Meiji Jingu Gaien Park during autumn

5 Best Parks and Gardens to Visit in Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a bustling metropolis and is considered to be one of the world’s most populous places. Though Tokyo is known to have the most neon signs than any other place in the world. It’s a trademark image of the Japanese metropolis where entire streets are full of neon signs. Though the city is notorious for being crowded, there are still a number of places where you can enjoy nature at its finest.

Check out some of the gardens and parks to visit while in Tokyo:

Shinjuku Gyoen Park-spring

Shinjuku Gyoen Park during spring.

Shinjuku Gyoen Park – one of Tokyo’s largest and most beautiful, is only a five-minute walk from the  KCP campus. The garden was once home to the Naitō family (in the Edo period), who were powerful lords or Daimyo. The garden was once exclusive only to royalty. The park, severely damaged during World War II, has now been restored and showcases the magnificent flora and fauna of Japan.

The opulent gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen is a favorite place for hanami, or the spring viewing of the beautiful cherry blossoms. It draws large crowds, both tourists and locals. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden spans 58.3 hectares and embraces three horticultural styles: Japanese traditional, French formal, and English landscape. It boasts at least 20,000 trees, 1500 of which are cherry trees such as Weeping Cherry, Kanzan Cherry, and Tokyo Cherry.

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park.

Yoyogi Park – the park witnessed some of Japan’s greatest historical events. It was the location of the first powered aircraft flight in Japan, on December 19, 1910 by Captain Yoshitoshi Tokugawa. The exact spot—the Airplane Cradle—is at the southwest corner of the park. Yoyogi Park also served as a residential area for the U.S. military during their stay in Japan after the war and was, used as an Olympic Village during the 1965 Olympics.

Yoyogi Park is a vast and idyllic space to have a picnic, bike, exercise, or simply kick back and relax. Yoyogi Park Cycling Center rents out bicycles for a modest fee. Dog lovers and owners may find the park heavenly, for not only is it scenic but it also has a dog run, a fenced area where man’s best friends can freely frolic without a leash.

Komazawa Olympic Park – was buily for the 1964 Olympics. The Komazawa Olympic Park houses sporting facilities such as an indoor gym, baseball fields, swimming pool and tennis courts. The most popular is the stadium that can house 20,000 spectators and hosts soccer and American football matches.

The park is located is located in Setagaya, which is a largely residential part of Tokyo. It’s a great place to go for a stroll or jog from the nearby Jiyugaoka or Sangenjaya neighborhoods to experience what everyday life is like for locals.

Tokyo Imperial Palace Nijubashi bridge

Tokyo Imperial Palace Nijubashi bridge.

Tokyo Imperial Palace – Also called Kōkyo, it is the main residence of Japan’s Imperial Family. The Palace is composed of several interconnected buildings, including the main palace hall (Kyuden), function halls, and administrative offices. The grounds are a massive park with lush foliage and manicured lawns, surrounded by moats and huge stone walls.

Meiji Jingu Gaien – is popular for the Jingu Stadium. Th Meiji Jingu Gaien complex is located east of the Meiji Shrine and a few minutes walk from Aoyama-itchome Station. The complex houses sports facilities of all kinds, a Meiji-era picture gallery and a children’s park.

Meiji Jingu Gaien is a popular spot during autumn where numerous gingko trees along Icho Namiki Avenue(Gingko Avenue), turn yellow. The entire stretch transforms into a picturesque display rivaling the cherry blossoms scene.