Date: 29th March 2015
After a quick visit to the Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden, I was now going to visit Shinjuku Gyoen (gyoen = garden), which is one of the best venues in Tokyo to view cherry blossoms. I took the train to Shinjuku-gyoemmae station, took exit 2 and made my way to the Okido entrance — of of many entrances to the garden.
The neighbourhood I was in was quite nice
There was an entry fee of ¥200 (₹119/$1.8/€1.5)
There’s a glasshouse here. I would check it out later.
Shinjuku Gyoen is the largest public garden in Tokyo city
The reason why Shinjuku Gyoen is very popular for cherry blossoms is quite evident early on
The selfie sticks were out in full force today
It was beautiful just walking around here
Kids all over the place were seen picking up petals
Shades of pink were a more common sight
A panorama of the large ground here where many had set up picnic mats and were enjoying drinks and snacks
It’s a beautiful setting to have a picnic anyway
Apparently there were more varieties of cherry blossoms besides my knowledge of “pink sakura” and “white sakura”
I decided to quickly check out the glasshouse
There is no separate entry fee for the glasshouse
The glasshouse was filled with a few exotic flowers
And some plants which otherwise would not grow in Japan’s climate
The glasshouse isn’t very big
So I made my way back out
There were more greenhouses outside but off-limits to visitors
Colour-coordinated portable toilets. Or ‘sexist’ toilets according to some.
Back to all the beautiful sakura all around
This sakura tree was very popular for photos, because it was quite low
I only had a brief few seconds to get a photo taken without anybody else in the frame
You’d think I would have taken enough photos of the sakura by now
But wherever I walked, there was some frame or sight that just had to be captured on camera
Amateur and professional photographers were out in full force
It’s not just photographers who were making the most of the beauty all around
I could just sit here all day and take in the views… if only it wasn’t cold and all grey
A little sunlight would have made the colours pop a bit more
I walked around a bit more
I imagined what it would be like, to be a bird or a butterfly, and see the cherry blossoms in a different light
Enjoy sights of spring little birdie!
Many of these trees are decades old
You don’t get much time, the full sakura bloom only lasts about a week or two
So everybody makes the most of it and get their special photos taken
It was time to head back out to the concrete jungle
What are these trees?
There was an entire row of them
I headed back
Even on the way out I couldn’t help but take some more photos
Seriously — sakura sighting in Japan is like no other
Shinjuku Gyoen is undoubtedly one of the best places to come and soak in a rich cheer blossom sighting. I’m glad I got to experience it at full bloom, even if the sun was shy today. Paying 200 yen is well worth the price of admission. Ueno Park, where I returned to the next day, is also amazing so look forward to that post.
I went out the same gate
Fairly residential area
It was well past lunchtime and I wondered where to eat
There was this corner store called Curry-Naan. I didn’t plan on having Indian food but the thought of having hot, familiar taste in this cold weather tempted me to go inside.
The place was really small. Three tables and the rest were counter seats, where I sat down. One of the tables was occupied by a group of Malayalis. What are the odds!
A single naan with a little chicken kheema curry and lassi for dessert cost ¥730 (₹435/$6.5/€5.8)
All said and done, my tummy felt satisfied and I waited for the drizzle to subside before I walked to the subway station. Next stop: Harajuku. Part two of four posts on this one day is complete!
Previous posts in this series:
Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall
Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River
Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple
Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and exploring Kabukicho
Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck
Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog
Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more
Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom
Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride
Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show
Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi
Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion
Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto
Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza
Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba
Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time