Surrounded by some of Tokyo's tallest buildings in Western Shinjuku, this park looks like an urban oasis in the middle of the busy ward of Shinjuku. Shinjuku itself is a special ward that acts as a major commercial and administrative center. It is home to the busiest train station in the world (Shinjuku Station) and also the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
Otherwise known as Shinjuku Central Park, 'Chuo kouen' showed me its charm when I was visiting it in early November. That day, I was not on a tight schedule, and just waiting for my night bus bound for Nagoya that afternoon. So I decided to take a walk near the bus station and ended up here. I wanted to see Shinjuku's local life a bit closer through experiencing this park.
I spent an hour or so ambling around the park and saw many kinds of activities on display. There were art students practicing their drama assignment in front of a nice water fountain; elders relaxing and even one playing with a paper airplane; and a few homeless were enjoying the afternoon chatting with their friends.
Others were reading books, jogging, cycling in their fancy suits, some were even feeding the abandoned cats. As I unpacked a snack for an afternoon nibble, I saw a few workers also enjoying their luncheon. Since the park is very accessible for the many office workers in the area, you will see some of them spend their lunch time here. Having a snack while seeing the autumn-colored trees and listening to the water fountains is an ideal way to end the day in Shinjuku. Well, that windy afternoon in an early autumn seemed pretty lively to me.
You can also try to catch a flea market held here. The Shinjuku Chuo Park flea market is held around once every two months on Saturdays between 10am to 3pm. Unfortunately, I was here on a Wednesday. But if you are lucky, you will find yourself lost in and amongst about 200 vendors selling their vintage wares.
The nearest station is Tochomae Station, served by the Toei Ōedo Line.