Suikei-en Garden, Shibamata

A beautiful strolling garden

By Sleiman Azizi    - 2 min read

A visit to Shibamata in Tokyo’s Katsushika City Ward is bound to be a delight of authentic tradition, history and culture. Much of the area's appeal lies in its decidedly retro atmosphere with Showa-era themed museums, traditional shotengai shopping streets and old-feel temples.

The most impressive of these temples is most assuredly Shibamata Taishakuten, an intricately detailed Buddhist temple that draws in the visitors throughout the year. The New Year period is a particularly energetic time as worshippers and the curious come to pray for good fortune for the coming year.

Just behind the temple, but part of the temple grounds, lies an exquisitely designed and landscaped strolling garden named Suikei-en. Commemorated in the 1920s, the garden was the result of the famous garden designer, Nagai Rakuzan. His efforts still live on in the garden today. While entry into the grounds of Taishakuten is itself is free of charge, entry into the garden is JPY400. The ticket is also good for access to the incredible wood carvings of the Taishakudo hall.

The viewing corridor from across the garden
The viewing corridor from across the garden

Suikei-en garden features a path that takes you around the garden proper. Views of the garden change according to your position on the path and in the blooming months of spring and autumn, is guaranteed to please. During the cooler winter months, the chilly bite of the air gives the garden a feeling that could almost be described as aloof. It was certainly keenly felt inside the dedicated viewing corridor where sipping the complimentary tea and looking out over the gardens became an intensely simple pleasure, one reflecting the aesthetic sensibilities of the garden's design.

Elegant landscaping
Elegant landscaping

A trip to Taishakuten Temple is not complete without a visit to its Suiekei-en garden, completing a lovely time at this most famous of temples.

Getting there

The gardens are a 5-minute walk from Shibamata Station on the Keisei Kanamachi Line.

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Sleiman Azizi

Sleiman Azizi @sleiman.azizi

A Japanese Permanent Resident, I drool over proper soba and sushi while Japanese aesthetics ticks all the right boxes for me.With over 200 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books written in a traditional Japanese style, I also happen enjoy writing. Funny that...I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, Japan's never ending capital, so if you've anything to say about Tokyo - or Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via sleiman.azizi@japantravel.com

Join the discussion

Sherilyn Siy 5 days ago
What a peaceful looking place right in the city.
Sleiman Azizi Author 5 days ago
And a cup of tea to go with it.
Kim B 5 days ago
I love how precise the landscaping is in Japanese gardens...every element seems so thoughtfully considered.
Sleiman Azizi Author 5 days ago
It's quite pleasant. The viewing corridor in particular gives a very nice view of it all.
Elizabeth S 5 days ago
The whole place - Taishakuten, neighboring Yamamoto-tei, and this garden - are a tiny Japanese wonderland. The pavilion with tea (help yourself) is a great vantage point to view the garden.
Sleiman Azizi Author 5 days ago
Wonderland indeed.
Elena Lisina 5 days ago
Beautiful graden, even in winter! But probably too shilly to sit down for a while?
Sleiman Azizi Author 5 days ago
Oh no, it was nice. The viewing corridor is lovely and the warm tea helps.