We’ve always enjoyed visiting Tokyo’s gardens. The Hama-rikyu Garden at Tokyo Bay has been a long-time favorite. But for the sake of novelty, we decided to try this time the Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu Garden which is not far away. As it turns out, we had been wrong to ignore this garden for so long, as it is quite large and full of surprises. Located opposite of Hamamatsucho Station, wedged between Tokyo’s main train artery and an Expressway, this landscape garden holds its ground among modern high rise buildings. From the overpass crossing the tracks, one has a nice view of the whole garden (but beware, the only entrance is on the opposite side). Arranged around a large central pond with a number of small islands, the garden sports many carefully groomed pine trees, some of which are now equipped with yukizuri ropes for winter. One can spend quite some time there, strolling from one special spot to the next. The garden is quite full of scenic places and we were continually surprised to find yet another. As in most Tokyo landscape gardens, the contrast between the traditional garden and the modern high rise buildings that surround it is fascinating, albeit somewhat detracting from the atmosphere of quiet contemplation the garden originally aimed at. This is probably the one big difference between Tokyo’s and Kyoto’s gardens, as the overall setting in the latter contributes to the feeling of being immersed in a piece of old Japan. I must say that the Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu Teien has quite surpassed our expectations. Its convenient location makes it moreover easy to combine a visit with stopping over either on Odaiba, the Shiodome district or Shimabshi/Ginza.