Skip to content

The Ultimate Secret Garden

IMG_5849

Behind the long, boring building mostly known for blocking views of the pagoda at Senso-ji is the secret garden of Denpo-in. Within those walls is a serene retreat used by the priests for meditation, closed to the public except for a few days each year. But if you’re in Tokyo right now, woo hoo, it’s your lucky day!

When you step through the gate, it’s like stepping into a parallel universe where the sun shines more brightly and the flowers bloom earlier – the azaleas have already burst into their full glory, and even the wisteria is starting to pop.  Be sure you scamper over there before May 7th, though, when the gates will swing closed again for another year and you’ll have to take vows in order to enjoy it!

IMG_5865
This garden isn’t huge, but it’s amazingly designed. Every turn in the path offers a different view!
IMG_5888
You can see the Senso-ji pagoda from across the pond.
IMG_5854
Azaleas already blazing away!
IMG_5862
Like I said.
IMG_5857
Now I know why the priests keep this one for themselves.
IMG_5895
Camellias.
IMG_5903
On the way out, the old and new make a special guest appearance together: pagoda and Skytree.

If you want to visit Denpo-in, it costs ¥300 and will be open until May 7th. If you’d like to visit Senso-ji the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map are on my travel website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

If you’d like to get more Japan travel secrets and insider must-sees, subscribe to

It’s my new monthly newsletter, and it’s got all-new Japanatastic features you won’t see unless you subscribe, plus a chance to win a Japan-centric book.(And, of course, it’s free!)

(And just so you know, I hate spam too, so I’ll never share or sell your info.)

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

One thought on “The Ultimate Secret Garden Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s