Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0014, JapanGetting there
By car: Get off at the Gaien Exit on Route 4 of the Metropolitan Expressway, and drive along Gaien-Higashi Street towards Waseda. Turn left at the Yotsuya 3-chome Intersection, then turn left at the Shinjuku 1-chome Intersection on Shinjuku Street. The parking lot (Okido) is right in front of you.
By train: Approximately 5 minutes by foot from Exit No. 1 of Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Approximately 5 minutes by foot from Sendagaya Station on the JR Sobu Line
By bus: Take the Shinjuku West Exit Bus and get off at the Shinjuku Gyoen stopTelephone
+81-(0)3-3350-1372More information Prices
Adults \200, Elementary and junior high school students \50, Infants Free of charge
Group discount applies to a party of 30 persons or more. No reservations are necessary. (Adults \150, Elementary and junior high school students \25)
Annual Passport is also available.
Disabled visitors and his/her caregiver may enter free of charge. (Please present ID at the entrance.)
Assistance dogs are also allowed to enter with visitors such as guide-dogs, service dogs and hearing assistance dogs.
Coin locker is available around Shinjuku Gate, Okido Gate and Sendagaya Gate. (Small/Medium \300 Large \500)
Wheelchairs are available at all entrances and at the Management Office. (No reservations are necessary. Free of charge.)
A Shinjuku Gyoen Year-Round Passport (blue for the men, pink for the ladies!) is also available for 2,000 yen per annum for adults, 1,000 yen for high school age, 500 yen for children. See the Shinjuku Gyoen website (Japanese-language only) for details.Opening hours
9:00-16:00 (Gates close at 16:30)
The Greenhouse 9:30-15:30 (Closes at 16:00)
Teahouse 10:00-16:00 (Service may not be available certain days.)
Information Center (Art Gallery) 9:00-16:30
Mondays (If Monday is a public holiday, then closed the following day.Closed the day(weekday)after in case of consecutive holidays.)
Special Open Days: The garden is open throughout the following periods; March 25 to April 24, and November 1 to November 15
8:00-20:00 (Last entry 19:00. In case of not leaving before 20:00,the car cannot be left till 8:00 next morning.)
Car (200 spaces) \500 for 3 hours, then \100 half-hourly
Coach (5 spaces) \2,000 for 3 hours, then \400 half-hourly
Located at all entrance.(Free of charge)
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (新宿御苑 Shinjuku Gyoen?) is a large park with an eminent garden in Shinjuku and Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. It was originally a residence of the Naitō family in the Edo period. Afterwards, it became a garden under the management of the Imperial Household Agency of Japan. It is now a park under the jurisdiction of the national Ministry of the Environment.
Shinjuku Gyoen Park is a large, 144 acre (58.7 hectare) park in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward, and is an urban island of Japan's seasonal beauty. Shinjuku Gyoen has gardens, woods, a large and picturesque pond, and hundreds of cherry trees (sakura) which make Shinjuku Gyoen one of Tokyo's most popular cherry blossom viewing venues in early April.
Shinjuku Gyoen is home to more than 20,000 trees from all over the world and is a nature lover's delight in the variety and beauty of its flora. Shinjuku Gyoen is a Tokyo park where you can feel completely surrounded by immaculately tended natural beauty while still just within earshot of traffic, and still within view of the skyline punctuated with towers.
Shinjuku Gyoen includes a French formal garden, an English landscape garden, a Japanese traditional garden, a "Mother and Child Forest", a maple hill, an azalea hill, several ponds, and a Taiwan Pavilion. Shinjuku Gyoen's great open spaces, forested areas, and lovely groves of cherry and plum trees make it the ideal retreat for individuals, couples and families alike who want a taste of nature without having to leave Tokyo.
Shinjuku Gyoen 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. The park was almost completely destroyed during World War II, but was eventually rebuilt and reopened in 1949 as a public park.
