Go green at some iconic Japanese gardens right around the corner from one of the city's buzzing business areas.
Hamamatsucho station, located on Tokyo’s famous green Yamanote line that circles the city, is one of the more convenient stops along the route. It provides the most direct access to Haneda Airport via the Tokyo Monorail and boasts two iconic Japanese garden parks.
Hamamatsucho is a huge business and commercial ward, which means the station is always lively and bustling with commuters who can access the entire Tokyo Bay area as well as other popular bayside tourist attractions such as Odaiba. Additionally, it’s a convenient pivot point for those who wish to take a break from central Tokyo.
Which Japanese garden is this?
The famous Hamarikyu Gardens is a few minutes walk from the station. During the 17th century, the garden was a Tokugawa shogunate (the last feudal Japanese military government) villa with a saltwater pond at its epicenter surrounded by a moat.
The garden now serves as a respite from the concrete jungle and offers ample flower viewing among pine trees and autumn leaves. A must-see part of the park for those with a sweet tooth and a thirst for Japanese matcha (green tea) is the Nakajima Tea House sitting on an island in the middle of the pond. Try the ancient art of the Japanese tea ceremony here.
Not interested in drinking tea? Head east of Hamamatsucho station. A few minutes walk will put you at Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens, a smaller traditionally landscaped public garden which is built on the old Edo Imperial Grounds.
Often hailed as the “most beautiful scene in Japan,” the park wows visitors with its intricate designs full of islands, bridges, a beach, a waterfall, picnic areas and even a Japanese archery range.
If you’re a little famished from walking all of those garden paths, stop by Devil Craft Pizza, a two-minute walk from the Kanasugibashi exit, for some the best Chicago-style-deep-dish pizza in Tokyo.