Hanata-en Garden

One of greater Tokyo’s secret gardens

By Elizabeth Scally   May 1, 2018

For visitors seeking the quintessential classic Japanese landscape, Tokyo offers great expanses of greenery and ponds at gardens such as Shinjuku Gyoen and Hamarikyu. These gardens are popular with Japanese and international visitors alike, and they can be busy places in spring and autumn. But, there are some hidden treasures for garden aficionados and Japan culture buffs who don’t mind making a pilgrimage to suburbs around Tokyo. One of these hidden gardens is in Koshigaya City.

This bedroom community within easy distance of Tokyo is best known for its Awa Odori dance festival in late August. The city has many green landscapes, meandering rivers, bird sanctuaries and open spaces. In this mix of suburban and rural scenery is one of the greater Tokyo area’s classic gardens.

Hanata Number Six Park, east of Koshigaya’s main train station, is the location of Hanata-en. This strolling garden, built in the 1980s, has over 2000 trees, a pond with an elegant curving wooden bridge, rock and water features, and classic garden architecture. The garden is frequently used as a location for wedding photography, yet uncrowded by tourists, providing an ideal backdrop for kimono-clad brides and grooms. On weekends, visitors often share the landscape with photographers and newlyweds.

Ambling through the garden for refreshment is just one of the pleasures of the garden. In front of the pond is the Souan Tea House, where local tea masters host events 20 times a year. Besides tea ceremony, shamisen players perform and haiku poets meet to share their verse.

Within the park grounds is the Nohrakudo. This noh drama theater shows traditional plays on weekends and holidays. The hall attached to the theater holds seasonal displays of arts and crafts, musical performances and lectures. Admission is usually free.

From Koshigaya East Exit, board the bus for Hanata-Shiritsu Toshokan. Get off at Hanata-en Iriguchi bus stop. It’s 9 stops to the garden.

Getting there

From Koshigaya East Exit, board the bus for Hanata-Shiritsu Toshokan. Get off at Hanata-en Iriguchi bus stop. It’s 9 stops to the garden. 

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Join the discussion

Kim B 2 months ago
The hidden gems are often the best, and less crowded - I definitely prefer to trek a bit outside the city centers to really be able to soak up the atmosphere more!
Elizabeth Scally Author 2 months ago
At the big name tourist draws, you may be surrounded by crowds. Most of the stories I cover here are within easy reach of Tokyo, are not as crowded, and represent the Japanese cultural atmosphere that visitors seek.
Ekaterina Bespyatova 2 months ago
Love the photo with the little one on stage :)