Hamarikyu Gardens lie on land that was reclaimed in the late 17th century by Tokugawa Tsunashige. But it was his son, Ienobu, who renovated and landscaped the area into something closer to what we see today.
The stone house that once stood in the gardens was used to entertain foreign dignitaries before the completion of the Rokumeikan in 1883. Guests included Germany’s Crown Prince Friedrich III and U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. Under the orders of the Allied Headquarters following the war, the grounds were donated to Tokyo City in 1945 and the following year the garden were opened to the public.