Tokyo has some of the most beautiful parks and gardens I have ever seen, but Shinjuku Imperial Garden is hard to beat.
I have been there in spring on a freezing cold day when we strolled passed the lakes with cherry blossom petals raining down on our heads. It was also stunning in April with its stunning azalea bushes.
The park also has a series of hothouses perfect on a freezing cold winter or spring day.
Originally an imperial garden, now a national park, it comprises of both Japanese & European styles. It's an ideal break from the busy city streets, just take an hour or so to stroll through.
There are places to sit & relax, also small cafes throughout the park.
There is an admission fee to the park, it was 200 yen when I visited in May 2007.
We were in Tokyo during the peak of Cherry Blossom season and Shinjuku Gyoen had picture perfect views.
We took the Marunouchi line to Shijuku-gyoenmae station and walked about 5 mins to the park entrance. To enter the park you have to pay 200 yen. It's worth it to escape the throngs of people and the noise of the busy city.
When we got to the park it was rainy and so there were very few people walking around. We didn't have too much time to explore this part of Tokyo so we were up for a day out in the rain. However, it cleared up and the park stayed empty so we had entire areas of the park to ourselves.
I wish we would have thought to bring a picnic lunch because it would have been the perfect location.
Shinjuku National Garden was completed in 1906 as an imperial garden. It is a beautiful landscaped garden of 150 acres of land. The highlights of the garden are the Kyu-Goryo-Tei (Taiwan Pavilion), Rose Garden, Japanese Traditional Garden, French Formal Garden, Avenue of Plane Trees, English Landscape Garden, Greenhouse housed here.
The entrance fee is 200Yen and you can make payment at the three gates at Shinjuku, Sendagya and Okido Gate.
To get to the garden, take the Marunouchi line to Shijuku-gyoenmae station and walk about 5mins. The Toei Shinjuku line and JR Shinjuku station will lead you to Shinjuku entrance.
We took the JR train to Sendagya Station and took a short walk to Sendagya Gate. Take a 5 mins walk from Toei Oed Line Kokuritsu-kyogijo station and you will reach Sendagya gate.
The Shinjuku-gyoenmae station will lead you to the Okido gate.
We brought our lunch to the park for a picnic. You must beware of the cats and birds who will jump at you or fly pass you to snatch your food from you. It was a nice stroll along the park with impressive landscaped of the beautiful garden. It is a very peaceful place where you can find refuge in the busy Shinjuku.
Opens Tue to Sun from 9am to 4:30pm (closed on Mondays)