“Chinzanso” in Tokyo’s Mejiro won a British award for “Best Luxury Hotel, Japan, 2013” and is well-known as a high-class hotel. It’s also quite popular as a place for wedding ceremonies. Chinzanso has a spacious garden with many seasonal flowers and historical sightseeing spots. I will now introduce a great way to spend your day visiting the best places in the garden and drinking afternoon tea at the hotel’s restaurant “Le Jardin”.
Chinzanso's three-storey pagoda "Entsukaku"
Chinzanso’s three-storey pagoda “Entsukaku” is one of the three famous old Buddhist pagodas in Tokyo, together with Kaneiji’s and Ikegami-Honmonji’s ones (registered as national cultural treasures). It was built in Hiroshima prefecture’s Chikurinji Temple during the early Heian period and was repaired for the first time under the rule of Taira-no-Kiyomori. In 1925 the pagoda was transported from Hiroshima to Tokyo by Baron Fujita Heitaro from the Fujita noble family who inherited Chinzanso’s garden from Prince Yamagata Aritomo. It’s open every day from 6 am to 6 pm and visitors can see the holy image of the Kannon goddess.
This pagoda is the symbol of Chinzanso and looks beautiful in all four seasons. It’s commonly used as a background for making wedding photos.
Other popular spots: "Koshinto" and "Rakanseki" stone monuments
Chinzanso’s garden is spacious and has many species of camellias, sakura and pine trees, as well as historical monuments. One such historical relic is the “Koshinto” stone monument that you see on the photo. In the beginning of Edo period the syncretic “Koshin” folk faith started spreading in Japan and many monuments were built around the country. This monument was built in 1669.
Next to the “Koshinto” monument is the “Rakanseki” stone monument. Similar ones can be seen at Sekihoji Temple in Kyoto. There the sculptor Ito Jakuchu created statues of the 500 disciples of Buddha, and about 20 of them were transported to Chinzanso in 1925. Take a close look at their unique facial expressions.
Springing water in Tokyo!
“Kokosei” is a square well known as one of the oldest and best springing water sources in Tokyo. Water comes here from Chichibu mountain range through an underground river. It’s rich in minerals and calcium.
Since fireflies like to live around clear water, the summer night views here are breath-taking! Chinzanso is one of the best places to see fireflies in Tokyo. There are various activities and events during the fireflies’ season. A 13-storey stone pagoda can be found next to the water well. It’s said to be related to Oda Urakyu, brother of Oda Nobunaga, a military commander and a tea ceremony master during the Warring States period. The pagoda is 4.76-meters tall.
Chinzanso is well known as a place for holding wedding ceremonies
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo is located next to the big gardens and it widely known as a place for holding wedding ceremonies. On the left side is the plaza, in the center is the chapel, and on the right side is the hotel. During weekends wedding ceremonies are held one after another and you can see many happy brides.
Afternoon tea after the walk in the garden
Enjoy an afternoon tea at “Le Jardin” restaurant after your walk in the spacious garden. This is said to be the first place in Tokyo to offer afternoon tea, so it’s quite popular. You will be served a set on three levels; the first being the dessert, the middle having three types of scone and the last will contain various sandwiches. Everything is delicate, well-arranged, cute and delicious. You can try different tea brands.
Enjoy a luxurious afternoon in this elegant environment, watching the beautiful garden and having a tea with something close to your heart.
In this article I introduced some nice spots in Chinzanso’s garden and the afternoon tea at “Le Jardin”. It’s truly one of the best spots in Tokyo – a top-class hotel next to a vast garden. Here you can get a taste of a luxurious, extraordinary lifestyle. There are many other spots I couldn’t introduce, like a small waterfall, Shiratama-Inari Shrine and many camellia flowers and trees given as a present by various cities in Japan. Note: Please note that you cannot bring in your own food into the garden or the hotel.