The Hama-Rikyu gardens were built by and for the ruling Shoguns, and is a garden typical of the Edo period.
To get into the park you had to pay Y300, but the entrance fee also covered a nifty audio tour-guide, which told us facts about the park.
This pine is named the “300 year old pine” because it was planted in 1709, about 300 years ago, when the 6th Shogun, Ienobu greatly repaired the garden. It’s majestic form, praising the great work, is reminiscent of the old days. It is one of the largest black pines in Tokyo.
The exact year when the former Inabu Shrine was originally constructed is not clearly known. However, it is known that an Inari Shrine did exist in the garden before the late Edo period because it was drawn at a place West of the present location in a pictorial drawing from that time.
The Shrine building that was the precursor to this one collapsed in an earthquake in 1894. In the following year, the Imperial Household Ministry of the time reconstructed the building in the same scale and form as the one that had existed before the collapse. On the other hand, the miniature Shrine inside the building is presumed to be a work of the late Edo period judging from it’s architectural technique.
There was also a tea house in the center of the lake. The lake was also used for Duck hunting and the duck hunting facilities there (called Kamoba) can only be seen in 5 places nationwide at the moment. Unfortunately we forgot to take a photo of that, so you’ll have to miss out unless you go in person ^_^