Japanese Landscape Architecture Must See List

3月 6th, 2018 by Taguchi Leave a reply »

The landscapes in Japan are very fascinated for foreign visitors. The islands and mountains of country have dramatic geographic changes with surrounded by waters. The distinctive four seasons provide different scenes of landscape whenever you go. The light pink of cherry blossoms in early spring and red of Japanese maples and gold color of ginkgo trees in autumn makes strong contrast against the gray color of many buildings in the city.

As a landscape architect and urban designer, below is my favorite and must-see Japanese landscape lists that I typically recommend to my foreign friends. If you did not have any chances to visit yet, you may think of visiting one of the gardens, parks, museum, temples, etc. on weekends.

Cherry Blossom in Country Side

【Tokyo Metropolitan Area 東京エリア】

    • Shibuya Street Crossing 渋谷交差点
      It is the most crowded crossing in the world. It is not bad idea to try the Mario cart rentals here if you are the video game lovers.
    • Asakusa Area and Kaminarimon 浅草と雷門
      I guess most of people will go this Tokyo downtown area. My recommendation here is learning tea ceremony. One of my friends is a tea master and provide a workshop to foreigners with her fluent English. She also offers a private lesson, too. https://shizukokoro.com/
    • Tokyo Fish Market 築地市場
      Why not trying to eat fresh sushi? It is the biggest fishing market in the world!  Sushi is not only tuna and salmon.  You will see many different fishes
    • Minami Ikebukuro Park 南池袋公園
      This is a Japanese version of Bryant Park. The  new park with cafe, grand lawn, and playground are perfect place for the all age people from family to young people.

Minami Ikebukuro Park

  • Imperial Palace 皇居

    You can scroll around the imperial palace by walk.  Also, if you want to see the city around the imperial palace, you may want to try Tokyo Sky Bus.  You will see many interesting architectures around.  http://www.skybus.jp/

  • Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo ホテル椿山荘東京  http://www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com
    This is my most favorite hotel in Tokyo. It used to be operate by Four Seasons, now solely operated by Fujita Kanko. The classic Japanese gardens and hotel are perfect place if you want to take someone important. You may see some wedding with Japanese kimono as well as western dresses. If you are a student, there is an affordable buckwheat noodle store in the garden.
  • Meiji Shrine 明治神宮
  • Greenwise Headwaters Roof Garden グリーンワイズ本社屋上庭園 http://www.sustainablesites.org/green-wise-headquarters-roof-garden   http://www.sustainablesites.org/green-wise-headquarters-roof-garden
    This is one of the recent projects that I involved. It is the first SITES certified international project by GBCI. If you want to know about the sustainable urbane landscape, this is a good place to go. You may want to contact the company before your visits. http://www.greenwise.co.jp/en/topics/1404/
  • Kawagoe Downtown
    If you do not have enough time to go to Kyoto, here is a little old Tokyo with series of old Japanese buildings. It is approx 40 minutes by train from Tokyo.
  • Tokyo International Forum 東京国際フォーラム
  • Marunouchi Park Building/Mitsubishi-Ichigokan Museum 丸の内パークビルディング・三菱一号館美術館
  • Tokyo Midtown 東京ミッドタウン http://www.tokyo-midtown.com/en/
  • Roppongi Hills 六本木ヒルズ
  • Omotesando 表参道
  • Shinagawa Intercity 品川インターシティ
  • Keyaki Plaza ケヤキ広場 (埼玉)
  • Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal 横浜港大桟橋国際客船ターミナル(横浜)
  • Kohoku Newtown 港北ニュータウン
  • Osaki Gatecity, Thinkpark 大崎エリア再開発 シンクパーク、ゲートシティ。
  • Hara Museum 原美術館

【Japanese Gardens in Tokyo Metropolitan Area日本庭園】

  • Rikugi-en Garden 六義園
  • Hamarikyu Garden 浜離宮恩賜庭園
  • Shibarikyu Garden 旧芝離宮恩賜庭園
  • Koishikawa Kourakuen Garden 小石川後楽園
  • Kiyosumi Garden 清澄庭園
  • Kyu-Furukawa Gardens 旧古川庭園
  • Sankei-en Garden 三渓園(横浜)
  • Kyu-Iwasaki Garden 旧岩崎邸庭園

【Kyoto 京都】

If you go to Japan first time, you shall not miss this city. Kyoto is an old capital of japan, still the center of Japanese traditional culture. You shall visit lots of Japanese gardens and temples. One of the best Japanese gardens that I believe is Katsura Rikyu or Shugakuin. Both of them are imperial villas and gardens, and you will need to have appointments prior to the trip (I guess approx a few months ago.). You will scroll gardens with the guide, as the garden is protected. Because of the emperor’s courtesy, the garden tour is free.

Japanese Garden in Kyoto

Red Maple and Landscaper at Shugakuin


    • Katsura Rikyu (Katsura Imprial Villa) 桂離宮 http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/guide/katsura.html
    • Shugakuin 修学院離宮  この二つの庭園のどちらかが、日本一の日本庭園だと思います。必ず予約して行きましょう。宮内庁のホームページで三ヶ月前から予約出来ます。
    • Nijou Castle 二条城二の丸
    • Entsu-ji 円通寺

Borrowed Landscape in Entsuji Temple

  • Daigo-ji Sanpou-in 醍醐寺三宝院
  • Ginkaku-ji 銀閣寺
  • Ryouan-ji 龍安寺
  • Daitoku-ji Daisen-in 大徳寺大仙院
  • Kinkaku-ji 金閣寺
  • Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺

Making Dry Garden

【Nagano and Hokkaido

If you have been to Japan before, you shall explore the mountain area of Nagano and northern island of Japan. Both of them have beautiful nature, and they are the the escape place from crowds in the city.

This article was generated per one of the blog reader’s request. I hope this will help international visitors who are interested in Japanese Lansdscape Architecture.




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