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Hibiya Park, adjacent to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, is the first modern Western-style park in Japan.

This park, opened in 1902, measures 16 hectares and is run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.  After the repeated design competitions, the proposal of a group of leading landscape designers at that time led by Honda Seiroku was adopted and the construction work of the park started.  It is basically a German-style park, but as shown in the first photo, a part of the old moat of Edo Castle has been preserved to incorporate Japanese elements. The second photo shows Dai-funsui (Large water fountain), one of the symbolic facilities of the park.

An open-air concert hall and spacious flower gardens are found beyond the water.  The third photo shows Matsumoto-ro, a Western-style restaurant built in 1903.  The first owner of the restaurant, Umeya Shokichi, was a financial and spiritual patron of Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese political refugee in Japan.  Sun got married with Soon Ching-ling in Tokyo through the go-between of Umeya.  After the marriage, he frequented Umeya’s house with his new wife.  His wife usually played the piano there.  This piano is on display now in the hall of the restaurant.  As the park site used to be the Edo (Tokyo) mansions of eight daimyos, feudal lords, there are many old trees, older than 300 years old, providing the cozy shade under them in summer.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。


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