Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo's biggest and most popular parks. It was opened to the public as a National Garden in 1947 but has origins dating back to 1591.
Opening times and Admission
Open from 9 am to 4 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, all year round, with longer opening times in the warmer months of the year. Admission is 500 yen for adults, and free for children under 15.
For more detailed visitor information, please see the photo below.
It takes around 2 to 3 hours to visit Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
Facilities at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Apart from the obvious ones such as an Information Centre and restrooms/toilets, you can find the Shinjuku Gyoen Museum, a Greenhouse, Cafes (including Starbucks) and Restaurants.
When I was there, a few places were closed for maintenance, so I can't provide you with too much detail about them.
Starbucks is incredibly popular during Sakura Season and the queue was too long for me to want to try any of their cherry blossom-themed drinks. If you have the patience to queue for 30 minutes (or longer) for a drink, then by all means go ahead, it's just not for me.
There are 3 available entrances - Shinjuku Gate (the closest station is Shinjuku-gyoemmae), Okido Gate (the closest station is Shinjuku-gyoemmae station) and Sendagaya Gate (the closest station is Sendagaya).
I entered through Okido Gate, where I also found a poster with what flowers and trees can be spotted and where you can find them throughout Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
As you're walking in through the Okido gate, on the right-hand side you will find the Greenhouse.
It contains a good variety of plants, plus it's a great place to shield from the very hot weather if you happen to visit the garden in the middle of the day during the warm months.
Shinjuku Gyoen Museum
On the other side of the Greenhouse, you will find the museum. You can find more information about Shinjuku Gyoen's history, all beautifully displayed in a modern-looking room.
Both the Imperial Rest House and the Okido Rest House were closed at the time so I continued my walk around the Tamamo Pond towards the Formal Garden which you can see below.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a great spot for Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) during Sakura Season which usually happens between the middle of March and the end of April.
If you follow the path between the Lower Pond and the Middle Pond you will get to the Cherry Tree Area, which has a variety of these beautiful trees, but you can also see them in other parts of the Garden.
Between the Formal Garden and the Landscape Garden, you can find a few amazing-looking Cherry Blossom Trees, with a large number of people gathered around, taking photos or admiring from a distance.
After taking a few photos of the mesmerising Sakura, I went towards the West area, past the Azalea Hill, towards the Japanese Traditional Garden.
In the Japanese Traditional Garden, you can find the Taiwan Pavillion, the Shouten-tei (Tea house) and Rakuu-Tei (Tea house) as well as the Central Rest House.
If you're interested in beautiful views of the Japanese Garden over the Pond I suggest you walk into the Taiwan Pavillion and take a minute to enjoy the scenery.
Walking past the tea houses, I went towards the North area of the Garden - the Mother and Child Woods. This area contains some spectacular-looking trees and makes you forget for a second or two that you're still in the middle of a super busy city.
I took my time and walked around for a good while, after which I exited through the Shinjuku Gate.
If you're looking for places to see in Tokyo, I highly recommend you add Shinkuju Gyoen National Garden to your list.
Have you ever been to Shinjuku Gyoen? If so, I would love to hear about your trip, in the comments below.
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I hope life is treating you well.