Shinjuku Gyoen, an iconic modern Western-style garden of the Meiji period
Many people think of Japanese gardens when they think of a typical Japanese landscape. There are many Japanese gardens in Japan, each with its own unique beauty. Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Japan’s most iconic gardens, is one of the few gardens that combines the essence of the West with the Japanese garden.
Here’s an introduction to the Shinjuku Gyoen, its attractions and its facilities.
What kind of place is Shinjuku Gyoen?
Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Japan’s representative gardens, located on a vast area of 58.3 hectares and 3.5 km in circumference. The Japanese garden with strolling pond style that follows the flow of a pond, expresses the good old days of Japanese harmony. The Shinjuku Gyoen is not only a Japanese garden. It also includes a landscape garden and a formal garden, which are common in Europe, where visitors can immerse themselves in an exotic atmosphere while enjoying the colorful flowers and greenery of plants.
The history of Shinjuku Gyoen dates back to 1591, when Tokugawa Ieyasu gave his vassal Kiyonari, the second generation of the Naito family, the mansion land in Shinjuku. While it was greatly involved in the development of agriculture and horticulture, in 1898 the garden project to transform what had been called the Shinjuku Botanical Garden into a large garden was begun, and the Shinjuku Gyoen was completed in 1906. The Shinjuku Gyoen was completed in 1906, and although its role has changed since then from being an imperial garden to a national park, it is still very much enjoyed by many people today.
The Attractions of Shinjuku Gyoen
Shinjuku Gyoen has many other attractions, including nature and history as well as the scenery of the gardens. Let’s check what exactly it has to offer.
Enjoy the Japanese Garden and Nature
The first thing you should see when visiting Shinjuku Gyoen is the many gardens. The Japanese garden with its Japanese flavor, the European-style landscape garden with its beautiful plants and flowers, and the orthopedic garden with its beautiful flowers, all offer a taste of Japan and the pleasantness of nature.
The Tamamo Pond, where you can feel the remnants of an Edo-era residence, the Mother and Child Forest, where you can enjoy observing nature, and the Large Greenhouse, where about 2,700 species of tropical and subtropical plants are cultivated, are also recommended spots to experience the garden and nature.
The natural landscape of the park changes with the seasons. You will discover new things as you stroll through the garden, paying attention to the seasonal flowers, plants and other living things.
Get a taste of the history remaining in the garden
Shinjuku Gyoen is home to many buildings that tell the history of the gardens. There is the former Western-style resting place for appreciating the greenhouse, the former Goryoutei Pavilion built to commemorate the wedding of the Crown Prince, the former Moneijo, and more. You can enjoy the scenery of the park while imagining the history of Shinjuku Gyoen.
Enjoy Annual Events and activities
Shinjuku Gyoen hosts a variety of annual events and activities, including the Special Spring Opening to enjoy 1,000 cherry trees, the “Mori no Takiginou” in October, and the Chrysanthemum Garden and Orchid Show in November, where you can experience nature and traditional arts. If your schedule coincides with those events, please stop by.
Shinjuku Gyoen has many restaurants and souvenir shops
Shinjuku Gyoen is also home to a number of restaurants and souvenir shops. You can take a break from strolling around the park, enjoy lunch, or even look for a souvenir of your visit to Shinjuku Gyoen.
Restaurant Yurinoki is open from 9:00am to 4:15pm and offers a menu that is perfect for lunch and tea time. try their exclusive menu such as curry over rice, omelette over rice, apple pie, and more.
Cafe Hananoki is a stylish cafe that can be used for both tea time and lunch. They offer bagels, curry over rice, pasta, ice cream and more, so if you need a break, you should definitely visit the cafe.
You can take a break in the elegant teahouse while gazing at the scenery of the garden. You can enjoy a cup of powdered green tea with seasonal Japanese sweets, so you can relax for a moment and feel the Japanese spirit.
There is a shop in the garden that sells souvenirs, food and drinks at the rest stop. You’ll find original sweets, postcards, bookmarks, clear files, nature-watching items and other items that are only available at Shinjuku Gyoen. It is a great place to stop by for a souvenir or a memory of your trip.
Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Japan’s representative gardens, incorporating both European landscape gardens and formal gardens. The history of Shinjuku Gyoen dates back to the Edo period and has been enjoyed by many people since long ago. In addition to the European and Japanese gardens, there are many other attractive features such as historical buildings, seasonal views, restaurants, and souvenir shops. If you’re visiting Tokyo, you should definitely take a stroll through Shinjuku Gyoen, where you can get a taste of Japanese harmony.