Our Airbnb in Tokyo was located less than a 10 minute walk from the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a massive park smack dab in the middle of Shinjuku. It’s been around since the 1700s, but has obviously gone through a lot of development since then. It was mostly destroyed during WWII, then rebuilt and reopened in 1949.
It’s a paid park (adult admittance is around $2), so the grounds are extremely well-kept and clean. The park features spacious lawns, a greenhouse with tropical & subtropical flowers, manicured shrubs and floral arrangements, several Japanese pavilions, and cherry trees that blossom in the spring.
We stopped by on our way back from a day of adventuring through Harajuku and Shibuya. The park closes at 4:30PM (something we didn’t realize until we’d bought our tickets) so we only had about an hour to take in the gorgeous greenery.
I was feeling some major jetlag at this point, but I had a bag full of macarons from Laduree to keep me going.
Overall, Shinjuku Gyoen reminded me of a nicer version of NYC’s Central Park — a welcome escape from the concrete jungle of the city. It was a nice, relaxing way to top off our first full day of exploring Tokyo.
Next up: TOKYO DISNEYLAND!