Break from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Break from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

by Senior Airman David Owsianka
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Living in what is considered a concrete jungle, the city of Tokyo offers numerous gardens and parks for travelers to take a break from the hard surfaces and towering buildings.

The Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of Tokyo's largest parks. It is a short walk from Shinjuku Station, and is home to spacious lawns, walking paths and tranquil scenery that provides an environmental escape from the busy urban center in the surrounding area.

The garden opened in May 1906 as an imperial garden, and played a role in supplying seeds of buttonwoods and tulip trees for roadside trees throughout Tokyo. With 144 acres in size and a circumference of 2.2 miles, it blends three distinct styles, French formal garden, English landscape garden and Japanese traditional garden.

From the cherry blossoms in the spring to the colorful leaves of autumn, Shinjuku Gyoen allows visitors to get close to nature and enjoy the changing seasons for metropolitan and short-term visitors.

Among the 20,000 trees and 1,500 cherry trees which grow in the garden, there is a variety of tulip trees, plane trees, Himalayan cedars and bald cypresses, whose distinctive crown shapes are considered to give the garden a solemn and dignified atmosphere.

There is also a greenhouse within the complex, constructed in 1950, that is home to more than 2,400 colorful tropical and subtropical plants and trees. The greenhouse is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The park is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has an admission fee of 500 Yen for adults, 250 yen for seniors (over 65 years old) and high school and college students, elementary and junior high school students and infants can enter at no cost. The garden has three gates: Shinjuku gate, Okido gate and Sendagaya gate.

Yokota personnel can get to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden by train or car.

By train: From Fussa Station, take the Ome Line towards Tokyo. The train will change lines at Tachikawa Station and become the Chuo Line. Stay aboard the train as it changes lines until arriving at Shinjuku Station. After arriving at Shinjuku Station, travelers will have less than a mile to get to the garden. It takes approximately 1 hour and seven minutes to get to the park when taking this route.

By car: Take Route 16 to the Chuo Highway. Travelers will stay on the Chuo Highway and transfer to the Shuto highway until it turns into Shinjuku Line 4. From there, take the Shinjuku exit and follow Route 20 until you arrive at the garden. This way takes approximately 53 minutes to get to the park when taking this route.



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