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!

Into the forest-park!

[Pictures taken September 25, 2013]

The entrance to the park.
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.

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.

The buildings of Tokyo rising up behind the park.
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.


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.


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.


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.

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


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.

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

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


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

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

So much lawn! :O It was really shocking…
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!

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.


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


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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