Shinjuku Gyoen is comprised of three different types of gardens:
The oldest is a traditional Japanese landscape garden featuring large ponds dotted with islands and bridges. Well manicured shrubs and trees surround the water together with several pavilions and the Kyu Goryotei (also called the Taiwan Pavilion) which was built on the occasion of the wedding of the Showa Emperor. A chrysanthemum exhibit is held during the first two weeks of November in the Japanese garden with flower displays and large, temporary pavilions erected around the grounds.
The park's other main gardens include a symmetrically arranged formal French garden, and an English landscape garden featuring wide, open lawns surrounded by flowering cherry trees. The rest of the park consists of forested areas, lawns and several structures including a restaurant, an information center and an art gallery. There is also a beautiful greenhouse with many tropical and subtropical flowers.
Shinjuku Gyoen is home to a large number of cherry trees of more than a dozen different varieties. From late March to early April, more than 400 somei yoshino trees blossom around the English garden turning the lawns into one of Tokyo's most popular and pleasant hanami spots. In addition, the park has numerous early and late blooming cherry trees which provide an extended cherry blossom viewing season (mid March to late April) for those who miss the main season.
Shinjuku Gyoen is also nice to visit during autumn when the leaves change. There are a lot of different types of trees that change colors around the park, however the maple trees are particularly beautiful and can be seen in large numbers around the Japanese garden and Momijiyama (maple mountain) on the park's eastern side. The colors typically appear from mid November to mid December.
What can you see in Shinjuku Gyoen?
1) You can see most of the skyscrapers (including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building) in Nishi-Shinjuku which can be pretty cool. To stand in the middle of the English Landscape Garden and look at the buildings popping up over the trees makes for a great experience, especially if you have a camera or video;
2) the Kyugoryotei, (or Taiwan Pavilion), built in Chinese style in 1927 as a gift from the Japanese community in Taiwan to the Crown Prince Hirohito, in commemoration of his wedding (Taiwan being a Japanese colony at the time);
3) there are about 1500 cherry blossom trees of various types in the park that bloom from about the end of March through to the end of April;
4) really huge crowds! Shinjuku Gyoen is extremely popular during blossom season and during that time, the park will literally be over flowing with people;
5) it has a beautiful glass greenhouse that is quite new (opened 2012) and is filled with plants and flowers from warmer climes;
6) there is a chrysanthemum exhibit every year in the first half of November, and;
7) best of all, Shinjuku Gyoen has three gardens; the English Landscape, French Formal (with a beautiful rose garden) and the Japanese Traditional. They each have their own special characteristics and are very beautiful.
What's good about Shinjuku Gyoen
1) It can be really quiet there, which is why I like to call it the urban oasis. A belt of trees surround the park that block out, or at least muffle the sounds of the outside world. You can find some real peace and quiet in there, very strange since you are only about a fifteen minute walk from the busiest station in the world;
2) due to the park being quite big, it is pretty easy to find a bit of space just to yourself (except during the cherry blossom season) to just wind down and relax;
3) lots of great photo opportunities there. Spring with the cherry blossoms, autumn with the leaves changing colours is fantastic. The skyscrapers (including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building) that appear over the trees also makes for great pics too;
4) Shinjuku Gyoen has three rest areas, that have either a kiosk or a restaurant in them, so you don’t can buy stuff there to eat and drink if need be.
What's not so good ...?
We really enjoy Shinjuku Gyoen and it is hard to find fault with the place but here are a few very minor things:
1) The cherry blossom season can be great, but the park really does get crowded;
2) be careful of taking a camera into the greenhouse. It gets very steamy which might cause damage to your camera;
3) there definitely seems to be a lack trash bins in the park (but that could be said about most parks in Japan), and;
4) due to the large amount of visitors the park gets, the grass/lawn areas can suffer a bit, therefore some of them can get roped off. This means on occasion you’ll be confined to walking on the paths and not over the grass. Usually, this is noticeable near the main (i.e. Shinjuku) gate entrance and some places near the English Landscape.
