A stroll through this peaceful, colorful garden is the highlight of a trip to Tokyo at any time of year. It is especially popular for the cherry blossoms of spring.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden offers a peaceful experience in the heart of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. Visit the garden year-round to enjoy artistic landscaping in this oasis within one of the world’s largest cities.
Spring cherry blossoms provide one highlight; the 144-acre (58.3-hectare) garden has over 1,000 cherry trees. Arrive in late March to see early-blooming varieties. Bring a mat and snacks to enjoy a hanami picnic. Come later in April when falling blossoms create a pink snowfall effect.
During summer, the lawns and over 10,000 trees offer a green refuge. Follow pathways around several ponds and discover not only the Japanese traditional garden, but also an English landscape garden and a French formal garden. Enter the greenhouse to see about 2,700 carefully tended tropical and subtropical plant varieties. Visit the teahouse or restaurant.
In autumn, chrysanthemums provide bright color. Trees become a fluttering wall of golden and vivid red leaves. In winter, see the wonderland of shapes created by snow covering shrubs, trees and lawns.
The area’s history provides an insight into Japanese cultural transitions. Over 400 years ago, the land was part of the residence given to Lord Naito. In the late 1800s, the area was used by the government as an experimental station to promote agriculture. Then it was used for an imperial garden, and in 1906 remodeled to form the current garden. Following great damage during World War II, the area was reborn as Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and opened to the public in 1949.
The garden is open daily, except Mondays. If Monday is a national holiday, the garden is closed the following day. It is also closed December 29 through January 3. The admission fee is reduced for school children.
Reach the garden by subway or rail to any of three gates: Shinjuku, Okido and Sendagaya. Bringing and drinking alcohol , smoking outside designated areas, playing instruments and using play equipment are not allowed in Shinjunku Gyoen. Refer to the official website of “Shinjuku Gyoen” for additional details on restrictions and information on public transport, etc.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a refuge of deep cultural and spiritual significance. Spend time in this lovely oasis to share in the appreciation of nature and tradition.