Rainy Tokyo: 新宿御苑 Shinjuku Gyoen

One place that I really wanted to visit in Tokyo was Shinjuku Gyoen. My parents had seemed really impressed with it when they visited in the spring to see the cherry blossoms there, and I kind of regretted missing out on it when I was studying abroad in Tokyo. Besides the cherry blossoms, they’d sounded the most impressed with the fact that there was such a large and beautiful park in the middle of a big city like Tokyo. I didn’t really realize what they meant until I went there, though. It really is huge 0_0 Here’s what it will look like if you go there September in the rain!

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Into the forest-park!

[Pictures taken September 25, 2013]

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The entrance to the park.
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I love the information center building! The flowers and vine overhang were so cute :3

This park is divided into different precincts, such as Japanese Traditional Garden, English Landscape Garden, and French Formal Garden. We went to all of these.

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Shinjuku Gyoen Map

We explored the park by going through the “Mother and Child’s Forest” on the lower-right part of the map (I think) and (I think) it was via the path in the first picture. It’s a huge park…

The “Mother and Child’s Forest” route lead us to the Japanese Traditional Garden portion of the park.

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The buildings of Tokyo rising up behind the park.
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If you look another way, it’s like you’re not even in the city. It’s quiet, too, although we heard a train going by when we were near one of the boundaries of the park.

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We walked around the Japanese part of the garden until we reached the building that’s in a lot of pictures of this park online. According to Japantourist, it was a donation from the Taiwanese community to commemorate crown prince Hirohito’s wedding in 1927.

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We couldn’t get any closer than the picture above because all the paths were closed. I don’t know if it’s always blocked so you can’t go inside, but it’s still cool from a distance.

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We headed through the English Landscape Garden next. This park is massive. It’s unbelievable to have a park this big in Tokyo. It’s like visiting multiple parks all in a row. I think you could get tired if you walked the whole thing. We went to three main places, but there are places like the greenhouse that we left unexplored.

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I’ve never been to England, but this garden felt English to me, so…I guess that means it succeeded!

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Even though it’s so big, I was able to keep my bearings and remember where we were during our walk. There are maps and signs along the way to help you.

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I loved this part, where all the leaves blanketed the ground. This would be a nice place to get away to during the fall.
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Yup, we’re still in a park in the middle of Tokyo, not a forest.

Getting near the French Formal Garden… (on the right)

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Nothing is blooming! Not the best timing ever^^;

At this point, we looped back around toward the entrance.

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So much lawn! :O It was really shocking…
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More than the lawn, though, I really like areas like this.

Even though this trip wasn’t planned with the seasons in mind, there were still flowers blooming for us!

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Yeah, I didn’t really dress for the weather. I didn’t realize it would rain. It wasn’t cold, though, just kind of humid. These shoes were really easy to wash after getting muddy at Rikugien, too–tennis shoes would’ve been a lot worse.

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We headed back to the station via a colorful street in Shinjuku. I thought it seemed like a nice area.

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Shinjuku Gyoen is a wonderful park. My friend and I had a good time there, and it would definitely be fun to go back and see it during different seasons, too.

Song of the Day: JUJU feat. JAY-ED, 「明日がくるなら」 (If Tomorrow Comes)

*Note: This was posted 10/12/2013 at 3:17pm. Saving as a draft messed up my dates, but I’ll fix it later after my subscribers have had a change to read it (so it doesn’t mess up the link). Thanks!^^;;

9 thoughts on “Rainy Tokyo: 新宿御苑 Shinjuku Gyoen

  1. I would have loved joining you. The park looked inviting even in a fall rain.
    Thanks for keeping us updated on your travels!

  2. You should check out a Makoto Shinkai movie called Kotonoha no Niwa. It’s main setting is inspired by Shinjuku Gyoen during the rainy season and it’s got some of the most beautiful artwork I’ve seen a in a movie ever. I seriously took 50 screenshots while I was watching it and set them as my wallpaper on my computer hahaha.

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