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Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo

4.0 stars


Shinjuku Gyoen Park

For a beautiful afternoon of relaxation in Tokyo visit the Shinjuku Gyoen Park, where one can appreciate immaculate Japanese, English and French style gardens.

I visited Shinjuku Gyoen for a group picnic during the Hanami (flower viewing) period, which is at its peak in spring, late March to early April. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, immense pinks and whites blooms dominate the park. This is the season for mass parties.

There is a 200 yen fee to be paid at the gate and the park closes at 4pm. The signs display no alcohol but most visitors bring in bottles and drink freely as long as you clean up your mess afterwards. My group chose to hang out at the Japanese theme garden, which was gorgeously set up with bonsai trees, stone lamps, ponds with carp fish, tiny bridges etc. In this area there were also tea houses hosting Japanese tea ceremonies for that tradtional touch. We skipped tea and opted for our fine wine . A beautiful experience. [more ]

Shinjuku Gyoen

This is considered to be one of the most important parks from the Meiji era as it was formerly the private estate of a feudal lord and then of the Imperial family. I found it wonderful for strolling because of the variety of its planted gardens where styles ranged from French and English to Japanese traditional. This place amazes me every time I come here. The park's 144 acres make it one of the city’s largest and each bend in the pathway brought something completely different. Ponds and sculpted bushes give way to a promenade lined with sycamores that opened up onto a rose garden. Cherry blossoms, azaleas and chrysanthemums all provide splashes of colour from spring through to autumn. There were also wide grassy expanses, which are popular for picnics and kids playing and a greenhouse filled with tropical plants. I could easily spend half a day here. [more ]

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