Koishikawa-Korakuen Garden was built in seventeenth-century. It was completed by Mitsukuni, the second lord of Mito Tokugawa clan, with advice from the surviving retainer of the Ming dynasty, so it incorporates elements of both Chinese and Japanese taste.
He is said to be a wise monarch. For example, he named this garden “Korakuen” after a Chines poem encouraging a ruler to enjoy pleasure only after achieving happiness for his people. And he made a rice paddy field here, never seen in other gardens, with the intention to teach his heir's wife about the toil and trouble of farmers as she was born in a noble family. Nowadays planting and reaping is taken over by elementary school students in the neighborhood. It gives a calm oasis to Tokyoites with an abundant of trees and flowers surrounding the large pond. You can enjoy weeping cherry trees in spring, irises and wisteria in summer, autumn colors and Japanese apricots in winter.
Kagurazaka is an old town with a traditional Japanese atmosphere. There are many alleys called “yokocho”, narrow back streets, where you will find many shops and “ryoutei”, Japanese traditional restaurants. It is interesting to see how tradition and new things coexist. Ryoutei provide expensive Japanese cuisine and invite geisha to entertain during dinner. They are located in the winding back streets, so it is difficult to find. It’s just like a hideaway for adults, which is one of the fun parts here.