Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo have two Botanical Gardens, the main garden in Tokyo (Koishikawa BG) and the satellite garden in Nikko, Tochigi Pref. (Nikkok BG), of which purpose is to contribute to research and education in plant sciences. The Botanical Gardens are open to the public.
The Botanical Gardens are not only the oldest in Japan, but also have a prominent and long history by world wide standards. The Botanical Gardens originated as the Koishikawa Medicinal Herb Garden, which was established in 1684 by the Tokugawa Shogunate. There are many historic plants and ruins that indicate the long history of the Botanical Gardens.
The Botanical Gardens were the birthplace of modern scientific research in botany in Japan after the Meiji Restoration.
Living Plant colletions
The main collections in Koishikawa BG contain wild collected species of higher plants from eastern Asia (e.g. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China) and many species collected from various other regions of the world. Hardy woody specimens are planted in the arboretum area. The 4,000 species of plants in the living collection comprise 1,400 hardy woody species, 1,500 hardy herbaceous species, and 1,100 tropical and subtropical species.
Since the Botanical Gardens are located in the warm temperate zone, the natural vegetation consists of a mixture of broad-leaved evergreen forests. Remnants of primary broad-leaved evergreen forest, characteristic of the natural vegetation of the Tokyo area, and secondary deciduous forests, dating back over 300 years, remain on hilly slopes within the Gardens. Elsewhere, these forests are widely scattered due to urbanization.
Ex situ plant conservation is one of the main activities of the Botanical Gardens. Some extremely endangered species have been propagated and propagules returned to their original localities, and many endangered species are cultivated for conservation biology. At present, special attention is focused on conservation of endangered species endemic to the Bonin Islands and Yakushima Island.
Area, location and climate
Area: 161,588 square meter
Location: 139 45'E Longitude, 35 43'N Latitude
Elevation: 24 m above sea level at the meteorological observatory
At present, research activities are focused on the evolution, systematics, physiology, and ecology of higher plants.
Koishikawa Botanical Garden houses 20,000 items of the books, mainly of the field of plant systematics, in the library, and approximately 1,000,000 specimens, consisting of Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, and Sympetalous plant collection of the University of Tokyo Herbarium (TI) in the herbarium.
Research works are currently being carried out by the Plant Systematics and Plant Physiology groups in the Koishikawa BG,
and the Plant Ecology group in the Nikko BG. Pages of laboratories and herbarium (TI), please click here