Kiba Park: A Tokyo photo guide

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. 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. A small river splits it down the middle, which makes it somewhat unique in Tokyo. Both sides are very different.

rapeseed and artwork
Rapeseed at the Kiba Park Urban Greening Botanical Garden.

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 south side 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. That is something it shares with Sarue-Onishi. And that explains the existence of the event pool. On occasion, it is used to display the industry’s once-common skills.
  • 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.
Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art outdoor half head statue
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo outdoor art is right next door!

Why do photographers like Kiba Park?

  • Cherry blossoms in spring.
  • Flower photography at Greening Botanical Garden, a garden within the park. It is next to the picnic area.
  • Kiba Koen Oohashi (Kiba Park Big Bridge).
  • Kiba Park Urban Greening Botanical Garden.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (well, out of the park, but so close!).
  • Tokyo Skytree is near.

Photo spots in the area

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.

Kiba Park details

See the park’s location and opening hours on the official website.

Wrapping up

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.

2 thoughts on “Kiba Park: A Tokyo photo guide”

  1. Kiba park was the backbone of our 3.5 years in Tokyo. We visited it almost 5 days a week and during the pandemic it was the playground for my kids, my remote office during the day and a nice place to meet friends. Thank you for featuring this park. Brings back great memories.

    1. Hello Hansel. Thanks for dropping by and your kind comment. Kiba is a great park. It’s a pity it’s on the opposite side of the city to me, else I’d go there more often. But the cherry blossoms are almost with us again, so I will have new photos to share here. Please come back again then!

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