One of the places we visited in Tokyo is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Initially built in the 1800s for royalty, and completed in 1906, the gardens were destroyed in 1945. They were restored, and in 1947 they became known as the Shinjuku Imperial Gardens, and renamed again in 2001 as the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
A beautiful oasis in the world’s largest metropolis, the gardens are both sprawling and lovely. The grounds cover more than 144 acres and include english landscape, french formal, and traditional japanese gardens. There is also a lovely greenhouse with tropical plants.
But enough talking about the gardens, have a look for yourself:
Adam being silly with the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden map.
We were a bit too early to catch the peak of the cherry blossoms, but we saw some of the early cherries.
Water feature with some pretty victoria waterlily pads in the greenhouse.
A lovely agave in the greenhouse.
The greenhouse has been around in some for or another since the late 1800s.
No collecting crayfish, y’all.
The two double rows of sycamores in the french formal garden reminded me a bit of Queens.
Not the rows per se, but the distinctive sycamore bark.
That distinctive sycamore bark.
The out-of-season rose garden and topiary in the french formal garden.
Shimono-Ike, the lower pond in Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens.
Looking over Shimono-Ike towards a teeny-weeny slice of the never-ending Tokyo skyline.
There were a bunch of ravens near Nakkano-Ike, the middle pond.
Nevermore, and all that.
Taiwan Pavilion – Kyu-Goryo-Tei. The pavilion, built in 1928, is an accurate reproduction of Southern Chinese Minnan architecture.
Inside Kyu-Goryo-Tei, the Taiwan Pavilion
A window there.
The Japanese Formal Garden seen across Kamino-Ike, the upper pond, from The Taiwan Pavilion. A stunning view.
While we were in town a bit too early for the full cherry blossom show, the gardens were fantastic, even in the winter. We are quite spoiled here in Atlanta, with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, but even so we enjoyed ourselves and would recommend the trip to anyone visiting Tokyo. With the variety of botanical, cultural, and historical/architectural attractions present, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is sure to have something for most everyone to enjoy.
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