The Kyu-Yasuda Garden
Walking Distance? 3 minutes from the LUJ Building.
For nearly 100 years, the Kyu-Yasuda Garden has offered an oasis of calm amidst the ongoing rush of urbanity. Opening to the general public on July 16, 1927, the garden can on clear days be seen from the windows of LUJ classrooms. With traditional bridges, koi ponds, benches and colorful foliage, the park is perfect for an LUJ student looking to sit and relax after a difficult test or presentation.
The garden’s history goes as far back as 1691, during the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Back then, a samurai owned the grounds. Exactly two centuries later, during the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912), businessman Yasuda Zenjiro (1838-1921), the son of a samurai, secured the property. In 1921, Yasuda-san was assassinated by an ultra-nationalist, Heigo Asahi, in 1921. After his death, and acting according to Yasuda’s final wish, the park was bequeathed to the city and then made open to the public in 1922.
The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 demolished the garden grounds, but the local government reconstructed it. Four years later, in 1927, the garden re-opened. But Yasuda’s garden was to endure destruction once again during World War II. Once again, after the city of Tokyo gave control of the grounds to Sumida in 1969, the garden was brought to its current form, and re-opened in 1971. LUJ students are in fact surrounded by Zenjiro Yasuda’s legacy. Very near LUJ’s campus building is the school Yasuda Gakuen, founded in 1923. Often, especially in the afternoons, LUJ students on their way to the train station will see students traveling in groups from this school.