Garden of Spring Water: Tonogayato Teien

Date: 6th July 2018

Another Tokyo Metropolitan Garden!

Located in Kokubunji in western Tokyo, Tonogayato Teien (殿ヶ谷戸庭園) originated between 1913 to 1915 as part of a villa belonging to Eguchi Teiji, a former employee of Mitsubishi who was also the vice president of the South Manchuria Railway. In 1929, the president of Mitsubishi Group, Iwasaki Koyata acquired the villa from the Eguchi family and completed the villa as a kaiyu-style (circuit-style) garden in 1934, also adding the teahouse Koyo-tei.

DSC02042
Entrance to Tonogayato Teien

Lets now explore the garden, which was in lush green at the time of my visit. Passing by the quiet entrance, I noticed the Main Residence but left it for exploration later. The atmosphere of the garden after the rain gave it a special ambience, added with the much adored mossy lawns.

DSC02044

Tonogayato Teien offers a range of flowers to admire across the seasons. The hydrangea season was almost over, however I managed to catch some remaining hydrangeas at this garden, which was a pleasant surprise.

DSC02049

DSC02046
Hello Hydrangeas!

In May, you would be able to see wisteria here, survived from the time of the Iwasaki family. Right next to the wisteria trellis is the hagi (Japanese bush clover) tunnel, beautiful small purple flowers which blooms at the start of autumn, in mid September.

DSC02052
Wisteria trellis
DSC02053
Hagi tunnel

Walking down from the hagi tunnel area, I found myself before a trail of moso bamboos, Take-no-komichi, the path leading to the Jirobenten-ike. It was then that I realised I was not prepared against the mosquitoes here. Put on some mosquito repellent if you are coming here!

DSC02062
Walking down towards the bamboo trail
DSC02068
Take-no-komichi

Looking at the maple leaves here, I immediately knew how beautiful it would have been in autumn. I have left some links at the end of the post to other sites which have captured the stunning fall foliage at this garden. The autumn leaves in Tonogayato Teien reaches its peak around late November to early December.

DSC02081
Green maple leaves

The main feature of Tonogayato Teien is the Jirobenten-ike, a pond of spring water surrounded by a Japanese garden. Above is the teahouse Koyo-tei, which is a perfect spot to admire the maple leaves during autumn. The teahouse can be reserved for tea ceremonies or related gatherings.

DSC02101
Jirobenten-ike
DSC02122
Koyo-tei as seen from Jirobenten-ike
DSC02111
Koyo-tei

Behind the teahouse is the shishi-odoshi (deer threat), giving off a beautiful sound perfect for this quaint garden.

DSC02132
Shishi-odoshi

Since Tanabata (Star Festival) was just around the corner, it was not a surprise to see tanzaku hanging on bamboos at Koyo-tei. They even had them in front of the information board near the entrance!

DSC02127
Tanzaku hanging on bamboos in Koyo-tei
DSC02126
Tanzaku hanging on bamboos in Koyo-tei

After amazingly spending almost 30 minutes around Jirobenten-ike, I was back at the main residence, which was a western-style residence built as a detached residence of Iwasaki Koyata. The interior of the building is a mix of both Japanese and western rooms.

DSC02140
Main Residence

I thought that I would not be able to find other flowers here, so I was so elated to find this lily, though it was in front of the washroom.

DSC02148
Joy of finding a lily

So, if you want to escape the crowded Tokyo Metropolitan Gardens in central Tokyo, why not give Tonogayato Teien a try? Despite it being summer and the lack of flowers, I enjoyed my visit here and would definitely return here someday.

Info

Opening hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (last entry at 16:30)

Closing days: December 29th to January 1st

Admission fees: 150 yen (free on May 4th and October 1st)

Guided tour (Free, In Japanese): 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends and public holidays

Links to sites with autumn pictures:

Access

Tonogayato Teien is just a 2-mins walk from Kokubunji Station’s South Exit. Kokubunji Station is served by the JR Chuo Line, the Seibu Kokubunji Line and the Seibu Tamako Line. From Shinjuku Station, it takes about 18 mins on the JR Chuo Line @ 390 yen.

 

Advertisements

Author: Jennifer

Hi! I am Jennifer. I enjoy planning my own travels and love traveling in Japan - for the history, nature, temples, and the food! Read more for travel guides of places I have visited.

5 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s