The Hama Rikyu Gardens once served as duck hunting grounds for Tokyo’s feudal lords, back in the 17th and 18th centuries when Tokyo was known as Edo. Today, with its winding paths and bridges spanning tranquil pools, it’s quite the contrast from the skyscrapers and neon lights of the Shiodome district that can be seen crowding the edges of the park. The traditional teahouse—located on an island in one of the pools—is a pleasant place to relax, and you can experience a traditional tea ceremony here.
The gardens are close to the high-end shopping district Ginza, and the famous Tsukiji fish market is close by. Although the ‘inner market’ with its daily tuna auction, has moved to a new site, the ‘outer market’ with vendors selling everything from sushi to kitchen knives is still located here. Whether you’re joining a guided tour of the city—which is sure to stop by the gardens—or planning a trip to the market, it’s well worth spending time here.