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.
Things To Do in Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
1. First, ICE CREAM!
Surprisingly, the ice cream is really delicious 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. Animal watching.
The oldest is a traditional Japanese landscape garden featuring large ponds dotted with islands and bridges. I’ve seen these school of koi under the bride connecting to the British Garden. I’ve also seen geese, crows, and other animals that I am not familiar with. Remember, don’t feed the animals!
4. Try the traditional green tea and Japanese sweets.
This was the surprise I wasn’t prepared.
5. Check out the botanical garden.
Some of the rare and exotic plans can be found in the botanical garden. Some I didn’t know existed. Truly worth visiting.
How To Get To Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
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
Budget & Expenses
Students: 150 JPY
Adults: 200 JPY
Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (closed at 4:30PM)
Closed: Mondays. Year end Holiday (Dec 29 – Jan 3)
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!
ENGLISH NAME: Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
JANAPANESE NAME: 新宿御苑
ENGLISH ADDRESS: 11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0014
JAPANESE ADDRESS: 〒160-0014 東京都新宿区内藤町11
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Shinjuku Gyoen