Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of Tokyo’s largest and most beautiful parks. It is located in the heart of the city, and it is famous for its diverse and stunning natural landscapes. The garden was originally built as a private garden for the Naitō family in the Edo period, and it was later used as a residence for the Imperial family. Today, the park is open to the public and attracts thousands of visitors each year. In this article, we will explore the history, features, and attractions of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
History of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
The history of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden dates back to the Edo period when it was built as a private garden by Lord Naitō, a powerful feudal lord who ruled over the Shinjuku area. The garden was later inherited by the Imperial family and was used as a residence for the Crown Prince. In 1906, the garden was opened to the public, and it was designated as a national park in 1949.
Features of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden covers an area of 58.3 hectares, and it is divided into three distinct gardens: the Japanese Garden, the French Garden, and the English Garden.
The Japanese Garden is the largest and most popular garden in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. It features a traditional Japanese landscape with a large pond, several bridges, and an impressive collection of cherry blossom trees, which attract thousands of visitors during the spring season. The garden also has a teahouse where visitors can experience traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.
The French Garden is located in the northern part of the park, and it features a symmetrical design with a central fountain, a rose garden, and a large lawn area. The garden is also home to several sculptures and statues, including a statue of Jean-Henri Fabre, a French entomologist who is known for his work on insect behavior.
The English Garden is located in the southern part of the park, and it features a natural landscape with rolling hills, a lake, and a variety of trees and plants. The garden also has a greenhouse where visitors can see a variety of exotic plants and flowers from around the world.
Attractions of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike, and it offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
Cherry Blossom Viewing: One of the most popular attractions of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is cherry blossom viewing, which takes place during the spring season from late March to early April. The garden has a large collection of cherry blossom trees, which attract thousands of visitors each year.
Tea Ceremonies: The Japanese Garden in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden has a teahouse where visitors can experience traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. The tea ceremonies are a unique cultural experience that allows visitors to enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the garden while sipping on green tea and eating traditional Japanese sweets.
Picnics: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a popular spot for picnics, especially during the spring and autumn seasons when the weather is mild. The garden has several picnic areas where visitors can relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Walking Trails: The garden has several walking trails that allow visitors to explore the different gardens and natural landscapes of the park. The trails are well-maintained and offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Greenhouse: The English Garden in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden has a greenhouse where visitors can see a variety of exotic plants and flowers from around the world. The greenhouse is a popular attraction for visitors who are interested in botanical gardens and enjoy learning about different plant species.
Festivals and Events: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Chrysanthemum Festival in November and the Maple Festival in November and December. The festivals are a great way for visitors to experience the garden’s natural beauty and learn more about Japanese culture.
Accessibility: The park is easily accessible by public transportation, with Shinjuku Station located within walking distance. The park also has several entrances, making it convenient for visitors to enter and exit from different locations.
Tips for Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
To make the most of your visit to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Visit during the Cherry Blossom season: The garden is particularly beautiful during the Cherry Blossom season, which usually occurs from late March to early April. However, this is also the busiest time of the year, so be prepared for crowds.
- Wear comfortable shoes: The park is quite large, and there is a lot of walking involved, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- Bring a picnic: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a great place for a picnic, so bring some food and drinks to enjoy while you relax and take in the scenery.
- Respect the rules and regulations: The park has several rules and regulations that visitors are expected to follow, including no smoking and no littering. Be sure to respect these rules to help maintain the beauty of the park.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Tokyo. With its stunning natural landscapes, diverse gardens, and range of attractions and activities, it offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors. Whether you’re looking to enjoy cherry blossom viewing, experience traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden has something for everyone.