Shinjuku (新宿) Gyoen is one of Tokyo’s (東京) most popular and appreciated gardens. Located just outside of Shinjuku Station (新宿駅), this park once served as a residence for a feudal lord back in the Edo Period (1603-1867).
After that, it became a botanical garden to house special events for the Imperial family. Shinjuku Gyoen was unfortunately almost completely destroyed during World War II but was luckily rebuilt in 1949 and is now a (paid) public park.
Around late March/early April, Shinjuku Gyoen transforms into one of the best Cherry Blossom viewing spots in all of Tokyo. Several hundred Cherry Trees are spread throughout the garden, engulfing it with bright pink colors.
It is the perfect place to take a break from the hectic downtown business that is rampant in nearby Shinjuku and Tokyo overall.
Though it is not free to enter, I promise the garden is well worth the very small fee!
The Garden's Grounds
3 different types of gardens are present in Shinjuku Gyoen:
The Japanese landscape garden is the oldest type featuring various plants and structures that are traditional to Japanese gardens. This part also houses several ponds that are surrounded by cherry trees, creating a breathtaking scenery.
Next up is a smaller but equally beautiful English garden towards the north of Shinjuku Gyoen which is mostly comprised of spacious lawns along with some Cherry trees.
Last is a wonderfully arranged French garden that occupies the garden’s eastern area.
Additionally, you can find a restaurant, an art gallery and even a greenhouse with lots of different flowers to the north!
As this is one of the best places to enjoy hanami (花見), it is also a very pleasant spot for autumn colors as well. Those of you coming around in late October through mid-December will be able to enjoy scenic orange colors.
Opening Hours & Admission Fee
- Opened 9:00 – 16:30 (last entry at 16:00)
- Closed on Mondays (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday) and from December 29 to January 3. It’s open on Mondays during Cherry Blossom season though.
- Admission Fee is only 200 Yen (1,52€/$1.77; exchange rates as of October 2018)
How to get to Shinjuku Gyoen
Shinjuku Gyoen has 3 entrances in total: The Shinjuku Gate, Okido Gate and Sendagaya Gate.
The first two can be reached after about 5-10 minutes of walking from either Shinjuku or Shinjukugyoenmae Station.
You will arrive at the Sendagaya Gate after walking for roughly 5 minutes from Sendagaya Station south of Shinjuku Gyoen.
Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the most relaxing and breathtaking places in all of Tokyo. If you have so far always thought the city is nothing more than a concrete jungle, you now know better!
Together with Yoyogi Park, Ueno Park and others, Shinjuku Gyoen plays a big part in bringing nature into the metropolis.
Get yourself some snacks from nearby convenience stores (コンビニ) or small restaurants and have a picnic or just take a nice walk through the spacious lawns. You won’t regret it.
Thank you very much for reading this article, I highly appreciate it!
Stay tuned for my next post where I will talk about Kyoto Aquarium!
See you there!