Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden
Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to Japan
This garden, more than a century old!
Mukojima Hyakkaen is a small, historical strolling garden in the Mukojima district of Sumida ward in north-eastern Tokyo. This garden, more than a century old, is closely associated with the arts and literature, and is a must-see for aficionados of natural-style Japanese landscaping.
Mukojima Hyakkaen’s primary charm is its natural-style Japanese landscaping, with a seemingly random layout that belies its mere 0.2 hectare, or half-acre, area, and gives the visitor the feel of being amply surrounded by bountiful nature. The eastern part of Mukojima Hyakkaen (opposite the side you enter from) features a long pond stretching most of the length of the garden.
As well as the original plum trees, Mukojima Hyakkaen now features about 230 species of plant. Most notable among them are the classical seven herbs of spring (Japanese parsley [seri], shepherd’s purse [nazuna], chickweed or stitchwort [hakobera], henbit deadnettle [hotokenoza], Japanese nipplewort [tabirako], turnip [kabu], daikon radish [suzushiro]), and the seven herbs of fall (bush clover [hagi], Japanese pampas grass [suzuki], balloon flowers [kikyo], pinks [nadeshiko], arrowroot [kuzu], thoroughwort [fujibakama], yellow patrinia [ominaeshi], the bright, white, star-shaped winter aconite, Eranthis pinnatifida [setsubunso], and the Erythronium japonicum lily [katakuri]). Mukojima Hyakkaen is thereby festooned with some kind of color whatever time of the year you visit.
Of the above flowers at Mukojima Hyakkaen, the most famous is probably the “herb of fall” that is bush clover, or hagi. The hagi tunnel is a 30-meter-long enclosed trellis of bush clover at the southern end of the garden, which flowers in September for an unforgettable stroll through.