Tokyo Shorts – Koishikawa Botanical Gardens

On a recent cycle ride around my neighbourhood of Bunkyo in Tokyo I came across a very high wall which seemed to be enclosing an enormous garden. On closer inspection it turned out to be Koishikawa Botanical Gardens (小石川植物園) which is operated by the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Science.

Koishikawa Botanical Gardens Avenue

Dating back to the Meiji Restoration the gardens’ collections contain over 4,000 different plant species, some of which are up to 300 years old.


Sitting in the beautifully landscaped lower garden, surrounded by a series of ponds, can be found the red and white former main building of the Tokyo Medical School which is now a museum.

Secret Island

Somehow I can’t help but imagine a team of fastidious gardeners with bonsai clippers getting up at the crack of dawn each day to manicure the gardens!

Pond Bridge
Botanical Painter

The perfect spot to crack open the watercolours and painting poncho.


The gardens are open to the public Tues-Sun (admission ¥330) and make for an ideal getaway from the urban crowds.

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