Ikebukuro, like Shinjuku, is one of Tokyo’s busy commuter hubs and a popular destination for subculture, offering plenty of entertainment, shopping, dining and cosplay of anime and manga characters. Edogawabashi town is just a short ride outside of Ikebukuro and provides a great option when you need to get away from the mayhem of Tokyo.
Edogawabashi used to prosper as a Lords house area in the Edo period and politicians and influential people settled there. Gradually, Edogawabashi has developed as a town known for the printing industry due to its proximity to Tokyo University and other educational institutions. Edogawabashi itself is a small town, but it has a strong creative community and an ever-changing rotation of people who pass through the area. Here’s what to expect when you visit Edogawabashi town.
Hotel Chinzanso offers you a picturesque scene of Japanese traditional gardens and feudal history. The area is home to wild camellias and a politician in the Meiji period purchased the land as a residence with a huge Japanese garden. It became a reception center in 1952 and then was developed into a hotel in 1992.In the garden, you’ll find a three-storied pagoda, and many varieties of flowers and trees. Chinzanso is a colorful sight year-round. Winter is the best time to view the many different kinds of sasanqua and camellia that grow here. During this time, the garden comes to life with the beautiful colors of the flowers. It is also popular to visit during autumn when the leaves change color. There are various types of trees that change colors around the hotel garden and the maple trees are particularly beautiful in November.The best way to access the garden for those who prefer not to enter through the hotel is to use the Kabuki-mon Gate (open from 10:00 to 21:30), which is conveniently located along the Kanda River. Take 1a exit from Edogawabashi Station and continue along the Kanda River until you arrive at Hotel Chinzanso. Admission into the garden is free.
Higo Hosokawa Garden (Shin-Edogawa Park)
Higo Hosokawa Garden originated during the Edo period as a family residence of the feudal lord Hosokawa. Later, it was converted into a botanical garden. The traditional Japanese Garden is built around a pond dotted with bridges. From these bridges one can enjoy an astounding 360 degree view of the garden. The scenery changes each season with cherry blossoms, plum flowers and maple trees and you can enjoy night illuminations during winter.There are many things to see in the Edogawabashi area but if you only have an afternoon free, it is possible to see everything in a few hours and catch the night illumination at Higo Hosokawa Garden.
Shouseikaku House, on the grounds of the garden, serves Japanese tea. Shouseikaku used to be a study place and has been renovated as a resting room. On the second floor, you can enjoy seeing a small hill covered with lots of greenery and a Japanese style pond.
Eisei Bunko Museum
Also on the grounds of Higo Hosokawa Garden is the Eisei Bunko Museum (open from 9:00 to 16:30) and a salon in the front of Eisei Bunko Museum to take a rest. The Eisei Bunko Museum itself is so small, but it exhibits Hosokawa Family precious treasures and is also a book storeroom. Each treasure has its own beauty and at the same time the collection has a sense of unity that gives a consistent impression.