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Shinjuku Gyoen is to Tokyo what Central Park is to New York. It’s place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy the outdoors, relax with friends, and escape from the city for a couple hours. 

Because its Tokyo’s “Imperial Garden”, the quality of the park, its cleanliness, and facilities are top-notch! 

Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park

The History of Shinjuku Gyoen

  • 1590 – The Shinjuku Imperial Garden was given as a gift from one ruling family to another. 
  • 1872 – The massive greenhouse on the property was built when Japan wanted to increase agricultural research 
  • 1906 – The garden was completed to look mostly as it does now, for use only by the Imperial families 
  • 1949 – Shinjuku Gyoen was opened to the public as a national park 
 
Read more about the history of Shinjuku Gyoen here:
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park

How to get to Shinjuku Gyoen

The park has only three entrances, and the rest of its circumference is fenced-off!
Northwest – Shinjuku Gate

Shinjuku Gyoen is most commonly accessed from the Shinjuku side – it’s right next to Shinjuku Station after all.

Northeast – Okido Gate
The north east entrance opens up to Tokyo’s Yotsuya area. Okido gate is closest to Yotsuya-sanchome station on the Marunouchi subway line.
 
South – Sendagaya Gate
To the South is also one entrance, closest to Sendagaya Station on the Chuo and Chuo-Sobu JR Lines. It’s also accessible from Yoyogi on the Yamanote Line, and is the least crowded entrance. 
 
Shinjuku Gyoen is a great park to pass through if you’re walking between Shinjuku and Harajuku in Tokyo. About a 10-minute walk from Shinjuku Gyoen’s south exit is one entrance to the Meiji Jingu Park, or 20 minutes from the south exit is the shopping paradise of Harajuku.

Park Entrance Fees

Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo, tips on visiting, all you need to know about Shinjuku Gyoen park: entrance fees, rules, no alcohol, no ball games, japanese garden and tea houses

Some people may be surprised about the fact there is an entrance fee to the park. And 500 yen at that! 

Part of the reason for this fee is because there is a LOT of work going into the upkeep of this park and all of its facilities. Shinjuku Gyoen is technically part of the Imperial family’s property so it stays looking immaculate. 

For the one-time fee, if you spend time in their greenhouse, admiring the Japanese garden, chilling in their rest house, having a picnic in the wide open space, and using their super clean restrooms… I promise 500 yen is worth it.  

As of March 2019, the following are the fees to enter Shinjuku Gyoen:
Adults – 500 yen
Seniors (over 65) – 250 yen 
Students (with student ID) – 250 yen
Children 15 and under – FREE
Annual Pass – 2000 yen 
 
If you plan on visiting Shinjuku Gyoen more than four times during your stay in Tokyo and Japan, it’s worth it to get an Annual Pass for 2000 yen. The application process can be done on the spot at any of the park’s entrances, and you’ll walk away with an ID card with your picture and a QR code on it as a nice souvenir! 
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park. Annual Pass

Opening Hours

From July 1st to August 20th, the Shinjuku Gyoen is open from 9:00am-6:30pm, with gates closing at 7:30pm.

Outside these months, from March 15th to September 30th, the park opens at 9:00am and closes at 5:30pm, with gates closing at 6:00pm 

Shinjuku Gyoen is closed on Mondays!
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park

Park Facilities

  • Bathrooms – lots of them! And they’re CLEAN!
  • Water fountains
  • Trash cans
  • Many, many benches
  • Rest buildings – Lots of picnic tables you can use. You can buy snacks, ice cream, and souvenirs from the store, or a drink from the vending machines. If you forgot a picnic mat, you can buy one here!  
  • Wide open grassy areas, tall trees giving shade
  • Maps are available at every entrance in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean  
  • Coin Lockers 
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park

Rules of the Park

Because of Shinjuku Gyoen’s importance to the Imperial family, there are a few rules to the park that many seem a bit unusual. The overall rule is to just be respectful of the park and to others:

No dogs, No alcohol (but everything else is allowed for your own picnic!), No playing music, No smoking, No bicycles, No ball games/frisbee!

Shinjuku Gyoen Points of Interest

Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
Shinjuku Gyoen Greenhouse. Many potted plants and a small waterfall inside
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
The Formal Gardens and rose beds - a French-style garden
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
The Taiwan Pavillion, overlooking the traditional Japanese Garden
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
Big ponds home to massive carp and turtles, where you can see heron and ducks
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
One of many rest houses where you can purchase snacks, souvenirs, and other picnic necessities
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
The traditional Japanese Garden area in Shinjuku Gyoen
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
One of two teahouses, where you can buy boxed lunches as well as have tea indoors
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
The wide open Landscape Garden, perfect for picnics!
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Tokyo Japan, Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden and Park
A second wide grassy area is for families with children under 13 years old only

Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen during Sakura season  

Beware the lines to get in to Shinjuku Gyoen during sakura season are truly outrageous. If you’re not a fan of crowds, it might be best to visit in the morning on a weekday, or visit in the off-season. 

There are cherry blossom trees planted in Shinjuku Gyoen that bloom a bit earlier and a bit later than the most popular type of tree in Japan. So even if you don’t join the stampede of people, you’ll still be able to enjoy the flowers! 

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Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden in Tokyo, Japan. Facilities, History, Rules, Admission prices, and things to do
Visiting Shinjuku Gyoen Imperial Garden in Tokyo, Japan. Facilities, History, Rules, Admission prices, and things to do

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