Yamanote LineImage by Gaijin Camera
Komagome Station still retains much of the Edo charm as is evident from the several gardens and shrines located in the surrounding areas.
Rikugien Garden六義園・りくぎえん is a five minute walk to the south of 駒込駅こまごめえき・Komagome Station, and is regarded as one of Japan’s most beautifully landscaped gardens. It’s construction began in 1695 and was completed in 1702 and contains a 池いけ・pond with several islands in the center, man-made hills covered in shrubs and trees, forested areas, crooked and rustic 橋はし・bridges crossing the streams and lead up to and away from the pond, 石灯ろうとうろう・stone lanterns, and several wooden 茶室ちゃしつ・ちゃしつ.
The name 六義園りくぎえん・Rikugien means, “the six elements of poetry garden.” The designers took this literally and there are 88 scenes from several famous waka-style Japanese 詩し・poems recreated throughout the garden. 六義園りくぎえん・Rikugien is quite spacious and a walk along all of it’s paths will take you at least an hour.
The other garden is the Kyu Furukawateien旧古河庭園・きゅうふるかわていえん, a 10-15 minutes walk to the north of Komagome on the Hongo Dori. The 旧古河庭園きゅうふるかわていえん・Kyu Furukawateien perfectly blends an eastern style Japanese garden with a western style garden. A western style stone mansion, reminiscent of those found in the English 田舎いなか・countryside, sits on top of a hill on the north side of the garden overlooking the Japanese garden at the bottom of the hill to the south of it. The slope between the mansion and trees surrounding the Japanese style garden contains a very well kept ばら庭園ばらていえん・rose garden with many different varieties of roses.
At the center of the Japanese garden is a pond stocked with 鯉こい・koi fish and turtles. The pond is fed by artificial waterfall. A stone lantern and a 茶室ちゃしつ・teahouse add to the beauty. The rest of the garden is gently sloping hills and wooded areas with stone lantern-lined paths leading throughout. This wonderful blend of 東ひがし・east and west（西、にし）cannot come recommended highly enough.