Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee

© Jiji Press Photo

Rikugien Garden is a Tokyo metropolitan park famous for its autumnal tints. The garden was completed by Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa, a landscaper well-favored by the fifth Shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa, in 1702. With its hills and ponds the garden used to be one of the most famous Kaiyu Pond Daimyo Gardens but after Yanagisawafs death fell into neglect in the late Edo and early Meiji political eras. Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi, bought and restored the garden in 1878, planting new trees and bringing in new stonework to mark its return to the splendor of the Daimyo Gardens of the Edo period. After Yatarofs death his younger brother and second Mitsubishi president Yanosuke continued the work of creating the garden. The garden was donated to Tokyo in 1938 by Yanosuke Iwasaki and his eldest son Hisaya, the third Mitsubishi president. Toward the end of November the garden presents a magnificent sight as the trees blaze in their autumnal tints, and under illumination in the evenings creates a truly magical scene.