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Shinjuku Gyoen - A Large Park and Garden in Shinjuku

Shinjuku Gyoen

Tokyo can be nuts. Like, neon lights, towering buildings, crowds everywhere – seriously, it's a sensory overload. But fear not, nature lovers! Tucked away in the heart of the city is Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a giant park that's like a giant pause button on the Tokyo craziness.

This ain't an average park, though. We're talking about a former imperial garden with a rich history, boasting multiple styles of gardens that are basically like walking through living paintings. Think perfectly manicured lawns, serene ponds with bridges, and even a traditional Japanese garden.

Best time to visit: From Mar-To-Apr

From Samurai to Public Park

  • This park has been around for ages. Way back when it was the digs of a powerful feudal lord – imagine a samurai strolling through these gardens! Later, it became an imperial garden, all fancy and exclusive. But after World War II, they opened the gates to everyone, and now it's a national treasure that you can totally visit.
  • Garden Styles Galore: Shinjuku Gyoen isn't your average park with just some swings and a patchy lawn. Nope, it's got three different garden styles, each with its own flavour:
  • Formal Garden Think perfectly trimmed hedges and flower beds bursting with colour – like a scene straight out of Alice in Wonderland. There's even a French Rose Garden that smells so good.
  • Landscape Garden This one's all about chill vibes. Imagine rolling hills, peaceful ponds with bridges, and winding paths that lead you to secret little spots. Perfect for escaping the city noise.
  • Japanese Traditional Garden Get ready for a Zen experience. This section features a big pond with islands and bridges, creating a mini-landscape that's super peaceful. There's even a stunning wooden pavilion called the Kyu Goryotei that looks like it jumped out of a history book.

Spring Cherry Blossoms & Beyond

  • Shinjuku Gyoen is like a living Instagram filter. Every season brings a new look:
  • Spring: Cherry blossoms take over the park! It's like a pink and white explosion – seriously stunning.
  • Summer: Lush greenery and colourful flowers make for a vibrant escape from the city heat. Pack a picnic and find a shady spot for some chill time.
  • Autumn: The leaves turn into a fiery masterpiece of reds, orange, and yellows. It's like nature's own light show.
  • Winter: Bare branches create a cool, serene atmosphere. Perfect for a quiet walk and some fresh winter air.
  • Spot Squirrels & Chill in a Greenhouse: Shinjuku Gyoen isn't just about pretty flowers. Keep an eye out for playful squirrels and listen to the birds chirping – it's a nature lover's paradise. There's also a hidden place called the greenhouse complex, where you can explore a mini tropical jungle right in the middle of Tokyo.
  • The Verdict: So next time you're feeling overwhelmed by Tokyo's craziness, head to Shinjuku Gyoen. It's the perfect escape for some fresh air, a dose of nature, and a little history on the side. Just trust us, your stressed-out soul will thank you for it!

Traditional Food