Shinjuku Gyoen Facilities
Also on the grounds of Shinjuku Gyoen Park are the
- information center and art gallery, 9am-4.30pm: near the Shinjuku Gate. To be checked out BEFORE you go through the Park's ticket wickets. No access from inside the Park. English maps of the Park available on request.
- greenhouse: admittance from 11am to 3pm (gates close 3.30pm): near the Okido Gate.
- old Western-style Imperial Rest House: built in 1896 for the Emperor and now designated an Important Cultural Property. Open on the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10am to 3pm: between the Okido and Shinjuku gates.
History of Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Shinjuku Gyoen began life in 1590 as part of a grant of land that the great warlord who, from 1600 would rule Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, made to one of his vassals, Naito Kiyoshige.
Almost 300 years later, when Japan started modernizing, Shinjuku Gyoen was the site of Japan's first early experiments with foreign horticulture and forestry, beginning in 1872. Then in 1879 the land became the Shinjuku Imperial Botanical Garden under the control of the Imperial Household Agency.
In 1906, the name changed to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden when it was remodeled by the French landscaper Henri Martine, a professor at the Versailles horticultural college. The opening of the newly named Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden coincided with Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese War (see also Hibiya Park) and was attended by the Emperor himself.
Shinjuku Gyoen's famous cherry blossoms (sakura) date from 1917, and its crysanthemums from 1929. The sakura and the crysanthemums remain, but the small zoo that was set up in 1926 is no longer.
In 1947, following the democratization of Japan after World War Two, Shinjuku Gyoen changed from being imperial to national land, and was opened to the public under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in 1949. In 1971, administration of Shinjuku Gyoen was taken over by the Ministry of the Environment.
The garden has more than 20,000 trees, including approximately 1,500 cherry trees which bloom from late March (Shidare or Weeping Cherry), to early April (Somei or Tokyo Cherry), and on to late April (Kanzan Cherry). Other trees found here include the majestic Himalayan cedars, which soar above the rest of the trees in the park, tulip trees, cypresses, and plane trees, which were first planted in Japan in the Imperial Gardens.
Horticulture work has been going on in the greenhouses in the garden since 1892. The present greenhouse, built in the 1950s has a stock of over 1,700 tropical and subtropical plant species on permanent display.
Shinjuku Gyoen Park Access
Shinjuku Gyoen has three gates: the Shinjuku Gate, Okido Gate, and Sendagaya Gate.
To Shinjuku Gyoen's Shinjuku Gate from JR Shinjuku Station (south exit) is about 10 minutes walk; from Shinjuku Gyoen Mae Station, exit 1, on the Marunouchi subway line, about 3 minutes walk; from Shinjuku San-Chome Station, exit C5, on the Shinjuku subway line is about 5 minutes walk.
To Shinjuku Gyoen's Okido Gate from Shinjuku Gyoen Mae Station, exit 2, on the Marunouchi subway line, about 3 minutes walk.
To Shinjuku Gyoen's Sendagaya Gate from Sendagaya Station on the JR Sobu line; Kokuritsu Kyogijo Station on the Oedo subway line, about 5 minutes walk.
To ensure an enjoyable time for all visitors, Shinjuku Gyoen Park ask you to refrain from the followings:
1. To bring items listed below.
- Animals, or pets (except assistance dogs)
