Before the burst of cherry blossoms hit Tokyo (and thus the burst of insane crowds), I decided to take a trip to the famous Shinjuku Gyoen – a large national garden in the center of Tokyo’s liveliest area.
A few months ago, it was suggested to me that winter was one of the ugliest seasons in Japan – the various shades of brown could never compare to the bright colours of spring and autumn and the luscious green of summer. However, I tend to disagree with this sentiment… The beauty in winter is not the shades of brown, but the blue skies and crisp feeling in the air. And Shinjuku Gyoen is the perfect example of this winter beauty.
In the heart of the city, stands this 58.3 hectare garden that boasts three distinct styles: French Formal, English Landscape, and Japanese Traditional. There’s even a stunning greenhouse that you can explore at certain hours. The perfect blending of these styles makes Shinjuku Gyoen a wonderful place to explore. In fact, walking around and inside the 3.5 km circumference is a great experience – no matter the season.
Of course, the recommended seasons to visit are autumn and spring with the multi-coloured leaves and the pink and white cherry blossoms. But even in winter, the garden is kept in a pristine condition for the visitors to waltz around and stretch out on the vast lawns.
Accessed from three gates, Shinjuku Gyoen is in a very convenient location for anyone wanting to visit the bustling city of Tokyo – especially the hip Shinjuku area. There are also plenty of tea shops inside the park where you can buy snacks for a lovely picnic on the wide open fields.