There are many great places to visit in Tokyo, but there are some beautiful parks that would be a nice diversion from the big city attractions. Check out our article on the best parks in Tokyo.
The city of Tokyo has always been a major travel destination for many foreigners. There are many places to go and things to see that you can only do in the city. The flashing lights of Akihabara, the beautiful scenery of Meiji Shrine, and the various activities of Shinjuku are some of the first things that foreigners will think of. One thing that many people don’t realize is that Tokyo has many beautiful and scenic parks scattered across its cityscape. Every city has its park and recreational areas that allow its residents to relax and enjoy the warm weather or hold different games and events. They come in different shapes and have their own unique style and facilities. Some parks will give you an experience that you can only find in the city and we will look at the best parks for travelers to visit. This will benefit those who will live in Japan as well because you will be able to plan out relaxing weekends or day trips to spend your free time.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
Just like its name, this park is near Shinjuku station and only takes about 10 minutes on foot. It is one of the largest parks in Tokyo and is very popular due to its location. The park was initially part of a feudal lord’s residence and was later converted to a park for the public to enjoy. The large park has three garden areas and each one boasts its features. The landscape garden is the largest of the three and has large ponds with trees and old buildings throughout the area. There are large areas for picnics and for people to simply relax on the soft grass.
The other two areas have an array of different trees and plant life that line walking paths for visitors to enjoy. They are all labeled in Japanese and English. There is also a large greenhouse that houses different kinds of plants from all over the world. They are in themed sections and offer close looks at rare plants.
The park is especially beautiful in March when the cherry blossoms bloom. There are many trees on the grounds and they look stunning against the city backdrop. The fall season is equally as beautiful when the trees change colors from green to brown, yellow, and red. This is a big reason that it is one of the best parks in Tokyo.
Yoyogi Park is the main part of Tokyo. Before it became the park that it is today, it was used as the Olympic village for the 1964 games. It is one of the largest parks in Japan and has been a popular area for joggers and picnics. It has large open areas that are perfect for visitors to lay about, or to play games with each other. Like a cherry blossom viewing area, it doesn’t have a large number of trees to enjoy. Other smaller parks may offer better viewing party opportunities, but some places hold small festivities for the people who show up. The park tends to be more beautiful during the fall as the trees light up the area with their changing color. It earns a spot on the list for one of the best parks in Tokyo.
Imperial Palace East Garden
This park is located in the inner parts of the Imperial Palace. It is open to the public and offers great places for visitors to relax and enjoy some of Japan’s culture. All of the original buildings that were there have been removed, but they kept the moats, the walls, the gates, and most of the guardhouses intact. You can walk through the guardhouses and get good views of the moats and the walls.
There is a big lawn area that visitors can use for recreational activities and to simply relax. Near the center of the area, you can visit the old castle foundation. It sits at the top of a hill within the castle walls and offers a nice view of the surrounding area. Since they took out the original buildings they created a garden area with a foothill in the center. There is a small pond that is surrounded by trees. It becomes more beautiful with the changing of the seasons, and when the cherry blossoms begin to bloom. It isn’t difficult to get to and is one of the best spots to enjoy some sightseeing.
Located near Ueno Station this park sees a large number of visitors throughout the year. The park grounds, which used to be part of Kaneiji Temple, was home to one of the richest temples of Japan. It was meant to protect the city from evil spirits and was revered as a special place in Tokyo. The temple grounds were later repurposed into a western-style park that became open to the public.
There are statues at the entrances that memorialize old Japanese generals and a large pond that still exists from the time the temple was there. The park is better known for its many museums that are located in the area. The famous Ueno Zoo is also located her. It is one of the best cherry blossom viewing areas in Japan with thousands of trees all blooming at the same time. It has become one of the best hanami viewing party spots and sees increasing numbers of people every year.
These were some of the best places in Tokyo to go and relax or enjoy a picnic with the family. Parks are open almost all year and have special events at different times as well. You can find other things to do in the parks as they all have some common areas that host games and other small events. Picking the correct time of year to visit will be crucial to ensure that you have the best experience possible.