It’s already November and I still haven’t finished blogging about our awesome Japan trip from November of last year (yes, it’s been a year!). I’ve been extremely busy, juggling work, wedding planning, and other things in between but now that the wedding is over, I can finally pick up where I left off with my Japan travel diary!
Let’s see… now where were we? Oh, yes! Last time I logged into my blog account, we were at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, a 243-meter tall building in Shinjuku where we enjoyed a glorious 360 view of the whole of Tokyo. Afterwards, we walked straight to one of the most beautiful parks in Tokyo: the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the most popular parks in Tokyo, and it’s really not surprising why. When we stepped into the 58.3 hectares of plush greenery, with its expansive lawns and an abundance of towering trees, I was wonderstruck. Every corner literally looked like it deserved to be on a postcard! When Mike and I arrived at the park, it was already about to close and we only had about 30 minutes to wander around. Believe me, 30 minutes to explore a park this extensive and splendid is insufficient!
The park is so colossal that it is divided into three different gardens: an English landscape garden, a French garden, and a traditional Japanese garden, which is identified by its large ponds and bridges, as well as the Kyu Goryotei (Taiwan Pavilion). Inside the garden are traditional Japanese tea houses, some restaurants, an art gallery, and a greenhouse.
The park is alive with thousands of trees, including a variety of cherry trees, which makes it a popular spot for hanami (“flower viewing” or the Japanese custom of enjoying cherry blossom-viewing). I bet Shinjuku Gyoen looks magical and romantic during cherry blossom season! But when we went during autumn, it was also very lovely. The green, red, orange, and golden hues of the leaves during November were so picturesque and added to the tranquility of the place. We were also lucky to have caught the Chrysanthemum Exhibition, which happens every first week of November.
I usually write long blog posts but I’m going to make an exception this time, only because Shinjuku Gyoen is one of those places that epitomizes the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” These pictures only capture half (or not even half!) of the loveliness of the park but they are really refreshing to look at, so here’s a treat from me! If you’re frazzled and stressed out, I hope that looking at these photos will give you a feeling of serenity.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Address: 11 Naitōmachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0014, Japan*
Phone Number: +81 3-3350-0151
Operating Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Last entry at 4:00 PM).
Admission Fee: Adults – ¥200, Elementary and junior high school students – ¥50, Infants – Free.
*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. Okido Gate is also a five minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line. Finally, Sendagaya Gate is a five minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo/Sobu Line. (Source: Japan-Guide.com)