Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

#10 in Best Things To Do in Tokyo
 picture
Bohistock/Getty Images

Key Info

11 Naitomachi

Price & Hours

200 yen (about $2) for adults; 50 yen (about $...
9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily

Details

Parks and Gardens Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Just to the west of downtown Tokyo lies a gorgeous urban oasis. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden comprises 144 acres of green space and is unique in that it incorporates three landscaping styles  Japanese Traditional, French Formal and English Garden. During the spring, the park gets an extra boost in visitors for its vibrant display of cherry blossoms. If you plan on visiting during this beautiful time, make like a local and come to the park equipped with picnic supplies. 

Travelers say the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Even if you don't have a couple hours to spare for a picnic, visitors say a short stroll is enough to take up the park's peaceful atmosphere. Travelers also report that there are plenty of amenities within the park, including restrooms, places to eat as well as a greenhouse and teahouse.

You can find Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden just a couple blocks away from the Shinjukugyoen-Mae metro station. The park is open Tuesday through Sunday, though during cherry blossom bloom time, the attraction is open daily. Keep in mind there is a small entrance fee of 200 yen (around $2). For more information, check out the park's website.

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If you're looking to learn a little (or a lot) about Japan's history, the Tokyo National Museum is the place to go. This museum is one of the country's most expansive, housing about 116,000 pieces of art and artifacts that cover the longest recorded history of Japan. Strolling through the halls of its numerous buildings, you'll spot relics such as samurai armor and swords (a traveler favorite), delicate pottery, kimonos, calligraphy, paintings, and much more, some of which are designated as national treasures and Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government. In addition to artifacts from Japan's history, you'll also find pieces from all across the Asian continent, including Buddhist scrolls that date all the way back to 607. 

Travelers were impressed with all that the Tokyo National Museum has to offer. Even some who admitted they aren't museum people enjoyed the variety of unique artifacts on display. Travelers appreciated that the museum featured English translations, something that some visitors noticed other Tokyo top attractions lacked (think the Ghibli Museum). Museum goers also say that there so much to see in the Tokyo National Museum that you probably need an entire day if you want to get through everything. If you don't have enough time to do this (or just don't want to) the best thing to do is get a map of the museum beforehand and pick what you want to do before you venture in. 

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