Autumn 2013: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Visit Date: 11/22/2013 (Best Viewing Time: late November to early December)

Shinjuku Gyoen (新宿御苑) is one of the largest park in Tokyo with a land area of 58.7 hectares and circumference of 3.5 kilometers. It is located just a short walk from either Shinjuku or Sendagaya stations. It provides a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere which makes it a popular destination in the city.

The park skillfully combine three distinct styles: a traditional Japanese garden, an English landscape garden, and a formal French garden.

Shinjuku Gyoen - traditional Japanese gardenTraditional Japanese garden with ponds, bridges, hills, well-trimmed shrubs, and pavilion.

Shinjuku Gyoen - English landscape gardenEnglish landscape garden featuring wide, open lawns surrounded by groves of cherry trees.

Shinjuku Gyoen - formal French gardenFormal French garden with rose beds and symmetrical features that create a romantic landscape.

Autumn colors around the park have already started with most of the cherry or sakura trees, which are the most common tree around the park, turning to golden yellow, orange, and coppery red.

Shinjuku Gyoen - Sakura TreesSakura trees around the English landscape garden.

Shinjuku Gyoen - shower of sakura leavesSome of the sakura trees also started shedding their leaves, creating beautiful showers along pathways.

Shinjuku Gyoen - Sakura trees with shedded leavesSakura trees in the Yurinoki Restaurant have already lost most of its leaves.

The maple or momiji trees on the other hand, have just started turning colors. Some of which are still in the early state, with a combination of green, orange, and red leaves.
Shinjuku Gyoen - momiji in early autumn stateThe maple trees near the Shinjuku entrance which are on the early autumn state capture most of the visitors attention.

Most of the maple trees in the more covered areas still remain green.

Shinjuku Gyoen - momiji in the maple hillMaples in the momojiyama (maple mountain).

Some of the best maple trees can be found around the ponds or generally more exposed areas.

Shinjuku Gyoen - momiji in the upper pondMomiji with orange leaves near the Kamino-ike (upper pond).

Shinjuku Gyoen - momiji between lower and middle pondsOne of the best momiji located between Shimono-ike (lower pond) and Nakano-ike (middle pond).

Shinjuku Gyoen - momiji in the lower pond areaMomiji in the Shimono-ike (lower pond).

The sycamore trees have also created a beautiful yellow, orange, and golden brown palette.

Shinjuku Gyoen - Sycamore treesAvenue of sycamore trees located within the French formal garden.

The park’s condition may still be in the early autumn state but there sure are good spots to enjoy and admire the colors of autumn.

Shinjuku Gyoen - lower pondShimomo-ike (lower pond)

Shinjuku Gyoen - middle pondNakano-ike (middle pond)

Useful Info:
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden Service Center
Address: 11 Naito-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 〒160-0014
Inquiries:  03-3350-0151
Hours: 9:00 – 16:00 (gates close at 16:30)
Admission Fee: ¥ 200
* Elementary and junior high school student is ¥50.
* Disabled visitors and his/her companion may enter free of charge (ID must be presented).
* Group discount applies to a party of 30 persons or more.
Shinjuku Gate
   ▸ Shinjuku Station South Exit (10 mins walk)
   ▸ Shinjuku-Gyoenmae Station Exit 1 (5 mins walk)
   ▸ Shinjuku-Sanchome Station Exit E5 (5 mins walk)
Sendagaya Gate
▸ JR Sendagaya Station (5 mins walk)
▸ Kokuritsu-Kyogijo Station Exit 5 (5 mins walk)