Life in Green Project

Support “Life in Green” Project

The “Life in Green” Project aims to develop the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens and the Nikko Botanical Gardens as world-class research facilities for plant diversity studies and to renovate them as public-friendly gardens.

The 1st phase of the project started in 2010 and aimed to reconstruct our public glasshouses at the Koishikawa Gardens and nurseries at the Nikko Gardens. Although this took much longer than expected, the goals of the first phase will mostly be achieved by the spring of 2019. Starting from July 2018, we are in the 2nd phase of the project to further develop the gardens as world-class botanical gardens both in terms of research activity and public accessibility. We believe that each of your support and contribution will make it possible, just like how thousands of young small tree seedlings make a wonderful forest. 

Our acknowledgement to those that donated more than 100,000 yen will be expressed with nameplates showing their names, which will be displayed in the Shibata Memorial House of the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens.

Photo_3Image of the new public glasshouse to be constructed by April 2019.


Botanical Gardens, Koishikawa and Nikko

Botanical Gardens, Koishikawa and Nikko are the research and educational botanical gardens of the Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo. They are open to the public and receive about 120,000 and 30,000 visitors each year, respectively.

The Koishikawa Botanical Gardens, located in midtown Tokyo, are not only the oldest Botanical Gardens in Japan, but also have a prominent position amongst the world’s best loved gardens and botanical research institutes. It began as the "Koishikawa Goyakuen" or Koishikawa Medicinal Herb Garden, which was established in 1684 by the Tokugawa Shogunate. Many historic plants and ruins remain, indicating the long and distinguished history of the Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens were the birthplace of modern Japanese botanical research in Japan following the Meiji Restoration (1868). At present, research and educational activities on plant diversity are carried out in more diverse ways. As well as the living plant collection, a herbarium a library are also associated with the gardens.

The Nikko Botanical Gardens is generally known as "Nikko Botanical Gardens.'' The highest point in the gardens is 647m above sea level so the climate is considerably cooler than in Tokyo, where Koishikawa Botanical Gardens are located. Nikko Botanical Gardens were established in 1902 as an educational and research branch of the Botanical Gardens, the University of Tokyo, for the study of alpine plants. In 1902 the Gardens were opened at Hotokeiwa, near the famous Toshogu Shrine, and covered 8,590m2. They were moved to the present locality, 1km west of the Toshogu Shrine, in 1911, and expanded to include 31,680m2. Additional areas, including part of the garden of ‘Tamozawa Goyotei’, a summer house of the royal family, were donated to or purchased by the Botanical Gardens in 1950, thereby enlarging the area to 104,490m2. A total of 2,200 species are planted in the gardens. Also included are a laboratory for field studies and other facilities for training students in botany and ecology.

Conservation ActivitiesEx situ plant conservation is one of the main activities of the Botanical Gardens. At present, special attention is focused on conservation of endangered species endemic to the Bonin Islands. Some extremely endangered species of the Islands have been propagated in the Research Greenhouses and propagules returned to their original localities.