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Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu Gardens

This garden is one of a pair of feudal era clan gardens surviving in Edo (modern-day Tokyo). The other is Koishikawa Korakuen Garden. The Shiba Detached Palace Garden is a classic, strolling, spring-fed garden pond-centered garden featuring rock and land formations. The land on which the garden is located was originally under the shallows of Edo Bay, but from 1655 to 1658, this area was reclaimed and in 1678, came to be used for the official residence of Okubo Tadatomo, an official of the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate. When Okubo built his samurai style residence, he brought garden designers from his clan fief in the Odawara area to Edo to build the garden that became known as “Rakujuen.” This residence passed though the hands of several persons and finally, during the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate, it became the official residence of the Kishu branch of the Tokugawa family. In the 4th year of the Meiji Period (1871), it became the residence of the Arisugawa-no-miya family. It was purchased by the Imperial Household Agency in 1875 and became the Shiba Detached Palace. In the Great Kanto Earthquake that occurred on September 1, 1923, the ensuing fires consumed the building and virtually all the trees. In January 1924, as part of the commemorations of the beginning of the reign of the Showa Emperor, the property was given to the City of Tokyo. The garden was restored and the grounds were opened to the public in April of the same year. In June 1979, the garden was officially designated by the national government as a place of scenic beauty and special historic interest.