Home » Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens – a photographer’s guide

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens – a photographer’s guide

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens has been called the most beautiful park in Tokyo. It is a fairly accurate comment. It has a large pond, islands, trees, rambling paths, and flowers for every season. And on top of that, with some skyscrapers not too far away, it has a great backdrop. It’s no wonder it is popular with photographers!

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens main pond

There is a pond with carp and turtles. It has three islands, with bridges running to two of them, which is fun to explore. Nakajima (the one in the center) allows you to shoot 360′. With the wildlife getting up close to the rocks, you can take nice pictures.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens hydrangeas

What I love most about the park is what is inside and outside. Over recent years, there has been much construction nearby. Those buildings provide such great contrast. It’s the Tokyo of the twenty-first century against Edo Japan from more than one hundred years ago.


The skyscrapers and pond together make for great photographs. Flowers and towers together. And on a good day, if the wind and sun cooperate, you can get some great reflections in the water. For this type of shot, Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens is excellent.

Another thing I like about the park is the several small hills. They are easy to climb and offer a change of perspective once you get to the top. Some of their paths are concrete, so going up shouldn’t be difficult.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens stone lantern

And if you are lucky, you might be able to see couples doing their pre-marriage wedding photos. A photographer and makeup artist accompany them. With the girl in a kimono and her husband-to-be in a hakama, they make for some great photos. This place is popular for pre-wedding photoshoots. Just make sure to ask their permission before taking pictures close-up, though.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens stone bridge

What is there to photograph at Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens?

  • Cherry blossoms in spring
  • Hydrangeas in early summer
  • Skyscrapers (the best ones are in the north) reflections in the water
  • Tōrō (giant stone lanterns)

Photography tips

  • No tripods allowed.
  • For building reflections in the pond, go to its south end and look to the north for them.
  • Photographs of Tokyo Tower aren’t easy to get as skyscrapers block views. You’ll need to walk around and find them.
  • The tall buildings cast shadows over the park at different times of the day. That can be problematic.
  • The best time would be either spring (cherry blossoms) or autumn (the leaves!).
Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens stone art

Where is Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens?

The park is easy to find. Use the Yamanote line to get to JR Hamamatsucho Station and leave via the North exit. Kyu-Shiba is a one-minute away. Here is a Google map:

Opening Times

The gardens are open from 9 am to 5 pm (the last entry is at 4:30 pm). It is closed from December 29 to January 3.

Admission costs

The price of admission is 150 yen.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens pond and bridge

Other photo spots near Shiba Rikyu Gardens

Wrapping up

Kyu Shiba Rikyu is fantastic for photography! Unfortunately, it’s lost a few points recently. If it were still possible to get pictures of Tokyo Tower the park, it would rank much more highly. That is a real pity.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens hydragnea bush and pond_

The best thing is its size. It’s nice and compact, so you won’t need to spend a lot of time there. That is good for people with limited time. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

4 thoughts on “Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens – a photographer’s guide”

  1. Pingback: Hamarikyu Gardens - where the Shoguns once hunted - Tokyo in Pics

  2. Pingback: Tokyo Tower - a short photography guide - Tokyo in Pics

  3. Pingback: Zojoji is a beautiful temple in the heart of Tokyo - Tokyo in Pics

  4. Pingback: Seaside Top Observatory - the best sunset views in Tokyo - Tokyo in Pics

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top