Considered by some to be the best garden in Tokyo (but marred, in my opinion, by Shiodome skyscrapers that detract from its charm; there ought to be a law), this urban oasis has origins stretching back 300 years, when it served as a retreat for a former feudal lord and as duck-hunting and falconry grounds for the Tokugawa shogun. In 1871, possession of the garden passed to the imperial family, which used it to entertain such visiting dignitaries as Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Come here to see how the upper classes enjoyed themselves during the Edo Period; to gain a better understanding, pick up the park’s free audio guide. The garden contains an inner tidal pool, spanned by three bridges draped with wisteria (views from the south end of the garden are the most picturesque). The garden also has a refuge for ducks, herons, and migratory birds; a promenade along the bay lined with pine trees; a 300-year-old pine; moon-viewing pavilions; and teahouses (powdered green tea and a sweet for ¥510). Plan on at least an hour’s stroll to see everything, but the best reason for coming here is to board a ferry from the garden’s pier bound for Asakusa, with departures every 30 minutes between 10:25am and 4:45pm; the fare is ¥740 one-way.