Kiyosumi Garden (清澄庭園) is a traditional Japanese stroll garden located in Fukagawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo. It is a classical “pond-spring-excursion-style-garden” (池泉回遊式庭園 chisen-kaiyū-shiki-teien), that consists of a large pond at its centre, as well as artificial hills, waterfalls and rocks and that is meant – as its name implies – to be strolled about leisurely.
Legend has it that Kiyosumi Garden was part of the former residence of the Edo-era merchant Kinokuniya Bunzaemon (紀伊国屋文左衛門, 1669–1734), who made a fortune trading in citrus fruits, salted salmon and lumber thanks to the protection of the shogunate’s intendant of finances, Ogiwara Shigehide (荻原重秀) and counsellor Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu (柳沢 吉保). When these two bureaucrats retired, Kinokuniya lost his status as favoured merchant and retired from business.
Later on, it became the Edo residence of Yamato-no-kami Kuze Shigeyuki (久世重之), the daimyō of Sekiyado (関宿藩, in the northern part of modern-day Chiba), who established his mansion there in 1721 and laid the foundation to the garden in its current form. In the Meiji Period, the land was acquired by Iwasaki Yatarō (岩崎 弥太郎, 1835-1885), the founder of Mitsubishi, who had the garden reshaped in 1878. Two years later, he opened it and used it to entertain prominent guests and employees. The rocks adorning the garden were brought from all over Japan, while the water for the pond was taken from the Sumida River.
Iwasaki’s mansion, as well as a Tudor-style villa designed by Josiah Condor, was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. In 1932, the garden was contributed to the City of Tokyo, repaired, and opened to the public. In 1979, it was designated as a Tokyo Metropolitan “Place of Scenic Beauty” (名勝 meishō, significant cultural property).
Courtesy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association
- Public inauguration: July 24, 1932
- Area: 81,091.27 square meters
- Number of Trees: 4,224 tall trees; 13,414 shrubs and 8,861 square meters of shrubbery
- Main Plant: Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii), purple azalea (Rhododendron oomurasaki), hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), iris (Iris ensata), Taiwan cherry (Prunus campanulata)
Visiting hours and admission:
Daily 09:00 to 17:00 (last entry 16:30); closed from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1.
Admission 150 JPY, 70 JPY for persons over 65, free for elementary school students and junior high and high school students residing in Tokyo.
Location and access:
3-3-9 Kiyosumi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0024; 江東区清澄 3-3-9; Phone: 03-3641-5892
Access: Three minutes walk from Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station (Toei Oedo Line, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, from Exit A3); by Toei Bus Line from JR Kameido Station, North Exit: #7 Bus Stop (Line #33).
- Kiyosumi Gardens Official Website (in English)