Visitors flock to Shinjuku Gyoen National Park with the Cherry Blossoms in bloom.
Photo by: Wiki, Creative Commons
One place you just have to visit in Tokyo is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. This beautiful garden is located at the site at which Lord Naito’s private mansion stood and was where his family resided. Lord Naito was a feudal lord belonging to the Edo era.
This garden was initially designed as the imperial garden but soon after World War II, the garden was remodeled as the national garden and made accessible to the general public.
The gardens extend over an impressive 144 acres with a circumference of three and a half kilometers. Three different styles have been incorporated in the design of the garden: Japanese Traditional Garden, English Landscape Garden, and the French Formal Garden. These gardens are amongst the best remnants of the Meiji era.
Cherry blossoms are the main attraction of the garden and draws large crowds. The cherry trees bloom in March and April and considering there are about 1500 cherry trees in the garden, it forms an incredible canopy of flowers that is an experienced. Chrysanthemums on the other hand have a large fan following every November when they are in bloom.
There are several other trees ranging from the imperial cedars from the Himalayas that tower over the cypress, plane, and tulip trees. There are several greenhouses in the garden that were commissioned as early as the late nineteenth century. An astounding array of over 1500 species of subtropical plants are on perennial display in the newest greenhouse.
You can enter the gardens through three gates: Shinjuku and the equally exotically named Sendagaya and Okido. The garden is accessible from 9 am to 4.30 pm on all days except Monday. But when the cherry trees are in bloom, the gates are thrown wide open through the week.
The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is just a short walk from the Shinjuku-Sancho me Station. Plan a trip in March-April or in November to see the garden at its best.