There is a view that this garden was the site of the residence of the famous Edo Period business magnate, Kinokuniya Bunzaemon. In later years (1716 to 1736), it became the location of the Edo residence of the Lord of Sekiyado castle, Shimofusa-no-kuni (part of present day Chiba) and this is the period when the basic form of the garden came into existence.
In 1878, the founder of Mitsubishi, Iwasaki Yataro, chose this property to use a garden for the enjoyment of his employees and entertainment of important guests. After the design and construction phases ended, the garden opened in 1880 under the name of "Fukagawa Shimbokuen." In later years, the waters of the Sumidagawa were brought into the grounds to make the pond. Hills and waterless waterfalls were constructed and famous rocks from all over Japan were brought in to embellish the garden. The garden was completed in the Meiji Period and developed into a famous strolling-style tree-filled design centered around a large pond. On March 31, 1979 this garden was designated as Tokyo Metropolitan Place of Scenic Beauty.
In addition, there was a Tudor-style red brick residence designed by the English architect Josiah Condor on the grounds. This building was, however, destroyed by fire in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.