The Kyu-Furukawa Gardens (旧古河庭園 Kyū-furukawa teien) are located in Kita Ward in northern Tokyo and are famous for their picturesque Western-style residence, their rose garden as well as their traditional Japanese stone garden. The north part of the garden lies on the slopes of the Musashino Hills, while the Japanese garden and its pond, which were designed in the shape of the Chinese character for “heart”, are situated in the lower southern part.
The park and the Western-style building were home to Mutsu Munemitsu (陸奥宗光, 1844-97), a prominent statesman and diplomat of the Meiji government. The residential building was designed by the British architect Josiah Conder. When Munemitsu’s second son was adopted by the Furukawa family, the property was turned over to them. It is considered to be a splendid example of Taisho era gardens and was designated a famous site in 1982.
Things to see
The walls of this English-style brick house are covered in andesite, a reddish stone that lends the manor an air of elegance and changes its colour when it becomes wet in the rain. It currently houses the Otani Art Museum Foundation.
The Western-style rose garden is designed as a terraced garden. Its Banksia roses are in full bloom in spring and autumn.
The centre of the Japanese garden is a pond (shinji-ike) shaped like the Chinese character for 'heart' (心). Around the pond are stone lanterns, numerous stone pagodas, a large waterfall ten meters in height (otaki) that is arranged to create the illusion of a cliff and a river gorge in the deep mountains, as well as a so-called dry waterfall (karetaki) incorporating stones to create the image of flowing water.
Map of Kyū-Furukawa Teien
Courtesy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association
- Public inauguration: April 30, 1956
- Area: 30,780.86 square meters
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:
1-27-39 Nishigahara, Kita-ku, Tokyo 111-0024; 東京都北区西ヶ原一丁目 1-27-39; Phone: 03-3910-8440
Access: Seven minutes walk from Kami-Nakasato Station (JR Keihin-Tohoku Line); seven minutes walk from Nishigahara Sta. (Tokyo Metro Namboku Line).
- Kyu-Furukawa Gardens Official Website (in English)