Koishikawa Korakuen Garden is one of the best places to view autumn leaves (fall foliage) in Tokyo.
There are 9 Japanese gardens in Tokyo and each has its specialty; I mean that NOT all the gardens are good at showing us red maple leaves spread all around. Their size and general reputation for all the seasons don’t tell you how it is like IN AUTUMN.
In cases like this, ask me. How about Koishikawa Korakuen?
It is EXCELLENT at autumn colors.
|Autumn Colors in Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, Tokyo, Japan|
Photos will speak more than words, so I’d like to share as many photos as possible with you!
Also, I’ll show you
- Must-see spots in the garden that I don’t want you to miss
- Guides for photographers
- And practical visitor information for travelers
between the beautiful photos and at the bottom of this page.
Enjoy photos first and remember Tokyo Direct Guide/Diary when you really plan a trip!
|A big maple tree near the entrance (& weeping cherry tree without any leaves in autumn)|
1: The Red Bridge with Red Leaves
The red bridge is called Tsutenkyo Bridge that is the icon of Koishikawa Korakuen. I reported cherry blossoms (sakura) in the same spot in spring. Thank you for waiting, this is the view in autumn!
|Red Tsutenkyo Bridge Surrounded by Red Maple Leaves & Reflections in the pond|
The bright red bridge gets surrounded by red maple leaves in autumn. This is the third time to report seasonal beauty in Koishikawa Korakuen, and this is why autumn is best for this large Japanese garden.
|Tsutenkyo Bridge & the Pond in Autumn|
Even a windy day can be considered to be lucky. It was really amazing for me to see falling maple leaves! Falling cherry blossoms have been traditionally praised for being like pale pink snow, but I’d like to say maple leaves are so beautiful.
|Maple Leaves Blown by Winds|
If you are a photographer, don’t assume that maple leaves are always quiet beauty. Take a high-speed camera for birds, and it will helpful in other scenes as following.
People can go around and cross the red bridge. Japanese gardens are made to be interesting to be seen from any directions.
|From the foot of the bridge.|
|Best View in a Year in Koishikawa Korakuen|
You’ll feel that you are right to visit Koishikawa Korakuen when you see this!
2: Around the Large Pond & Maruya Hut
With traditional architecture and the large pond over there, the view is so elegant that you shouldn’t miss.
|A Bench and Roof named Maruya in autumn|
|Maruya and Autumn Leaves|
3: Reflections of Autumn Colors in the Pond!
In my opinion, the best thing about Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens is reflections. The shallow pond with many stones shows us fantastic views close to us.
For example, we can step on these stones – They are a bridge, too. So we can walk and stand on the real natural beauty. (Be careful of your footsteps. It’s a true story that I witnessed a guy stepped into the water!)
|Stone Steps and Fallen Maple Leaves in the Pond|
But the beautiful reflections and the possibilities to get SO close to them are only here. If it is attractive for you, I advise you to add Koishikawa Korakuen to your travel schedule.
My best reflection. No effect, real Monet!
|My Best Shot of Reflections in Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, Tokyo, Japan|
When I hadn’t experienced the world beyond the sea, I didn’t use to know that the Japanese word “zen” is so worldwide and even some people consider it to represent Japan…
And this is my best zen shot.
|My Best Photo to Feel Zen Culture|
If you are a photographer who wish to shoot a quiet moment, natural colors lighted by sunshine and fantastic reflections in the ponds, I think that Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens will be the very best place in Tokyo.
So the area around the red Tsutenkyo Bridge is the best place in one of the best autumn leaves spots in Tokyo, but I’d like to show you other things to see in Koishikawa Korakuen.
More Things to See
There is another pond in the farthest part from the entrance. The area called uchiniwa (= means, “inner garden”) was once an independent garden. In late autumn, gardeners surround the pine trees by straw fences to protect them from snow in winter, which is called yuki-tsuri. So we can see views with autumn and winter at the same time.
|Pine trees with snow fences and red maple leaves in Koishikawa Korakuen|
When you get the official leaflet at the entrance, you’ll read that many things in Koishikawa Korakuen are inspired from China. This path from uchiniwa is one of them. What is awesome is that the Chinese stone path is decorated by autumn leaves in this season. A bit of knowledge in advance makes your trip better!
|The Chinese stone path|
One more thing. Koishikawa Korakuen is a place for birds, too, so there are always photographers carrying a heavy camera and a super zoom lens. You have chances to meet rare birds there, and I saw herons in the island in the pond.
|A heron on a maple tree|
Calm and beautiful nature you saw in this page is in the middle of Tokyo City.
I found TripAdvisor’s certification of 4.5 Stars at the entrance. People who voted were lucky to find Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens. If you hope to follow those travelers, you have found a guide to go there.
Honestly, I had been worried about maple trees in this autumn since late November. It seemed that maple leaves would turn red early because it was cool in September, but the temperature was quite unstable after that. In November, maple trees went ahead and back many times, so they made me worry that they didn’t have a good chance to show their best and winter comes.
But I’m relieved that they managed to become “autumn leaves” at last in early December.
Although I don’t think that 2015 was a great year for Japanese autumn views, – maple trees belong to nature, so the beautiful views on your guidebooks depend on the conditions – you see that you can expect the beautiful views like my photos at least.
When autumn leaves leave from Tokyo, artificial beauty comes next. It is Christmas & Winter Lights in the modern city! I’m going to report 2 popular places in Tokyo.
Thank you for visiting Tokyo Direct Diary/Guide & see you soon!
MORE Autumn Colors on Tokyo Direct Diary
Mt. Takao in Japan (Part 1) – a Guide to Tokyo’s 3-Star Sightseeing Spot (Mid – Late November)
Mt. Fuji Hillside (Early October)
Christmas & Winter Lights in Tokyo
Tokyo’s Christmas Lights #01: Yebisu Garden Place plus Tips & Westin Tokyo Hotel
Visitor Information on Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (Entry by 16:30)
Admission Fee: 300 yen
How to Get to Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens
Catch a JR Chuo-Sobu Line train at Akihabara or Shinjuku and get off at Iidabashi. It is an 8 minutes walk from the station.
Check out The Easiest JR Train Map to find the right station near you.
Or, take whichever Oedo, Tozai, Yurakucho, or Namboku Subway Like to Iidabashi.
Open The Easiest Subway Maps of Tokyo.