- Bicycles, tricycles (except pushchairs), or trolleys
2. To do the activities below.
- Roller-skating, rollerblading
- Playing with radio-controlled helicopters, radio-controlled cars, and similar products
- Playing badminton
- Playing frisbees, or boomerangs
- Playing soccer and other activities using balls
3. Disrupting natural habitat such as:
- Taking out or damaging the plants
- Taking or causing injury to mammals, birds, or fish
- Climbing trees
- Feeding animals
4. Activities which may disrupt other visitors
- Entering by car (except administrative vehicles)
- Collecting donations
- Smoking other than in smoking areas
- Getting drunk and making other visitors uncomfortable
5. Impairing scenery
- Throwing out or leaving rubbish other than throwing it into trash
- Setting flags and putting posters
- Bringing in a tent, parasol, table, chair, or such outdoor goods
6. Activities which disrupts the garden administration
- Making the facilities dirty or damaging them on purpose
- Entering restricted areas
- Swimming in the ponds
- Building a fire, or using products that cause fire or smoke
- Taking fallen leaves, branches, or flowers and taking them home
- Playing musical instruments, using audio goods, or speaking over a loudspeaker
Reviews by visitors
We found the garden on the was to the Samurai Museum and decided it would be a great place to kill a couple of hours before it opened. The park charges a small entrance fee but boy was it worth it, could have spent the entire day here and still not seen everything.
In typical Japanese style the garden was meticulously laid out and maintained.
Well worth your time to visit
Only 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station, this was a very nice place to spend about an hour walking through the gardens. There is a place where a woman made us Matcha tea and wagashi (small sweets). This is worth a visit.
This is a beautiful park. It's not far from the Shinjuku station, so it's worth doing if you need to go through Shinjuku anyway. It's very peaceful with a beautiful Japanese garden. There are also English and French gardens on the premises. It's a stark contrast from the bustling city which surrounds it!
One our first day in Tokyo, we took three metro trains and navigated, with the help of friendly locals to finally find the gardens, an hour after setting out from Minato. I was a little puzzled and perturbed to find the park closed. Why close a park ?! We made it back two weeks later on our penultimate day in Japan. It was well worth the visit. We were pushed for time so just walked through the Japanese Traditional garden. The areas around the Kamino-ike (Upper pond) and Kyo-Goryo-Tei (Taiwan Pavilion) are spectacular. The park must be amazing in cherry blossom season
My fiancé proposed to me at the rose garden in front of the peacekeeper Roses. It was a lovely day and the view was just amazing. We went in June and it was a perfect weather for picnics and tanning. We also checked out the green house and saw plants from different climates.
Would highly recommend a leisure afternoon here enjoy the gardens, greenhouse and overall park setting. Only 200 yen entrance fee is super doable.
This is a location that must be visited during the fall and cherry blossom season. Its very organised, not crowded, vast and honestly a very nice place to spend some romantic time with the wife / gf etc...
I'm adding a photo that I took earlier in 2015 when I visited the location during Cherry Blossom season
I was one week late for the sakura bloom! However it's still a beautiful garden. It's also really massive. A stroll from end to end can easily take an hour or more. During sunny days, remember to apply sun block, other than that enjoy the wonderful view. Lay on the grass and just relax!
Wonderful park! Rose gardens, lakes, ponds, bridges, and more! Lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends! The tea room was delightful! The garden is a national treasure for sure!
Be sure to visit this amazing garden! Lovely lakes, trees, hydrangea's, rose garden, tea house, bridges, koi, and perfect place for a relaxing picnic with loved ones! Beautiful place and setting for gorgeous pictures!!
We came here on our first day in Tokyo, slightly jet lagged after a 13hr flight and needed somewhere to just adjust and unwind. We bought along our food purchases from Isetan's food hall and sat in the park. It's quite a big park and lovely to roam around and admire the neatness of a typical Japanese garden. You do have to pay to get in but it's not much (I think it was a few pounds). They have a mini glasshouse hosting exotic plants/flowers. It's just a lovely park in a middle of a hectic city.
This a great place to take a stroll and admire the beauties of the different gardens available in the park. Do be prepared to walk abit and take lots of photographs. The park is nicely maintained. For seasonal flowers, do check out the timing before you drop a visit. This is also a popular destination even for locals.
