It was a perfect early Spring day:  sunshine and temperatures of about 10 degrees.  Time to stroll through one of Tokyo’s largest city center parks. The early narcissus were in full bloom under the still barren cherry tree branches, attracting avid photographers. Also out were early Ume (plum) blossoms, which attracted some cute green finches.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden covers 57.6 hectares and dates back to an Imperial mandate of 1906.  It was laid out as a European style park, with a formal French rose garden, an extensive chrysanthemum field tended by gardeners from the Imperial Household, an English landscape garden, an azalea hill, a traditional Japanese garden, and a large greenhouse (undergoing renovation, re-opens in 2012).

Year ‘round there will always be a reason to visit this lovely garden:  in Spring, about 1300 cherry trees representing 65 different varieties must be an astonishing sight. These are followed by the azaleas, then the roses in Summer and the chrysanthemums in Fall. What a visual treat for those living and working in the skyscrapers surrounding the garden!

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  1. I am glad that you enjoyed Shinjuku Gyoen. It is a favourite with all of my guests.

    If you are headed back towards Tokyo do let us know! If you have not yet been to Kamakura then that is an easy day-trip and 90mins north of Tokyo is Sendai which has one of Nihon-Sankei in Matsushima; another great day trip.

    Enjoy your travels!

    PS – Especially glad that you found a nice cat cafe – some are dreadfully kept! 🙂

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