One of my favorite things about in Tokyo was all the green and parks that were all around the city. I found that parks in Tokyo are very quiet and are little green areas as if time has stopped. While I was studying abroad in Tokyo, I would often head out to parks to do work and finish up any homework or reading I had to do in the fresh air. It gave me a great opportunity to work and explore areas I haven’t been too, rather than being stuck indoors in my dorm or in a cafe. So I present to you, my favorite and best parks in Tokyo to relax in.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – Best Parks in Tokyo
This is the park I was most at while in Tokyo. It’s also convenient being right in the middle of Shinjuku, and a walkable distance from my dorm. It is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, Tuesday through Sunday, and closed Tuesday in weeks in which Monday is a national holiday. This is the only park in this list that has admission, which is 300 yen, (~$2) for adults, and is less for students and children. More information on their website. There are number of parks in Tokyo that are paid, but i think Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is totally worth it. The park is huge and right in the middle of Shinjuku, but the park is so big, I often forget that I’m even in Tokyo! People also call it “the Central Park of Tokyo”. But as a New Yorker, I think its much better than Central Park!
The park has many Japanese traditional landscape gardens with large ponds, lawns, and bridges and is beautiful all season, but especially during the cherry blossom! I often brought a bento box with me to sit down and eat while admiring nature, and do work here. There are so many areas to discover within the park and one day in the park is simply not enough. This is honestly one of the best parks in Tokyo you cannot miss.
Shiba Park – Best Parks in Tokyo
This is also one of my most favorite parks in Tokyo, but I wasn’t able to visit often since it was a little far from my dorm. I wish I went to it more often! Shiba Park is a public and free park open every day 24/7. I found that there aren’t many people in the park and finding a nice spot to sit and relax was so easy. Just remember to bring a sheet to sit on. I often brought readings that I had to do for class and read while having a full view of Tokyo Tower in the back. This park just always made me think “wow I really am in Tokyo”. Shiba Park is really one of the most scenic parks in Tokyo.
It is also located right next to Zojoji Temple and is the oldest public park in Japan, established in 1873. Because the view is so beautiful, it has been featured on TV and movies. While you are in the area, be sure to climb the Tokyo Tower to see a beautiful view from above!
Yoyogi Park – Best Parks in Tokyo
Yoyogi is a great park to chill in but is very popular for picnics due to being located right between Harajuku and Shinjuku. Yoyogi Park is especially fun on weekends since there are always events happening. I stumbled on Thai festivals, dog festivals, and music festivals! Almost every weekend, there’s something happening, but its mostly international festival, food events and flea markets.
I went to Yoyogi Park to have a picnic while the cherry blossom season. The word for it is “Hanami” which translates to “flower watch”. There is often a lot of young people here relaxing, so the atmosphere makes it the most lively park in Tokyo.
Ueno Park is also a popular park in Tokyo located in Ueno. It is a popular tourist park since Ueno Zoo is located right in the park, and the area has shrines and temples. I have never really come here just for the park, but after going to any of the attractions around like the zoo, or any museum, it was nice to just be able to sit down and calm down and relax.
It is also popular during the Hanami season, and they also host a big cherry blossom festival during the season. Paper lanterns are strewn throughout the park, beautifully lighting up the cherry blossoms at night. During this season, there are stands that sell Japanese street food, like okonomiyaki, yakisoba.
Odaiba Seaside Park
Technically, this park isnt your usually park, but a beach park located right at the coast of Odaiba, with many piers, sand and places to sit and relax. The park offers a great scenery of Tokyo Bay, Rainbow Bridge and the metropolis of Tokyo. It is so beautiful and a great place to sit and relax admiring the city of Tokyo.
The area around the park also has many different attractions and I loved to refer it as a little amusement park since Odaiba has a huge ferris wheel on the island, and having so many attractions like marine sports, marine sports, running course, fishing zone, and numerous shopping malls, entertainment facilities and dining spots. They all very close to each other and is easy to access too.
Inokashira Park is a beautiful park, but even more beautiful during cherry blossom season! During the warm seasons, they have swan boats to ride on. Boats start from 600 yen to rent and are paid for by the half-hour or hour, depending on the type (rowboat, paddleboat, or swan boat) you choose.
It’s in the Kichijoji/Mitaka area, and is a very spacious park.
The park also has a number of facilities and tourist attractions including a Zoo, historical monuments and also the Studio Ghibli Museum in the southwest of the park!
Inokashira Park is really nice to stroll in any season. It is said to be one of the greenest parks in Tokyo with lush greenery in summer to the stunning reds and golds of fall Momiji.
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