Shinjuku Gyoen (新宿御苑) is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks. It’s located just a few minutes from Shinjuku Station. This park is like an oasis in the center of Tokyo and you can see high-rise buildings around it.
Shinjuku Gyoen originated during the Edo Period as a feudal lord’s Tokyo residence. It was later converted into a botanical garden and used for recreation and the entertainment of guests.
The park was almost completely destroyed during World War II, but it was reopened in 1949 as a public park. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden contains several beautiful lakes as well.
There are three types of garden inside this large complex:
- Japanese Garden – The oldest garden which features large ponds dotted with islands and bridges.
- English Garden – Traditional English landscape garden featuring an open lawn surrounded by flowering cherry trees.
- French Garden – This garden contains a lot of beautiful multi-colored flowers, mostly roses.
The rest of the park consists of beautiful forested areas, lawns, and several structures, such as a restaurant, an information center, and an art gallery as well.
Shinjuku Gyoen is home to a large number of popular cherry trees. The park has numerous early and late blooming cherry trees which provide an extended cherry blossom viewing season for those who miss the main season.
There is also a beautiful greenhouse that contains many tropical and subtropical flowers. The park features a huge open area with a beautiful green lawn where you can lie down or picnic.
Shinjuku Gyoen is a really tranquil spot in the heart of Tokyo. It is perfect for a break from the noise of the city or to simply enjoy a picnic with your dear friends or family. It closes fairly early (at 16:00), so arrive earlier to fully enjoy it.