My third Wabi-Sabi garden in Tokyo was a visit to the Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden. I stopped to visit this garden after my visit to the Hakusan Shrine on Friday. Of the three gardens on the list of five that I have visited, this one was my favorite. To start, when I paid my ¥300 entrance fee, the worker offered me a garden map in French first, then English! I was so excited not to be assumed American. Obviously, no one assumes I’m Japanese but, when I’m assumed something besides American, I get a little excited.

The garden was a cool oasis after my walk in the summer sun. I found a shady corner when I arrived and sat for a few minutes to cool down, enjoy the view, and read about the park. The large white thing in the background is the Tokyo Dome. The Tokyo Dome is an indoor stadium. Dave and I will attend a baseball game there between the Yomiuri Giants and the Yokohama Baystars at the end of July.

Did you notice the roller coaster? That’s is Thunder Dolphin at Tokyo Dome City assumement park. Thunder Dolphin is 260 feet high and the 8th tallest continuous circuit roller coaster in the world. Who is going to ride that one with me!?!

In the meantime, let’s return to the garden. It has a circular path through the garden with manmade hills and ponds. The largest pond is the center focal point. A majority of the path around the garden was a stone walkway. It made the setting even more beautiful.

The smaller pond at the back of the garden had two small bridges. The city buildings in the background created the perfect wabi-sabi contrast.

I was fortunate to visit this time of the year. The garden had a large area of irises blooming. So many different colors! And I love seeing the Thunder Dolphin in the background!

There was also a small hill that led to an Ume grove (plum trees). The brochure said these bloom in early February. I will need to return!

Another highlight of the garden was the Engetsu-kyo (Full Moon Bridge). When the reflection of the bridge is visible in the water, it creates an illusion of a full moon. Unfortunately, the light wasn’t in my favor today. It was still very beautiful and serene.

In the garden there are also wisteria trellises and a 60 year old weeping cherry. This garden has moved onto the “Julia Tour” when we are in the Bunkyo area of Tokyo. Depending on when you visit, we will see either beautiful fall foliage or happy spring flowers!