Tokyo always amazes me with its striking colors in every corner of the city during the end of year. From Yoyogi to Ueno parks, the capital offers many primary autumn-viewing spots for free. If you are willing to pay an entrance fee, though, I guarantee that you can get something much more magnificent. I'm talking about Koishikawa Korakuen Garden.
Knowing that I needed to pay to enter a park when there were so many other free options, I wasn't really convinced at first. But my curiosity was way too high. There must be wonderful offers and good reasons why they have admission to the park, I thought to myself as I stepped out of Iidabashi Station and made my way to the park.
It's located right in the heart of the city—that's the first reason. It’s close to many other attractions—that’s second. Third, and the strongest reason why I eventually made it to the garden, is that the splendor of Koishikawa Korakuen’s autumn vibe can already be experienced even before getting to the ticket booth. Brilliant touch of red and yellow foliage graced even the garden's outer layer, hypnotizing every passersby to enter the wooden gate. And as you might guess, the inside part of the garden is beyond just beautiful.
The gorgeous combination of autumn colors instantly filled my eyes the second I walked into the open area of the garden, with trees and refreshing ponds welcoming my arrival. As far as I could see was a series of vibrant maple trees adorning every grounds and hills. And just around the corner of the landscape, a glimpse of gold was peeking through the vermilion leaves—yes, Koishikawa Korakuen is also a home to yellow gingko trees. The size of this garden and how every corner seemed to possess something I couldn’t miss and it made me just stand there for a moment, not sure about where to begin. This was when the garden’s walking paths came in really handy.
Koishikawa Korakuen has a network of continuous trails that lead to every part of the garden. This allows all visitors to not only be able to see everything that the garden has to offer, but also to enjoy its features from different perspectives.
I spent roughly two hours to finish one whole lap of the garden, with a slow-paced walk to maximize my appreciation of the picturesque autumn scenery. And it wasn't only me! Other visitors were also seen taking their time too—by sitting on the benches in front of the pond enjoying their bento, by taking photos repeatedly even though they had already snapped plenty of pictures, or by walking side by side with their loved ones, enjoying every single orange leaf they encountered.
The garden was not only showing natural beauty, but classical charm as well—I even began to believe that I was taken back to the Edo Period! But then, I started to notice the presence of this modern construction at the background of the maple trees. It was the Tokyo Dome. Snapping me out of my admiration, reminding me that Koishikawa Korakuen was lying in central Tokyo. It didn't ruin the mood, but instead, made me much more impressed. Because where else can you find an actual natural space, in the midst of a big city's hectic concrete jungle?