Translated by Michiyo Nakashima
Shinjuku Gyoen: A Soothing Spot in the Center of the Capital
Written by Kazuki Tsuchido
Shinjyuku Station has received a Guinness World Record for having the highest average number of passengers in it every day! Shinjyuku has a famous shopping area and a group of skyscrapers that makes it look as if the whole city is huddled together. There is also Japan’s number one nightlife district called, Kabuki-cho. Regardless of whether it's day and night, it’s an overwhelming place to be in. If you are exhausted by the enthusiasm of the city, take a 10 minutes walk from Shinjyuku station and you will find an oasis in the concrete jungle.
Diverse Nature in the Park
Originally, Shinjyukugyoen was the Imperial family’s private garden, but after the war, the garden was opened to the people as a national garden. The government takes care of this place so there is a fee when you enter the park. It’s 200 Yen for an adult and 50 Yen for a child who is under 15. You can neither bring play equipment nor alcohol into the park, which maintains the parks peacefulness and people can enjoy the nature of a season.
This is the Shinjyuku-mon (gate). There are also Okido-mon and Sendagaya-mon around the park, you can purchase your entry ticket at any one of those entrance gates. The park is as big as 58 hectare! Can you imagine how big that is? There are British, French, and Japanese style gardens inside and each garden has its own uniqueness.
This commodious lawn is the British style garden. The tall building behind the garden is NTT Docomo, Yoyogi building. That unique shape of the building fits with the scenery of the garden.
While I was walking around the park, mothers with their little children were having picnics and enjoying their homemade bentos under the blossoming trees.
There were also people from all over the world and I heard lots of different languages. There are many places to take photos while you stroll around the gardens.
Seasonal Nature view
I visited Shinjyukugyoen in late March, so cherry blossom trees there were at their peak at that time. There are about 65 kinds of cherry blossom trees; representative examples are prunus, yedoensis, and mountain cherry.
There are approximately thirteen hundred cherry blossom trees in the park. Photographers will be thrilled to take their best snapshots of the beautiful cherry blossoms.
This tree with white flowers is called Yulan, which you can see near Shinjyuku-mon. Not only cherry blossoms, but there are also many other kinds of trees that are colorful and gorgeous. Lively green in summer, golden leaves in fall, and leafless grand tree trunks in the quiet winter. Here, you can see all four seasons and their beautiful transitions in nature.
It's one of the best places to hang out with your family or significant other with a lunch box on the weekend. Free yourself from the noise of the city and be calmed with peaceful scenery!
Location：11 Naito-machi, Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo
4 ways of Access to the park：1, To the Shinjyuku-mon(gate), take JR Keio-line or Odakyu-line stop at Shinjyuku station and walk to the South exit.
2, To Shinjyuku-mon, take Seibu-Shinjyuku line, stop at Seibu-Shinjyuku station.
3, To Shinjyuku-mon, take Tokyo metro Marunouchi line, stop at Shinjyukugyoen-mae station and exit gate 1 or gate 2 to Okido-mon.
3, To Sendagaya-mon, take JR Soubu line and stop at Sendagaya station.
4, To Sendagaya-mon, take Tokyo metro fukutoshin line, walk toward North Sando station exit 1
Hours：9am - 4pm
Fee：Adults 200 Yen / Under 15 50 Yen
Closed days：Mondays、Dec,29 - Jan,3rd
Special Open days：Mar, 15 - Apr, 24 and Nov,1st - Nov, 15（No closed days）