Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a large garden park stretches in both Shinjuku and Shibuya area.
The garden style is very unique, a combination of Japanese, French formal, and English garden style.
It is the home of 1300 beautiful cherry blossom trees and selected as one of “Japan’s top 100 Cherry Blossom spots”.
The land of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden originally belonged to the site of a mansion for Kiyonari Naito, who was a very royal vassal of Ieyasu Tokugawa.
In 1872, Japanese government's acquisition of the land from Naito as a payment made it possible to prepare the large land of 58.3ha to found The Naito Shinjuku Agricultural Experiment Station. The station is aimed at promoting modern agriculture of Japan and to study about vegetables and fruits cultivation, stock farming, and sericulture including western technic and species.
But in 1879, the station transferred most of the main study unit to other location and remained as an imperial estate called The Shinjuku Shokubutsu Gyoen (Shinjuku Imperial Botanical Garden), managed by imperial household ministry.
In 1900, a Chairman of Shinjuku Shokubutsu Gyoen, Hayato Fukuba contacted Henri Martine who was a professor at Ecole Nationale Superieure de Paysage Versailles (The National School of Landscape Architecture at Versailles) and requested him to design a garden in order to remodel Shinjuku Botanical
Garden into a landscape garden.
The newly designed landscape garden was completed in 1906 after 4 years of construction and it was named as Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden was an imperial garden back then and played its role to supply cuttings and seeds of tulip trees and sycamores. However the garden became an official site for cherry blossom and mum viewing party, a management of both cherry blossom trees and mum flowers were enriched.
The cherry blossom viewing party is held annually in the beginning of April at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. It used to be hosted by the imperial family to open the garden for the public to enjoy watching its beautiful cherry blossoms. However present event is hosted by a prime minister inviting more than over 10000 celebrities, socialites, athletes, and other big names to enjoy cherry blossoms in the garden. It is invites-only party and the garden is closed for the day.
On the other hand, mum flower viewing party was held annually only for imperial family, ministers, and the royals from other countries before the World War II. But it was opened for the public for the first time in 1949, and after 1972, the first 2 weeks of November has become an annual mum flower viewing weeks hosted by a minister of the Environment Agency. During this viewing weeks, mum flowers are beautifully arranged in many different style and displayed in many spots along the path of the Japanese Garden
In December of 1947, a cabinet council decision was made to turn Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden into a national public garden, and on May 21st, 1949, the garden was officially opened to the public.
The greatest feature of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden would be its well-designed combination of three different form of landscape garden: English, French formal, and Japanese.
The English Garden features very large lawn area with naturally grown giant trees. In the middle of vista from Shinjuku Gate to the French Formal Garden, there is a symbolic tulip tree which is over 30 meters high. Watching the skyline of Shinjuku peeking between trees from relaxed open air garden is a very special moment that the garden can offer.
Neatly and symmetrically designed French Formal Garden features four 200 meters long tree-lined vista with total of 156 sycamores. In the center of the tree-lined vista, 500 roses of 110 different kinds are fully bloom to welcome visitors. The romantic European style tree-lined vista is very popular place to spend relaxed and valuable time with someone special throughout a year.
The Japanese Garden was designed in a traditional style which is to enjoy sights from a path along a pond located in the middle of garden. The pond was originally created as a place for ducks but it was transformed into the Japanese Garden later. The garden includes a historical architecture “Kyu Goryotei (Former Goryotei house). Visitors can also enjoy different kind of attractions throughout four seasons like watching plum trees, cherry blossoms, color changing maple trees, and mandarin ducks.
Besides Kyu Goryotei, there are more historical architectures in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
Kyu Yokan Gokyusho (Former Western Style Rest House) was built in 1896 as imperial rest house. It is very rare wooden western style house from that era so that the building is registered as Important Cultural Properties.
Another historical building is located in the Japanese Garden and it is called Rakuutei Tea House. It was originally an imperial rest house but was burnt down completely in 1945 and was rebuilt in 1987. Currently it is a tea house where visitors can stop by to rest with a cup of tea and also the entire house can be rent for special occasion to enjoy tea.
Shotentei Tea House is another place visitors can stop by for a cup of tea. This tea house offers a beautiful view of the entire Japanese Garden. A beautiful view of trees and pond makes a tea tastes even better. This tea house can be rent entirely for your event as well.
As like continuing its former role as agricultural experiment station, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is working on saving endangered botanical species by keeping and managing their seeds safe until it is needed.
Also the garden offers a special field called "The Forest for Mothers and Childrens". It provides an opportunities for children from cities to enjoy interactions with nature, and help them growing their rich and deep sense and their interest in nature itself. In the forest, children can touch and play with insects, trees, and flowers.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden celebrated its 100th anniversary of obtaining its current name in 2006.
Throughout a year, more than 1.2 million people visit the garden to spend relaxing time in this oasis of busy Tokyo.
[How to get there]
Tokyo Metro Shinjyuku Gyoen Station's "Park Exit" directly leads to the park.
Our WiFi is available in this area.
Feb. 16th, 2015