We stopped at Isetan's fabulous food court for our gourmet picnic provisions and made the walk over tho Gyoen National Gardens. It was Golden Week, so quite crowded but it made the experience even better as we got a real feel for what the locals do on their holidays. Beautiful meandering paths, gardens and wonderful spots to have a picnic and take a little rest. Note for ladies: the public restrooms are squat toilets and have no paper towels so bring some hand sanitizer and maybe wear a skirt this day to make things easier!
This traditional garden managed by the Japanese emperor's office is a very peaceful place, not only for the Sakura season in April, but any season.
Even though they will charge you some fees to enter, it's worse paying for. Also, please be aware that no alcohol is sold inside the park. However, you could bring some if you like, but this is not a place to get drunk.
Japanese gardens, rose gardens, and you'll enjoy the park if you want to touch the heart of Japanese culture. Enjoy!
When you've had just about enough trains, traffic and people, head here for a wonderful wander through nature. The park is very large, and took over an hour to fully explore, with plenty of nooks and crannies. There's a small fee for entry.
we were lucky to visit these gardens on the first Sunday in June 2016 and it was free to enter. they were lovely and tranquil, it was really good to see all the different designs of the different countries gardens, and families enjoying picnics on the grass areas.
These gardens are lovely, with lots of variety on offer - from formal roses in the 'French' garden, huge trees amidst rolling fields in the 'English' garden, a fantastic array of succulents, cacti and orchids in the greenhouse, and of course a beautiful Japanese garden, complete with a picturesque Taiwanese pavilion that appears to float over the pond.
after visiting this park because it was listed as the number 1 thing on trip advisor, I really really couldn't figure out how it got that ranking. It's just a big park. Theres nothing wrong with that, the gardens are well maintained and theres alot of green space but why is this the top thing in tokyo when theres so much culture to see!!! We were all trying to figure out the appeal because it just seems like another standard asian style garden
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a calming break from busy Tokyo life. We found the park easy to navigate with signs in English posted frequently. The park was massive, with many ponds, gardens and forests. The park was not at all crowded. There are bathrooms, waterfountains and vending machines in the park. Admission was 200 yen.
I lived in Tokyo eight years, but I had never visited Shinjuku Gyoen because I mistakenly believed the gardens were nothing special. Now I understand why the gardens are so popular among Tripadvisor users. The purpose of my visit was taking a nap on the lawn, but I also enjoyed strolling around Japanese garden areas.
It's the best park to see Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo... But man it can get crowded. It's very close to the Shinjuku station so you get a good mix of nature and urban feel at the same place. Huge array of pretty trees and scenic ponds and mini parks inside.
We were able to walk from our hotel in Shinjuku. The gardens were lovely and we liked the quiet in the middle of the noisy city. Also there were some nice photo opportunities contrasting gardens with city. Not the best garden in the world, but a good stop if close by and needing a break or some quiet.
You come to Tokyo, you see the lights, the hustle, the crowds, the noise and in between it all is this park. Why stop and see this park?
For one, its very picturesque, my wife took some great pictures, you can walk around the entire park within an hour. There are many places to stop, sit and relax and enjoy the environment around you.
Take a moment, stop and visit this park.
Due to the small entrance fee (200 yen) this garden has fewer crowds than many other Tokyo tourist attractions. It is also very large, with many different themes (English Garden, Japanese Garden, French Garden, Greenhouse). You can easily spend several hours here just strolling around and taking in the beauty around you. Just make sure you get an English map when you enter to help you navigate around. This garden is definitely a recommended stop for any Tokyo trip itinerary.
We didn't have to pay admission the weekend we were here. The government issued two days free for environmental day celebration. That was a welcome bonus.
We did have tea and snacks at the tea house to help contribute to the economy.
Lovely serene place to enjoy in the middle of busy city.
We wish we had brought a blanket to sit in one of many green spaces to take it in even further.
Read more Tokyo travel guide at here.