I had heard about this place long before I started living in Tokyo. Shinjuku Gyoen was the main location for an art-house anime I watched, “Garden of Words” by the same director as 2017’s craze classic “Your Name.” …. No I’m not a weeaboo.
So this place, Shinjuku Gyoen, is a huge park about a five-minute walk from Shinjuku’s South East JR exit. That is, if you can find the exit to begin with! Shinjuku station can be a nightmare for first timers.
The park is split into sections; there’s a Japanese garden section, a French section, an English landscape garden, and so on. While the English landscape garden can have beautiful autumn colours and is really spacious, perfect for laying down and relaxing on a sunny day, my favourite is the Japanese garden. It has lots of water elements and a Chinese style (the irony is not lost on me) shrine looking building. Super peaceful. If you want to complete a Japanese feel while you’re in this section, then there is a tea house that offers traditional ceremonies for a small price of 700 yen ($US7).
The park is a really popular spot; cherry blossom viewing in spring, autumn leave viewing in fall, and relaxing in summer. Lots of people go here for dates, and if that’s what you’re into then by all means! But I always came here just for a bit of a chill after class, closing my eyes losing myself in the tree breeze. Tokyo is a huge metropolis so it’s a real game changer to be able to enjoy this park. The only problem is that it costs 200 yen ($2UD) to enter every time. But this keeps the garden in nice condition all year round.
Check it out the next time you have a free hour or so in Shinjuku!