Kiba Park in Tokyo’s Koto Ward is another of the city’s little-known gems. If you need to run, exercise, or just enjoy some time in the sun, this park might be for you! In most regards, it is your everyday park. But, it is a good one for photographers too. It has flowers and a massive bridge with a view of Tokyo Skytree.
The park is quite large, almost 60 acres, making it a little larger than Shinjuku Gyoen. It is split in the middle by a small river, which makes it somewhat unique in Tokyo. Both sides are very different.
The north side holds tennis courts, a general sport/event space, and a kid’s wading pool. And next door is the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. For me, this area lacks subjects for photography. To be honest, I don’t go there often. I spend most of my time in the south.
The southside has a lot of open space, an information center, a dog run, and a cafe. It is a great place to picnic and is popular with locals. In spring, when its cherry blossoms bloom, you’ll find lots of people there. There is another pool too. It is used to show the lumberman’s skills when logs once floated in it.
The park’s centerpiece is probably the bridge that joins both sides of the park. It is of modern design, offering great views of Tokyo Skytree. Even during the day, you can get some great shots of it, but nighttime photography is best. I can’t wait to get some pictures around sunset.
Kiba Park is very different from parks like Shinjuku Gyoen or Hamarikyu Gardens. It is not only there for quiet walks to admire the view. People go there to use it. Some jog and others paint. Kids run around and play ball games in it! I’ve even seen people do tai chi there. And throughout the year, you might even see some quite large events as there is space for them.
A brief history of the Kiba Park
Are you wondering about the name Kiba? It means ‘wood place.’ The park was a lumberyard during the Edo era, like Sarue-Onishi Park. And that explains the existence of the event pool. On occasion, it is used to display the once-common skills to the industry.
In 1977, Kiba Park was designated as parkland to commemorate Emperor Hirohito’s fiftieth year on the throne. But, in 1992, it finally developed into its present form.
Why do photographers like Kiba Park?
- Cherry blossoms in spring
- You can do flower photography at Greening Botanical Garden, a garden within the park. You’ll find it next to the picnic area.
- Kiba Koen Oohashi (Kiba Park Big Bridge)
- Kiba Park Urban Greening Botanical Garden (very well looked after)
- Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (well, out of the park, but so close!)
- Tokyo Skytree
When to visit Kiba Park?
Without a doubt, spring! The park has many flowers, including cherry blossoms, so this is the best time to go.
Where is the Kiba Park?
It is on the east side of Tokyo. The park might be a little far for some. In reality, though, it is easy to reach. Use the Tozai subway line, which stretches from the east side to the west. Take it to Kiba Station. From the station, use Exit 1, and the park will be about 200 meters away.
Here is a Google Map:
Admission is free. Some facilities, such as the tennis courts, are not. Please consult the park’s website for complete information.
Kiba Park is open twenty-four hours a day. But, some facilities such as the dog run, bbq area, and tennis courts are not. Please consult the park’s website for complete information.
Use of park facilities
The dog run, BBQ area, and tennis courts need registration plus booking. In the case of the BBQ area, you’ll have to bring everything – food, chairs, and even the hotplate. For complete information, consult the Kiba Park website.
Other photo spots in the area
Kiba Park might be a little far from the city center for many people as it is out in the east. It is far from places like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku. But, as it has so much to offer, especially in spring, it could well be worth the effort for many photographers. You can see its Japanese website here. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I will do my best to answer you.