The Best Parks to Visit in Tokyo

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The Best Parks to Visit in Tokyo

Mostly known for the bright flashing lights of Shibuya or Shinjuku, futuristic innovations and busy streets, most are surprised to find there's also a greener side to Tokyo too. Far in the west side of Tokyo you'll find mountains, deep valleys and mystical forests, and in the city itself there are plenty of parks and Japanese gardens to explore for those that need a moment away from the fast pace of Tokyo's street life.

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The Best Parks to Visit in Tokyo

Yoyogi Park

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Yoyogi Park is always a hive of activity, one of Tokyo's largest parks, this huge area lies next to Harajuku Station and is full of wide open spaces and walkways at the heart of the city. The south of the park is often used for food festivals and cultural events during the weekend, with other performances often seen throughout the park. To the north of the park you'll find Meiji Jingu Shrine, the area is covered with towering forest trees and torii gates that are a must see for those visiting the city.

Shinjuku Gyoen

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Unlike most of Tokyo's inner city parks, Shinjuku Gyoen requires an entry fee, but for just 500 yen it's well worth it. The park is honestly one of the most beautiful in the city, carefully planned and cared for with French, English and Japanese landscaped gardens along with stunning spots for viewing the sakura or cherry blossoms in the spring. It's also one of the best places to head to for seeing Tokyo's brightly colored autumn leaves in the fall season.

Rikugien Garden

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If you're looking to explore a Japanese landscape garden while in the city, Rikugien is easily one of the most beautiful. The name means 'six poems garden' and features 88 miniature scenes from different famous Japanese poems. Be sure to visit Fukiage Chaya, a teahouse with picturesque views over the pond and gardens.

Inokashira Park

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For a day out to enjoy a breath of nature while visiting one of the world's largest cities, head to Inokashira Park. Just south of Kichijoji Station this park is full of wildlife and greenery, with a large pond as the park's centerpiece. You can rent a rowing boat out to explore the park from the water, an activity which is particularly popular during the cherry blossom season.

Todoroki Valley

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A respite of greenery just a short journey from the center of Tokyo, Todoroki Valley is an explosion of nature you'd never expect in the city. This almost jungle-like ravine follows the Yazawa River with waterfalls, bridges and overhanging trees to make you feel like you've been transported into the countryside for a short while. The trail only stretches for just over a kilometer however, but is well worth spending around an hour or so to appreciate the nature here.


With parks all over Tokyo, it's easy to get out of the city for a short while and appreciate the local nature without the need to travel far. If you've only got time to explore one park, make it Shinjuku Gyoen, there's plenty of gardens and picturesque spots to check out and it's hardly ever busy.