit during the day, then onward to Ueno and/or Asakusa for one day sightseeing trip.

3. They do charge a small maintenance fee around 300 yen for entering the garden. Please pay separately for the tea & pastry, cash preferred.

Directions:

Rikugien can be easily reached by taking the JR Yamanote line to Komagome Station. It is only about 10-15minute walk from Komagome Station.

Website for Rikugien: http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_08.html#rikugien

Map of Rikugien from Komagome Station: