After a busy morning exploring the chaotic streets of the Tsukiji Outer Market, we needed some peace and quiet to unwind and digest all the food we ate.  Hamarikyu Gardens is only a short 10-minute walk away from the famed Tsukiji fish market and it is BEAUTIFUL! The park features a  field of flowers that bloom during each season, a large peony field (not in season when we visited), sakura trees, and many other varieties of botanicals.  It also houses an impressive saltwater pond that gets its water from the Tokyo Bay named the Shio-Iri pond.  There, nestled in the middle of the pond, is a traditional tea house that serves matcha tea and Japanese sweets made of mochiko flour and dessert bean pastes. We were seated in a small private room with a direct view of their karesansui, or as we Westerners call it, a zen garden made of rocks and sand. Tokyo is so enjoyable for this reason… one minute you are in a bustling metropolis and the next minute you are taken to a different, undeveloped era completely.

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