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Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks. Located just a short walk from Shinjuku Station, you can enjoy its sprawling lawns and quiet groves perfect for a morning or afternoon stroll. In late March and early April, it is one of the go-to when you want to sea the cherry blossoms. The central lawn areas are particularly stunning.
NOTE: Whether you’re traveling alone or with your friends, you need internet connectivity on the go. I highly recommend bringing a WiFi router to navigate around Shinjuku as some parts of Tokyo doesn’t have hotspots. At the same time, you get to document your adventure on your social media.
Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (closed at 4:30PM)
Closed: Mondays. Year end Holiday (Dec 29 – Jan 3)
HOW TO GET THERE
1. JR Shinjuku Station: Shinjuku Gate
Shinjuku Gate is a ten minute walk east from the “New South Exit” of JR Shinjuku Station or a five minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line .
2. Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station: Okido Gate
Okido Gate is also a five minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line.
3. Sendagaya Station: Sendagaya Gate
Sendagaya Gate is a five minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo/Sobu Line.
For convenient travel, you may avail your subway tickets through this link. You may choose to have 24, 48, or 72 hours validity of unlimited subway rides: Tokyo Subway Tickets
THINGS TO DO IN SHINJUKU GYOEN
1. But first, ICE CREAM!
Surprisingly, the ice cream is really delicious here and the price is just right. Yes it does take longer than a regular shop due to long queue, but it’s an experience!
2. Explore the park.
It originated during the Edo Period (1603-1867) as a feudal lord’s Tokyo residence. Later it was converted into a botanical garden before being transferred to the Imperial Family in 1903 who used used it for recreation and the entertainment of guests. It was almost destroyed during the World War II, but was eventually rebuilt and reopened in 1949 as a public park.
3. Watch the Kois.
The oldest is a traditional Japanese landscape garden featuring large ponds dotted with islands and bridges.
4. Take a selfie! Lot’s of it!
Most parts of the garden are Instagrammable. You can literally take pictures everywhere. Yes, you may bring your selfie sticks or tripods.
I know. I know. Selfie isn’t really my fortie. 😛
Some rules to consider when visiting the garden. This is based on what the staff told me.
- Refrain from entering areas that are off-limits to the public
- Do not feed the animals
- Bringing alcoholic beverages is not allowed
- Smoking is not allowed except in the designated smoking areas.
- Do not bring or take any plants or animals.
- Refrain from making too much noise.
This is my second time here at Shinkuju Gyoen National Garden and I truly enjoyed it. I was able to explore more and even had time to talk to the staff (Yup, I’m that chick who talks to anyone/everyone). I was told to come back in late March for the Sakura festival as the garden will look a lot more picturesque!
Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time, and burn nothing but calories!
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