Shinjuku is arguably most accredited for its tall, shiny, and majestic skyscrapers that breathtakingly fill the area. When walking through, it feels as though everything just goes up, up and up. It is also very rightly famous for Shinjuku Station, said to attract more than 3 million visitors a day, a colossal transport hub which is known to be the busiest station in the world.
However, along with this glorious modernity and supreme hustle and bustle of people, Shinjuku also has one of the most relaxing and beautiful parks that it should equally be acknowledged for; this park is Shinjuku Gyoen, a mammoth of a park containing trees with stupendous character, Japanese gardens overflowing with oriental charm, and also a French and British style garden with many lovely flowers.
The color of the grass inside on so many separate fields simply blew me away. I have never seen such lucent shades of green that look so fresh and inviting. There are so many different trees that rest on these vast patches of grass, along with the huge amount of visitors that the park deservedly attracts. Such visitors love to lounge on the grass and soak up the sun, have a picnic, read and draw, and just enjoy the glorious environment. I saw a few elderly ladies painting some exquisite replications of the picturesque scenes at hand; I wanted to take a picture of them immersed in their element but I didn't want to intrude.
What also impressed me so much is how the park seems to live harmoniously side by side with the modernity of Shinjuku. In certain points of the park you can see tall skyscrapers in the distance, but the park and these futuristic buildings strangely seem to complement each other. I have to admire Japan for how tremendously clean it is; Tokyo, for a capital city, is pretty pristine. It is testament to the Japanese government and the Japanese people to allow nature to thrive in such a modern place.
Entry to Shinjuku Gyoen is ¥200 and is easily worth every single yen. If I lived in Shinjuku, I know I would be here very frequently in the summer and also to watch cherry blossoms beforehand, which is said to be the best place in Shinjuku to do so. I can completely imagine. The park is open from 9:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00) and is closed only on Mondays.
In association with HK Express – sponsors of our 2015 JapanTravel.com Photojournalist Program
Find out more about Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
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I graduated from University of Hertfordshire in the UK in 2014, with a 2:1 in Mass Communications. I have since worked in China for a Media and PR Company as a writer and photographer and also as a foreign editor for a English website for the expatriate community in Guangzhou. I am a big fan of the East in many ways, and have always dreamed of coming to Japan. I look forward to exploring this beautiful and unique country over the years to come!