Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

An Expansive Oasis of Gardens Once Reserved for Royalty

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a magnificent and tranquil retreat nestled within the bustling cityscape of Tokyo. Originally a feudal lord’s domain, it later became the private imperial garden for the imperial family, nobles, and invited guests. While Tokyo offers other green spaces like Yoyogi Park, the Imperial Palace, and various temples and shrines, none can compare to the grandeur and beauty of Shinjuku Gyoen. Encompassing a vast 144 acres, this garden remains one of Tokyo’s most beloved attractions.

Don’t Miss: The Three Distinct Styles of Gardens

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a treasure trove of diverse landscapes, boasting three distinct garden styles. The French-style formal area exudes romance with its abundance of flowers, particularly roses. In spring, the garden blooms with an array of vibrant colors, and in autumn, the trees showcase a breathtaking display of changing foliage. The English-style garden features expansive open lawns surrounded by cherry trees, creating a picturesque setting. The Japanese garden, with its serene ponds, islands, bridges, and meticulously manicured shrubs and trees, is a testament to the garden’s origins. This garden is particularly enchanting during the spring and fall seasons.

Imperial Origins

The history of Shinjuku Gyoen dates back to the Edo era when it served as the private residence of Lord Naito. In 1906, the Meiji government transformed the garden into a private imperial garden. Unfortunately, during World War II, the garden was severely damaged by air raids. However, it was restored and reopened to the public. The garden holds great significance for the Imperial Family. The Showa Emperor considered Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden a cherished part of his childhood, and his funeral was held here as an official state ceremony in 1989.

Cherry Blossom Season

If you happen to be in Tokyo during sakura season, a visit to Shinjuku Gyoen is an absolute must. Approximately 1,000 cherry trees adorn the garden with their delicate pink blossoms, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Join the locals in the traditional Japanese custom of hanami, which involves picnicking under the cherry trees and appreciating their beauty. However, it’s important to note that the garden prohibits the consumption of alcohol, making it a popular choice for families with children.

More to See and Do

In addition to its stunning gardens, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden offers other attractions worth exploring. The Taiwan Pavilion, an authentic Chinese structure, was built to celebrate the wedding of Emperor Showa Hirohito and was funded by Japanese residents living in Taiwan at the time. The greenhouse is a botanical marvel, resembling an indoor jungle filled with orchids, exotic plants from the subtropics, endangered species, towering trees, ponds, and waterfalls. Divided into jungle, pond, and tropical areas, the greenhouse is a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Recreate Anime Scenes

Anime fans will be delighted to discover that Shinjuku Gyoen served as the backdrop for Makoto Shinkai’s 2013 film, “The Garden of Words.” The film beautifully captures the garden’s essence and was created as a tribute to its timeless beauty. Many scenes in the film were inspired by Shinkai’s own photographs of the garden. If you’re a fan of Shinkai’s work, visiting this park will provide the perfect opportunity to recreate iconic scenes from the film.

How to Get There

Shinjuku Gyoen is easily accessible by foot from Shinjuku Station, Sendagaya Station, or Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station. The Southeast Exit of Shinjuku Station is the closest to the garden, and it takes approximately 10 minutes to reach on foot.

In conclusion, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a haven of tranquility amidst the urban chaos of Tokyo. Its rich history, diverse gardens, and stunning natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re captivated by the vibrant colors of cherry blossom season or seeking solace in the serenity of the Japanese garden, Shinjuku Gyoen promises an unforgettable experience. Take a break from the city and immerse yourself in the splendor of this expansive oasis of gardens once reserved for royalty.

Address And Maps Location:

11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo-to

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