Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden , Tokyo , Japan
SHINJUKU GYOEN NATIONAL GARDEN TRAVEL GUIDE | TOKYO, JAPAN
About Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
A paradise in the middle of the busy city that is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is all about. If you feel tired of the buzzing noise of Tokyo, all you have to do is go to this place and experience that tranquillity and serenity that the garden has to offer. Not only it is relaxing, your tired body and mind would also find solace as you take a walk in the park, breathe the fresh air, or even sit and sleep under the trees. In short, the beauty and relaxation that this place provides is indeed something to experience by everyone who visits the site.
Tracing back the history of this park, the origin of it can be dated back in the 1590s whereas it was once under the Edo period and under the leadership of Kiyonari Naito. This man happens to be of a blood relative of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the creator of the Edo castle. Due to its strategic location of reaching east (Yotsuya), west (Yoyogi), south (Sendagaya), and north (Okubo), the land was passed down to the vessel for military purposes. The succession generations of the Naito family was not able to maintain the vast area for they lack the resources to do so. Thus, a part of it was once returned to the Shogunate in 1872. Despite dividing the land into two parts, the remaining portion under the Naito was still about 33 hectares, making it even difficult for them to manage. Thus, the history remembers the park as primarily the Edo residence of the entire Naito clan.
In the year 1872, the government of Japan made use of the land as an area of agriculture, making it the Naito Shinjuku Experimental Station as well as the Shinjuku Botanical Garden. There were ponds, farm areas, and even zoos. In fact, the experimentation of cultivating orchids took place to this garden, and later on, disseminated the process to all the ordinary people of Japan. The full remodeling of the garden was proposed by Hayato Fukuba when he became the chairman of the Shinjuku Imperial Garden way back in the year 1898. He then commissioned a professor coming from Versailles horticultural school, Henri Martine, to make the botanical garden into a landscape garden. Though it was burned in 1945 due to an air raid, many historians would say that it still looks the same as it was before. Thus, the full reconstruction of it took place in 1906.
In the coming years, only the Imperial was able to enjoy the luxury of experiencing the beauty of the garden. It was on May 21, 1949, that it was announced as a “National Garden,” allowing the public to enjoy the place. The rich historical past of this garden is far beyond one can imagine. That is why if given a chance, I really urge you to come and visit this beautiful garden. As you go here, reminisce the amazing historical past of the garden as you indulge in its magical and mesmerizing ambiance.
What to experience at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
1. Japanese Landscape Garden
This beautiful traditional Japanese garden is built around a group of serene ponds where mandarin ducks swim. The area features historic pavilion “Kyu-goryo-tei” as well as a beautiful exhibit of chrysanthemum regarded as a symbol of the Japanese royal family.
2. Winter in Shinjuku Gyoen
While winter may be considered by others as a boring season, Shinjuku Gyoen still projects a different character. You will see bare branches of the trees after their leaves have fallen are very dramatic especially when photographed.
Flowers that bloom during winter at Shinjuku Gyoen
December – Japanese Narcissus, Cherry Blossom of Winter, Japanese Allspice, Camellia
January – Adonis amurensis, Bellflower Cherry, Plum, Camellia
February – Plum, Japanese Dogwood, Japanese Hamamelis, Bellflower Cherry, Camellia
3. Spring in Shinjuku Gyoen
As soon as the spring arrives, flowers start to bloom at Shinjuku Gyoen, making the park pleasantly colorful. The park has 1,100 Cherry Trees of 6 varieties making it one of the most beautiful places to visit to witness Sakura or cherry blossom season.
Each month offers a different kind of flowers of various colors:
March –Japanese Quince, White Magnolia, Yoshino Cherry, Plum, Peach Blossom, and others
April – Japanese Spiraea, Double Cherry Blossom, Flowering Dogwood, Rhododendron, Dove Tree, Tulip Tree and much more.
May – Rose, Japanese Whitebark Magnolia, Rhododendron, and much more.
4. Summer in Shinjuku Gyoen
The entire park turns bright green with the trees and the grass during summer. Of course, different flowers bloom during this season, making the park enjoyable.
Flowers that bloom during summer are as follows:
June – Japanese Stewartia, Hydrangea, Southern Magnolia, Hosta, Hibiscus
July – Oleander, Agapanthus, Cockspur Coral Tree, Gardenia
August – Hibiscus, Crape Myrtle, Japanese Jacinth
5. Autumn in Shinjuku Gyoen
Autumn is the season where the leaves of the trees started to change into bright red and yellow.
Flowers found in Shinjuku Gyoen in Autumn
September – Red Spider Lily, Tricyrtis formosana, Chinese Silver Grass, Japanese Clover and much more
October – Cherry Blossom of October, Osmanthus Fragrans, Sweet Osmanthus, Camellia Sasanqua, Rose and others
November – Leopard Plant, Japanese Narcissus, Camellia, Loquat, Roses and much more.
6. French Formal Garden
The symmetrical design of French Formal Garden is a great work of art. It features 500 stunning flowers of 110 different varieties that are truly breathtaking.
7. English Landscape Garden
The full English Landscape Garden features majestic 100 ft tall Tulip Tree, regarded as a symbol of Shinjuku Gyoen. The area is a great place to relax on a sunny day.
- The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is so vast, so you need to wear a good walking pair of shoes.
- Restrooms are strategically located everywhere.
- This park is a perfect place for you OOTD. So wear your fabulous wardrobe when visiting the site and bring your camera.
- A cafe can be found at the place, but you can bring your own food and enjoy a picnic with your loved ones.
- You can bring a mat during the dry season to lounge at the place.
How to Get to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Address: 11 Naito-Cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Shinjuku Gyoen has three gates:
Shinjuku Gate is just a ten-minute walk east from the “New South Exit” of JR Shinjuku Station. If you are coming from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line, it is also very close at an around a 5-minute walk. From Okido Gate, you just have to fo a 5-minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line. Moreover, if you are coming from Sendagaya Gate, it is a five-minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo/Sobu Line.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Hours & Fees
Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 (guests can enter only until 16:00)
Closed: Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday), December 29 to January 3. The park is always open during the cherry blossom season which normally starts late March to late April as well as during the Chrysanthemum Exhibition which takes place the first half of November.
Admission: JPY 200
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Jojoy, The Traveling Mask
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Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
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Oh, Jojo I so loved your photos. I loved Japan and your posts made me miss the place so much…Keep on posting please and thank you so much.
I so missed Japan. I visited this place a few years back and it was summer so there were Cherry Blossoms. I hope to get back soon.
I like this website so much, saved to fav. https://rapidburnketo.org/