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Hibiya Park – flower-filled beauty in Tokyo

Hibiya Park lies in the very heart of Tokyo.  The Imperial Palace, government offices, and large companies are within walking distance from it.  People who work in those places sometimes need a little respite from their busy lives.  And with so many flowers there, it is their urban oasis.  

Chrysanthemum Festival at Hibiya Park

At 40 acres, it is pretty large.  There is a lot on the grounds to keep you busy.  There are gardens, a public hall, a library, restaurants, tennis courts, and amphitheaters.  I’m sure there is something I’ve forgotten.  Anyway, it has everything you need to recharge your batteries.

Hibiya Park and Marunouchi buildings

Hibiya Park is a great place to relax, most appreciated being its tree-covered paths.  They block out much of the sights and sounds of the busy city.  And in summer, they provide so much shade for the weary.  But there is something even better!


The gardens are fabulous.  They cover a large part of the park and have roses!  When the flowers bloom, people fill the benches around them in the cooler months.  They are the perfect place to relax.  And now you know why I call Hibiya Park a city oasis.

Hibiya Park fountain

A brief history of Hibiya Park

During the Edo period, the Mōri clan and Nabeshima clans occupied the park’s land.  During the Meiji period, the army used it for maneuvers.  Finally, it became a public park on June 1, 1903.

Hibiya Park library

If you are a history fan, you might know that on September 5, 1905, the park was the focal point for the Hibiya Riots.  At that time, the Russo-Japanese War had ended.  Many  Japanese were against the terms of the peace treaty.  A huge crowd gathered at Hibiya Park to protest.  After the smoke cleared, seventeen were dead and many injured.  It was a major event in Tokyo at the time. 

In the 1940s, the park with its trees and fences was a material source for the war effort.  Unfortunately, it was gutted.  Luckily for us, it was rebuilt in the 1960s, and the large fountain was added.

Hibiya Park rose flower

Photography at Hibiya Park

There is a lot for those with a camera.  Flower lovers should enjoy the azaleas, cherry blossoms, hydrangeas, magnolias, and tulips.  They should especially enjoy the chrysanthemums, which get their festival in November (2021 pics here).

While walking around the park, you’ll find some statues and bells plaques about who once lived there.  To be honest, I don’t find that stuff very exciting.  I prefer to concentrate on the flowers and the people looking at them.  Those are far more interesting.

And I like the fact it is in the middle of a busy urban area.  You can see the nearby Imperial Hotel and Tokyo Midtown from the park.  They pop up over the trees.  You can use them as a backdrop in your photographs.  And if you visit when the roses are in bloom, you can get a bonus.  Flowers and towers! 

lawn and buildings

When is the best time to visit? 

Hibiya Park is known for its roses and chrysanthemums.  If you want to enjoy them together, autumn would be best.  But, if you just wish to relax, any season would be fine.

rose flowers

Where is Hibiya Park?

It is easy to get to as several stations (train and subway) are nearby.  From Hibiya, Kasumigaseki, and Yurakucho stations, it is a short walk.  Here is a Google map:

Opening hours

Open twenty-four hours a day.

Admission costs

Free (this does not include restaurants and tennis courts etc.).

small fountain in pond

Public restrooms

Available

Are tripods/monopods allowed?

Yes.

WIFI availability 

None

Admission costs

Free (this does not include restaurants and tennis courts etc.).

Yellow chrysanthemums at Hibiya Park

Other photo spots in the area

1)  Godzilla statue at Hibiya Godzilla Square

2)  Hamarikyu Gardens

3)  Imperial Palace

4)  Tokyo International Forum

5)  Zojoji (temple)

Wrapping up

If you are a flower lover, especially roses and chrysanthemums, Hibiya Park is a great place to go. And as it is in central Tokyo, there are many other places to visit nearby. It gets a very high ranking from me. When you go, make sure to see it with a camera!

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