This is a compilation of gardens and parks. There are certainly more worth seeing but i will share my impressions of the gardens i actually visited during my time in Tokyo
Rikugien Garden – Bunkyo
fee: 300 yen
duration: min. 1. h in a normal pace to see and appreciate everything although i would really recommend 3 h
The Rikugien garden area is located in the northern part of Bunkyo-ku and according to Wikipedia is one of the 特別名勝 ( tokubetsu meisho – special scenery) Japan’s. The wind blew calmly and the air felt fresh – perfect to get out of Tokyo’s busy life. Although it was not possible to sit on the ground like in a park there were some benches provided and enough for the amount of visitors.
duration: 15 minutes
The Higo Hosokawa garden is right in front of the Eisei Bunkyo museum which holds thousands of artifacts of the Hosokawa family. The garden is well maintained and offers a calm resting place. I believe it is also enjoyable in fall since i saw some maple trees as well.
Hotel Chinzanso garden – Bunkyo
duration: 45 min
This is actual a secret tip. The Hotel Chinzanso offers a free accessible garden which even includes a pagoda, a shrine and a mini waterfall. The hotel itself seems to be extravagent and Weddings are held regularly at this place. The garden is bigger than you would expect from a private holder and quite well maintained. You won’t hear much noise from outside but it is not calm either since it is also home to a lot of insects.
Koishikawa Korakuen Garden – Bunkyo
fee: 300 Yen
duration: min 1.5h
This garden built in early Edo Period is said to be one of the oldest and best gardens Tokyo’s (japan-guide.com, Accessed: 04.10.2019). Unfortunately i only visited this garden in high summer season and couldn’t witness a lot of flowers or the red coloring trees as you would be able to see in fall. Nonetheless it had an enjoyable trail and you do need some time to discover everything.
Hamarikyu Garden – Chuo
fee: 300 Yen
duration: 1.5 h
The Hamarikyuu garden area was actually once used as a falconry ground of the Shogun family in the middle of the 17th century. They used ducks as bait and trained falcons would catch the pray. A more extensive explanation can be found at the garden itself. Since it is much more of an open space than the other gardens, you do hear a lot of noises from nearby traffic or construction sites. The garden has a gate to fill the pond water with the water of the ocean since it located right next to it.
Shinjuku Gyoen Park – Shinjuku
fee: 500 Yen
duration: min 2h easily enjoyable for half a day. There are a lot of spots to just relax, picknick and even a seperate children area.
This garden is probably the biggest paid garden in Tokyo and located not far away from Shinjuku Station. There are 2 entrances in the north and one in the south. From what i could see it consisted of 4 different themed areas. A japanese styled garden area, a symmetrical french themed garden area, an english landscap garden area and a little bit more wild and nature-ish forrest area.