Hanami is an incredible event that takes place when the Japanese Sakura, aka cherry blossoms, are in full bloom. Albeit short, roughly two weeks, the blooming cherry blossoms put the beauty of Japan on full display which attracts onlookers from around the world. Hanami is the celebration of this phenomenon by hosting a picnic under the blooming trees which usually involves delicious delectables and drinks. Japan is home to many amazing viewing areas to partake in hanami but Shinjuku Gyoen is considered one of the top viewing spots in the entire country.
Situated in the southeast end of the Shinjuku area, Shinjuku Gyoen offers a stark contrast to the neon lights of the world famous Kabukicho district. Originally the site of Lord Naito in the Edo period, Shinjuku Gyoen was completed in 1906 and sits on 144 acres of land making it a spacious and historical site for hanami events. The calm and natural landscape of Shinjuku Gyoen is a welcome environment for Hanami goers as it is home to hundreds of cherry blossom trees of different varieties. Shinjuku Gyoen also features a Traditional Japanese Garden, English Garden, French Garden, and a Greenhouse for visitors to explore.
Visitors can travel back in time as they make their way through the historical garden that is filled with traditional architecture that can be found throughout the park in the forms of teahouses and bridges. The serenity of the Shinjuku Gyoen allows visitors to escape from the stresses of the big city.
The vast amount of land, 144 acres, allows enough room for hanami participants to comfortably celebrate the event with their friends and family without the inconveniences of other cramped cherry blossom viewing spots. Alongside the beautiful natural scenery, visitors can also view the massive skyscrapers that peak out of the trees giving them a truly amazing glimpse of how Japan flawlessly blends nature with the big city.
It’s easy to see why people make their way to Shinjuku Gyoen for the hanami celebration. The serenity and historical setting make for a perfect hanami celebration. Visitors will not be disappointed in choosing what is considered one of the best hanami spots in all of Japan!
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Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
Access: 5 minute walk from Shinjuku Station South Exit
Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Gates close at 4:30 PM)
Admission Fee: 200 yen
Website: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden