Japan: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen

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 many entrances to the garden.

Shinjuku Gyoen neighbourhood Tokyo Japan
The neighbourhood I was in was quite nice
Shinjuku Gyoen entrance Tokyo Japan
There was an entry fee of ¥200 (₹119/$1.8/€1.5)
Shinjuku gyoen glasshouse Tokyo Japan
There’s a glasshouse here. I would check it out later.
Shinjuku Gyoen hanami season Tokyo Japan
Shinjuku Gyoen is the largest public garden in Tokyo city
Large pink sakura tree Tokyo Japan
The reason why Shinjuku Gyoen is very popular for cherry blossoms is quite evident early on
Pink sakura tree Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo
The selfie sticks were out in full force today
Shinjuku Gyoen in hanami Tokyo Japan
It was beautiful just walking around here
Child picking cherry blossom petals Japan
Kids all over the place were seen picking up petals
Pink sakura flower Hanami season Tokyo
Shades of pink were a more common sight
Picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen panorama
A panorama of the large ground here where many had set up picnic mats and were enjoying drinks and snacks
Large sakura tree Shinjuku Gyoen
It’s a beautiful setting to have a picnic anyway
Varieties of sakura cherry blossoms
Apparently there were more varieties of cherry blossoms besides my knowledge of “pink sakura” and “white sakura”
Glasshouse Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan
I decided to quickly check out the glasshouse
Inside glasshouse Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo
There is no separate entry fee for the glasshouse
Flowers glasshouse Tokyo Japan
The glasshouse was filled with a few exotic flowers
Echinocactus Shinjuku Gyoen glasshouse
And some plants which otherwise would not grow in Japan’s climate
Glasshouse interiors Shinjuku Japan
The glasshouse isn’t very big
Walkway glasshouse Shinjuku Tokyo
So I made my way back out
Greenhouses Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo
There were more greenhouses outside but off-limits to visitors
Portable toilets Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo
Colour-coordinated portable toilets. Or ‘sexist’ toilets according to some.
Sakura trees Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo
Back to all the beautiful sakura all around
Picnic around sakura tree Shinjuku Gyoen
This sakura tree was very popular for photos, because it was quite low
Mithun white sakura tree Tokyo
I only had a brief few seconds to get a photo taken without anybody else in the frame
Sakura tree Shinjuku Gyoen crowds
You’d think I would have taken enough photos of the sakura by now
Kid bridge sakura tree Japan
But wherever I walked, there was some frame or sight that just had to be captured on camera

Shinjuku Gyoen lake Tokyo Japan

Photographers Shinjuku Gyoen hanami season
Amateur and professional photographers were out in full force

Shinjuku Gyoen cherry blossom lake Japan

Man painting shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo
It’s not just photographers who were making the most of the beauty all around

Shinjuku Gyoen lake bridge panorama

Vistors bench Shinjuku Gyoen hanami season

Shinjuku garden lake Tokyo Japan
I could just sit here all day and take in the views… if only it wasn’t cold and all grey
Sakura flower trees Hanami Shinjuku
A little sunlight would have made the colours pop a bit more
Large cherry blossom tree Shinjuku garden
I walked around a bit more
Cherry blossoms in hanami season Japan
I imagined what it would be like, to be a bird or a butterfly, and see the cherry blossoms in a different light
Small bird cherry blossom tree Japan
Enjoy sights of spring little birdie!
Cherry blossom tree Shinjuku garden Tokyo
Many of these trees are decades old
Big sakura Shinjuku garden during Hanami
You don’t get much time, the full sakura bloom only lasts about a week or two
Kimono girl posing sakura Japan
So everybody makes the most of it and get their special photos taken

Couples Shinjuku Gyoen in spring

Mirror lake reflection Shinjuku garden
It was time to head back out to the concrete jungle
Dead trees Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo
What are these trees?
Line of trees Shinjuku garden Tokyo
There was an entire row of them
Lawn Shinjuku garden Tokyo Japan
I headed back
Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo garden lake
Even on the way out I couldn’t help but take some more photos

Reflection in water Shinjuku Gyoen Japan

Pink sakura reflection Shinjuku Gyoen bridge
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.

Okido gate Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo
I went out the same gate
Shinjuku Gyoemmae road Tokyo
Fairly residential area
Comodo kitchen Shinjuku street Tokyo
It was well past lunchtime and I wondered where to eat
Curry naan restaurant Tokyo
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.
Inside curry naan restaurant Shinjuku
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!
Curry naan plate Shinjuku eatery
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!

Next post(s) in this series:

Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

Japan 2015: Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park

Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree

Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise

Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza

Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo

Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time

Previous posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden

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

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  • dWi


    aahhh, it’s too beautiful. Pink were everywhere. Is it smells good? I haven’t yet seen this flower 🙁

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Honestly, there was little to no smell from the flowers.

  • Steps Together


    Wow.. You must have had great time in this beautiful garden.. Photos look amazing

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Thanks, and yes, it was truly beautiful!

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