Haniwa Clay Figures in Hibiya Park

Dec 9th, 2008 | By | Category: Parks, Gardens & Nature, Photo Gallery, Tokyo and Vicinity

The two clay figures pictured below sit in Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Park and were a gift from Miyazaki Prefecture in 1965.  The gift was made in honor of a sister-park agreement between Miyazaki Prefectural Heiwadai Park and Tokyo Metropolitan Hibaya Park that was made the same year.

Hibiya Park Clay Figures

The story behind the picture:

“My husband had a short meeting in Tokyo one afternoon this summer and I decided to keep him company on the 45 minute train ride from our home in Chiba so that we could meet with friends afterward for an early dinner.

The area around Tokyo station is mostly comprised of office buildings so I wandered towards the Imperial Palace and then into Hibiya Park, once a military parade ground that became Japan’s first western style urban park in 1903.  It is now a popular place for Tokyo’s office workers to spend their lunch hours and stretch their legs.

I entered the park along a path that passed by an ivy-covered mound made of stone brick that is all that remains of the base for the Hibiya guard post that was responsible for protecting  Edo castle (now the Imperial Palace).  I wandered around the square plaza that is home to beautiful formal flowers beds and then made my way down a path that passed by two these two moss covered haniwa clay figures and along a winding route that led me through natural settings where it was hard to imagine that I was in the center of Tokyo.”

While Hibiya Park may not be high on your list of things to do when you visit Tokyo it is worth a visit if you have an hour or two of free time in the heart of the city like I did.   If you make the trip to Miyazaki prefecture,  visit the Saitobaru Ancient Burial Mounds and over 400 haniwa clay figures in Heiwadai Park that is also home to a 37 meter tall tower that symbolizes peace and offers spectacular views of Miyazai City.

This and other great images of Japan can be found in The Nihon Sun Japan Photo Gallery.

Image Credit:  Personal Collection

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  1. […] See Edo and early Meiji period architecture at Boso no Mura.  You can try on Samurai body armor and take part in other traditional Japanese arts & crafts by making a reservation as you enter the park.  The nearby Boso Fudoki no Oka Museum is home to 113 burial mounds and many haniwa (clay figures). […]

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