During the Edo era, the land of Shinjuku Gyoen belonged to a feudal lord. It was later transformed into a park, but was not open to the public until post-war years, as it served as the Emperor’s private garden. It later became the national park it is today. The park surrounded by nature is a rare sight to find in Shinjuku, the center of shopping and gourmet.
Shinjuku Gyoen offers many beautiful scenes. Among the highlights are, the French garden with its magnificent arrays of sycamores, the English park where you can enjoy a picnic on the large grass area, and the Japanese garden full of the “wabisabi” sentiment, quiet and refined tranquility. Shinjuku Gyoen is regarded as one of Japan’s most impressive landscape gardens.
Over 10,000 trees stand in the park, and among them 1,300 are cherry trees, making the park a popular destination in springtime. The park is full of picnickers, drinking and eating under the cherry trees in full bloom.
If you want to learn more about the cherry trees in the park, stop by the resting room. There is a special guidebook that will inform you on the different types of trees, including details of their days in prime.
Kiku, or chrysanthemum, is the flower of the imperial family. You can admire this autumn flower at the Japanese garden in November. The garden is also worth a view, in summery bright green, or covered in winter snow.
While there are a number of restaurants, cafés and kiosks inside the park, I recommend the tearoom Rakuutei. You can enjoy maccha green tea together with the seasonal wagashi (Japanese sweets). I invite you to spend a quiet moment in the tearoom surrounded by plum trees, to escape from the busy city life, if only for a short while.
|11, Naitomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo|
|5 minute walk from “Shinjuku Gyoen-mae” station
10 minute walk from “Shinjuku” station
|Mondays (or the following weekday if holiday)|