The seat of Japan's national government, the natural space of Chiyoda City Ward is headlined by the sprawling public parks and gardens of the Imperial Palace. Beyond the city's signature location, though, lies a number of other, perhaps less well known parks and Japanese gardens. Here is a quick introduction to these amazing natural spaces of Chiyoda and how to reach them.
Right by the Imperial Palace, Hibiya Park is Japan's oldest park designed in a Western style. Popular for events, the park is filled with flower gardens, beautifully maintained lawns as well as several ponds. A stroll around the park will see numerous mementos gifted from around the world including a metamorphic rock from Antarctica and even a Viking epitaph.
Direct access from Hibiya Station on the Chiyoda, Hibiya or Mita lines.
Hotel New Otani Japanese Garden
One of those examples of classical Edo-period pedigree combining with sublime quality, the Japanese garden of the Hotel New Otani is a worth its weight in gold. With an honest-to-god fossilised tree trunk, an Imperial tea hut, waterfalls and red stones hauled all the way from Sado Island, this garden is simply amazing.
A 3-minute walk Akasaka-mitsuke Station on the Ginza or Marunouchi lines.
Kokyo-gaien National Gardens
Possibly the nation's premier location, the Kokyo-gaien National Gardens make up the largest green space in central Tokyo. The sprawling lawn in front of the Imperial Palace features 2000 black pines, while the family-friendly Kitanomaru Park area further to the north and the East Gardens and scenic moats all add to an incredibly understated experience.
A 3-minute walk from Otemachi Station on the Chiyoda, Hanzomon or Marunouchi lines.
Kensei Memorial Park
In honour of Japan's parliamentary process, Kensei Memorial Park is an unheralded little gem located a short stroll from the Kensei Kinen Parliamentary Museum. Rarely busy, this free park is home to a decent-sized pond, rest areas and little streams. Across the road lies a small garden made up of trees donated from each of Japan's forty-seven prefectures.
A 7-mimute walk from Kokkai-gijidomae or Kasumigaseki stations on the Chiyoda or Marunouchi lines.