Tokyo has 9 Metropolitan Gardens, of which two are accessible from JR Komagome station. Just south of the station lies Rikugien Garden, while a few minutes walking north you’ll find Kyu-Furukawa Garden. Today I decided to visit both to see which is the most interesting.
I first visited Rikugien Garden, the larger of the two, with an entry fee of 300 yen (about 2,40 euro). Although winter might not be the best season to visit a garden, this one looked quite pretty. Today being a Sunday, I found the garden very quiet. There’s a large pond, different paths to stroll about and a man-made hill which provides beautiful views over the garden. Also one of the main features is a huge cherry blossom tree, but that unfortunately isn’t in bloom right now. There is a small tea house where you can have a drink with a very nice view over the pond. Overall Rigugien Garden is a beautiful, quite place to take a break from the sometimes chaotic streets of Tokyo.
The Kyu-Furukawa Garden is considerably smaller and admission is half the price of Rikugien Garden. This garden also has a hill, with a western-style building on top. In front of the building is a small western-style rose garden, which is not interesting at all when the roses are not in bloom. I can imagine that it must be a very pretty sight when they are, though. The rest of the garden is Japanese-style, with also a pond and different paths, but as mentioned considerably smaller. Being smaller doesn’t necessarily mean that it is less interesting, but the Kyu-Furukawa garden has little extra to offer compared to the Rikugien garden. Today both gardens were equally quiet. A significant downside of the Kyu-Furukawa Garden is the lack of a tea house overlooking the pond. It does have a teahouse, but the view just isn’t quite as nice.
So, unless you are visiting during the rose-season (according to the garden’s leaflet mid-May to June and mid-October to November), Rikugien Garden is in my opinion the garden to visit. If you decide to visit both you can buy a combination ticket to save yourself a few yen.