Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo: Oasis of Nature in the Big City

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo

Shinjuku is a busy district of Tokyo, typically associated with shops, offices and restaurants. However, a short distance from the bustle of the city is Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, an oasis of nature for those who need a temporary escape the urban din.

The area now occupied by Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden once belonged to a feudal lord, Lord Naito. It was then converted into a garden and opened as a national park to the public in 1949.

Walk in the Park

View at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
View of the pond at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

There are three main areas to visit at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. These are the English Landscape Garden, French Formal Garden and the Japanese Traditional Garden.

Forested walks at Shinjuku Gyoen
Forested walks at Shinjuku Gyoen

There are also forested areas within the park.

We visited in early winter when the garden was turning different shades of browns and reds.

English Landscape Garden

Wide lawns at the English Landscape Garden, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Expansive lawns at the English Landscape Garden, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Flower bed at the English Landscape Garden
Flower bed at the English Landscape Garden

The English Landscape Garden draws inspiration from idealised landscape paintings. It offers wide open lawns with provide plenty of space to stretch out and enjoy nature.

The Greenhouse
The Greenhouse
Tropical and sub-tropical plants are found in The Greenhouse
Tropical and sub-tropical plants are found in The Greenhouse

Next to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden’s English Landscape Garden is a Greenhouse which houses tropical and subtropical plants.

French Formal Gardens

The well-manicured French Formal Gardens
The well-manicured French Formal Gardens
Roses at the French Formal Garden
Roses at the French Formal Garden

The French Formal Gardens harnesses the principles of symmetry and reflects the desire to control nature.

Japanese Traditional Garden

Japanese Traditional Garden at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Japanese Traditional Garden at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

The Japanese Garden Traditional was our personal favourite section of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, TokyoJapanese GardenWhen we visited in early winter, the trees were shades of red and brown. Cute little bridges provide crossings over the main river at various points.

Taiwan Pavilion
Taiwan Pavilion

Relaxing in the Garden

Traditional tea house
Traditional tea house
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A highlight at the Japanese Garden is the traditional Japanese tea house where you can stop to savour a cup of tea and some sweets.

Rest stop at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Rest stop at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

There are also plenty of rest stops around the park. They provide convenient spots where visitors can take a break and purchase refreshments.

Shinjuku Gyoen is also home to around 1,500 cherry trees. This makes it a popular spot for viewing the cherry blossoms in season.

Shinjuku Gate entrance to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Shinjuku Gate entrance to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

There are three gates where visitors can enter Shinjuku Gyoen. The Shinjuku Gate is a 10-minute walk from Shinjuku Station. The Okido Gate is five minutes away on foot from Shinjukugyoenmae Station while the Sendagaya Gate is a five minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station.

Admission Fees for Shinjuku Gyoen

Vending machines where admission tickets can be purchased
Vending machines where admission tickets can be purchased
Ticket vending machines for Shinjuku Gyoen
Ticket vending machines at Shinjuku Gyoen

Entrance to the park is gated. Tickets can be purchased from vending machines at the gates. Admission fees are a reasonable 200 yen for adults, 50 yen for six to 14 year olds and free for children under five.

Scan the ticket to enter the park
Scan the ticket to enter the park

While it may seem strange at first to have to pay money to enter a park, this also means that the park is less crowded than other popular public parks in Tokyo such as Ueno Park and Yoyogi Park.

Lake at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Pond at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo

Address: 11 Naitou-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Opening Hours:

9 am to 4 pm (Gates close at 4.30 pm)
The Greenhouse 9.30 am to 3.30 pm (Closes at 4 pm)
Teahouse 10 am to 4 pm (Service may not be available certain days.)
Closed on Mondays (if the Monday is a national holiday, the following day); 29 Dec to 3 Jan

Ticketed Admission.

Website

 

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