September does NOT seem to have outstanding events in Tokyo.
It is too late for fireworks, and too early for autumn leaves. Tokyo Game Show is held in September, but it is not for travelers who are interested in Japanese natural beauty. There is Jugoya (traditional moon viewing), but it is not a festival which is held in a specific place and people dance and sing.
But it is too early to give up. When you look for what you want carefully, you’ll find some.
The Japanese garden of Mukojima Hyakkaen welcomes its best season in a year!
Well, among the Japanese gardens in Tokyo, Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden is NOT counted as a top place. For example, I saw some local visitors were saying, “Not bad, but small.” Umm… In my opinion, they were right just partly.
Put away the standard in your mind. Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden is different from the other famous Japanese gardens. As a result, it has different kinds of interesting things. In addition, the best season is definitely September there! I’d like to share the 4 aspects of the garden.
1: Famous Hagi (Bush Clover) Tunnel
The highlight in Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden is the Bush Clover Tunnel. Amazingly, it is 30 meters long!
There are rose tunnels, wisteria tunnels, etc, but bush clover is not very common. It is made of bamboos, so it shows us much Japanese atmosphere.
Not only in the tunnel, we can see them in many places in this garden.
2: Grasses and Flowers from Literature
“Hyakka-en” means “a garden with hundreds of flowers” in Japanese. As represented by its name, the specialty of this garden is grasses and flowers instead of trees and stones. Not only bush clovers, we can find many other interesting flowers on our foot and around.
What potential visitors should learn is that the origin of the garden is completely different from the other Japanese gardens in Tokyo, such as Rikugien Garden, Hamarikyu Garden, Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, etc.
All those gardens are built by samurai clans, who had their sense of beauty about Japanese gardens. On the contrary, Mukojima Hyakkaen was built by an antique seller named Kikuu Sawara. He planted 360 plum trees at first, and then, collected a variety of grasses and flowers that appear in Chinese and Japanese classic literature. You’ll find many stones with inscriptions in the garden, which are all haiku – It is a place that is highly artistic.
Whichever is rare for you, I’m sure that everyone can explore the unique elegance in Japanese early autumn here.
3: Tokyo Skytree
If Sawara had learned that a tower which is much higher than any pagoda was built near his garden, he’d be extremely excited. Tokyo Skytree is seen SO BIG from Mukojima Hyakkaen.
If you are a photographer who are looking for places with great views, I think this is an interesting place.
4: Events during Hagi Festival
Back to the Hagi Festival, we can see some events on weekends, most of which are free. Traditional music, haiku, matcha… They depends on the year, but we can experience them so easily during the festival. The photo is a lantern for Jugoya moon viewing in the garden.
As I said, Mukojima Hyakkaen is completely different from the other Japanese gardens in Tokyo – I’m not saying this in a bad meaning. The unique elegance attracts me especially in September.
Do you want to see different beauty from other Japanese gardens? If so, Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden should be on your travel schedule!
Visitor Information of Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (by 16:30)
Closed on 29, 30, 31 December and 1 January
Entrance Fees: 150 yen for Adult, free for Child under 13
How to Get to Mukojima Hyakkaen
8 minutes from Higashi-Mukojima Station of Tobu Skytree Line or 13 minutes from Keisei Hikihune Station of Keisei Oshiage Line.
Hagi Festival (2016)
17 September – 2 October
Main Site – All-in-One & Organized Travel Guide: Tokyo Direct Guide