Japanese Tea Ceremonies have more than 400 years of history; traditionally, sweet, bitter, and salty confectionaries are served during teatime. Here are some gardens in Tokyo where you can enjoy some sweets and matcha while enjoying the scenery.
1) “Fukiage no Chaya” at Rikugien Garden(六義園): Komagome (駒込)
Rikugien(六義園) is 7 minutes walking distance from JR Komagome Station. Along with Koishikawa-Korakuen Garden(小石川後楽園), it is named one of the “2 Daimyo Gardens of Edo”, and fashioned in a unique style. You can enjoy seasonal flora and fauna all year around.
The garden is most famous for its shidare zakura(しだれ桜)- the weeping cheery tree- that usually comes in full bloom towards the end of March. It’s a great place to enjoy the season and some matcha.
Address: 6-16-3 Hon-komagome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0021
2) “Nakajima no Ochaya” at Hama-rikyu Gardens (浜離宮恩賜庭園): Hamamatsuchō(浜松町)
Called an “oasis of the metropolis”, this garden is located among skyscrapers in Tokyo, just 15 minutes walking distance from JR Hamamatsucho Station.
It’s also within walking distances from Tsukiji, Shiodome, and Shinbashi. The garden faces the Tokyo Bay, and it has the only salt lake in town; you might see some seagulls soaring above the gardens. The teahouse has an open atmosphere, and is very popular among tourists who want to experience Japanese culture-- it’s a good place to stop by to enjoy some tea.
Hama-rikyu Gardens (浜離宮恩賜庭園)
Address: 1-1, Hama Rikyu-teien, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0046
3) “Ochaseki” at Kyu Iwasaki-tei Garden(旧岩崎邸庭園): Okachimachi(御徒町)
This garden was made in 1896 as part of Hisaya Iwasaki’s(岩崎久彌) estate. Hisaya was the eldest son of Yataro Iwasaki(岩崎弥太郎), the founder of Mitsubishi Corp(三菱)., and took after the family business as a third president of the company.
Named an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government, the mansion is a valuable site with a part of the estate built in western style and the other built in a traditional, Japanese manner. The teahouse inside the Japanese-style buildings is a simple but elegant space with fine details. It’s a lovely spot tucked away in a quiet place.
Kyu Iwasaki-tei Garden (旧岩崎邸庭園)
Address: 1-3-45 Ike-no-hata, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0008
All of the gardens above are good places for a walk to enjoy some nature and experience Japanese culture.
Do consider visiting them if you want a little break from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo!