Attractions

Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen

Travel Guide

Introduction

Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo's largest and most popular parks. The former name is "Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden".

Located just 5 minutes’s walk from Shinjuku Station, it functions as an oasis in the middle of Shinjuku with the spacious lawns, meandering walking paths, gardens, lakes, teahouses, and in the background Shinjuku’s skyscrapers. There is a belt of trees surrounding the park that blocks a large amount of the city sounds. That belt really allows a contrast to become easily visible. In spring Shinjuku Gyoen becomes one of the best places in the city to see cherry blossoms.

Shinjuku GyoenShinjuku Gyoen

The park is divided into three distinctive gardens: Japanese Traditional, French Formal and English Landscape.

The oldest is a traditional Japanese landscape garden featuring large ponds dotted with islands and bridges. Well manicured shrubs and trees surround the water together with several pavilions and the Kyu Goryotei (also called the Taiwan Pavilion) which was built on the occasion of the wedding of the Showa Emperor. A chrysanthemum exhibit is held during the first two weeks of November in the Japanese garden with flower displays and large, temporary pavilions erected around the grounds.

The park's other main gardens include a symmetrically arranged formal French garden, and an English landscape garden featuring wide, open lawns surrounded by flowering cherry trees. It is a great feeling to stand in English landscape garden and just enjoy the peacefulness there (especially on a weekday when the park is not so busy). The rest of the park consists of forested areas, lawns and several structures including a restaurant, an information center and an art gallery. There is also a beautiful greenhouse with many tropical and subtropical flowers.

Shinjuku Gyoen is home to a large number of cherry trees of more than a dozen different varieties. From late March to early April, more than 400 somei yoshino trees blossom around the English garden turning the lawns into one of Tokyo's most popular and pleasant hanami spots. In addition, the park has numerous early and late blooming cherry trees which provide an extended cherry blossom viewing season (mid March to late April) for those who miss the main season. During the cherry blossom season, the central lawn areas are particularly stunning. Consider bringing a picnic lunch.

Shinjuku Gyoen is also nice to visit during autumn when the leaves change. There are a lot of different types of trees that change colors around the park, however the maple trees are particularly beautiful and can be seen in large numbers around the Japanese garden and Momijiyama (maple mountain) on the park's eastern side. The colors typically appear from mid November to mid December.

Shinjuku GyoenShinjuku Gyoen

History

The great warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu grant Shinjuku Gyoen to his vassals Naito Kiyoshige in 1590 as Naito's Tokyo residence. Later it was converted into a botanical garden before being transferred to the Imperial Family in 1903 who used it for recreation and the entertainment of guests. The park was almost completely destroyed during World War II. It was on May 21, 1949 that the gardens became open to the public as "National park Shinjuku Imperial Gardens". It came under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment in January, 2001 with the official name "Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden".

 
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Travel Advice

You can bring your leisure sheet, food and drink for picnic or hanami party in the park but no alcohol as it is prohibited. You can buy your food or drink outside the park. If you are wondering what a leisure sheet is, it’s like a picnic rug that you sit on, but made of plastic often blue or green in colour that most people here sit on.

 
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Visit

Address 11 Nito-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3341-1461
Admission Adult: 500 yen
Student: 300 yen
Adult: over 15
Student: elementary and junior high
Hours 09:00 to 18:00  
Closed Every Monday and December 29 to January 3
Special open days of March 25 to April 24 and November 1 to 15 is open every day
Required Time 20 minutes
Getting There By Train
10 minutes walk from Shinjuku Station on JR Lines, Keio Line or Odakyu Line.
15 minutes walk from Seibu-shinjuku Station on Seibu-shinjuku Line.
5 minutes walk from Shinjuku-gyoen Station on subway Marunouchi Line.
5 minutes walk from Shinjuku-sanchome Station on subway Shinjuku Line.

By Car
Take Shuto Expressway to the Gaien exit. It is approximately 2 kilometers, 7 minutes from exit.
Parking Paid parking available
 
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Attractions in Japan

 
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