Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park
Read a guide to Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park, Tokyo. Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park is a woodland-style park in Tokyo's Hiro-o district, near Roppongi.
Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park 有栖川宮記念公園
Fishing in Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park, Tokyo
Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park, in Minami-Azabu, is one of Tokyo's most enchanting green spaces. The heavily wooded park is a tranquil retreat off Gaien Nishi-dori avenue, behind Hiro-o Station, surrounded by foreign embassies, and packing a surprising degree of natural variety into a piece of land the size of a city block.
Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park was originally the urban villa of a feudal lord, Minonokami Nambu. In 1896 it was acquired by the noble Arisugawa-no-miya family. However, as Japan modernized, more and more importance began to be placed on the role of nature in educating children, and the family donated the land to Tokyo city in 1934 as a park for that purpose.Tokyo city set to work redeveloping it, and Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park was born in the same year. In 1975, the Tokyo metropolitan authority transferred the administration of the park to the local ward office of Minato.
Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park has the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library at its east end, and a large pond at its west end. Between them is a large plaza dominated by an equestrian statue at one end, a children's playground, and a large circular lawn.
The forested dell of Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park features streams, waterfalls, ponds and bridges. The area is not expansive, but the varied topography with its stone and dirt walkways, and the density and variety of the flora, make for an impression of something close to wilderness and certainly not the feeling of being within a few minutes walk of shops and railway stations.
Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park is home to myriad birds. The cacophony of the wildlife here also belies the park's urban setting - adding to its charm.
A signboard at the entrance from Hiro-o Station has reproductions of the sixteen main species of bird that inhabit the park. It is equally rich in insect life, and the huge variety of trees and plants means that there is something different happening any season of the year. The plum trees, flowering dogwood and water lilies are a treat in spring, and in fall the park is colored by the maples.
The plaza of Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park is dominated by the equestrian statue of His Royal Highness Taruhito Arisugawa-no-miya (see History). There is also a little Newspaper Delivery Boy statue erected in 1958 by the Japan Newspaper Sales Association as part of its initiative to sponsor the education of its young delivery workforce. Another small statue of the Youth Playing a Flute statue is a depiction of the calm that pervades the park, installed in 1991, and created by the famous Japanese sculptor, Yasutake Funakoshi (1912-2002).
Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park has bicycle parking inside the main gate (i.e. the one nearest Hiro-o Station). Fishing in the ponds is allowed. Feeding the pigeons is not.
Open 24 hours, 365 days.
The Tokyo Japan Temple of the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) is across the road, and the golden trumpet-blowing angel topping its spire is visible from inside the park.
From Hiro-o Station (Hibiya subway line), turn left out of Exit 1 and immediately left again. Turn left at the end of the street and it's in front of you. 2 minutes.
Google Map to Arisugawa-no-miya Park
From Roppongi Hills in Roppongi, from inside the West Walk of Mori Tower, follow the signs to the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, go downstairs, out the doors and go left. 11 minutes.