The green side of Tokyo

Where to find a little peace in the heart of the concrete and steel jungle that is Tokyo?

Follow our guide to the green spaces of the Japanese capital and discover the charms of these places to meet and relax, which are essential for the Japanese.



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Smile at the Yoyogi koen

The Yoyogi is the ideal stop after a studious morning spent visiting temples and shrines. You will feel carefree upon leaving this park, which has a festive atmosphere and which is located in the Shibuya district.
 
Every Sunday, the talents of the capital meet near the east entrance. Japanese Elvises and horn players reinterpret the classics of the 1950s while hip-hop dancers and gangs of rockabillies engage in lively jam sessions to the delight of passersby.

The Northwest of Yoyogi offers a more tranquil setting. There is a bike hire, which for 100 yen will let you take a bicycles or tandem along the shaded paths of the park. You will certainly cross paths with a Scottish terrier wearing a glittery hat or a Chihuahua wearing neon butterfly wings: Yoyogi Park never lets you take yourself too seriously.

opening hoursopen in the daytime, free admission.
address: Jinan 2-cho, Yoyogi-Kamizonocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
accessJR Yamanote line to Harajuku station, Omotesando exit, or Chiyoda line to Yoyogi-koen stop, exit 4.
 

 
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Lunch on the grass at Ueno Park


The huge Ueno Park, the lung of eastern Tokyo, proves to be a pleasant refuge from the stifling Japanese summer heat.

The Japanese who meet here come in search of a fleeting bucolic impression, wandering along the cherry tree lined avenues. Some even reconnect with their "Japaneseness" and sport traditional clothing including the yukata, summer kimono.

The wide-open spaces of the park allow for undisturbed, solitary reverie in the shade of large trees. The Shinobazu Pond, located in the southwest, offers a show, which can only be seen in this season, the flowering of the lotuses who’s giant petals cover the whole surface of the water.


opening hoursopen in the daytime, free admission.
addressUenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo. 
accessUeno station, on Hibya et Ginza metro lines and JR Yamanote, Keihin-Tôhôku and Skyliner lines.


 
 
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Dreaming along the paths of Happo-en


To get married, Tokyoites choose Happo-en without hesitation. Its traditional houses and romantic pond make an ideal setting for the exchange of vows.

A vegetal getaway in the heart of the "Little Milan" of Tokyo, the Shirokanedai neighborhood of a thousand fashion-addicts, Happo-en captivates through its esthetic appeal. Whether it is in summer or in winter, for the blossoming of the cherry trees or for the autumnal colors of the Maple trees, it never loses its serene charm. That is where its popularity with young couples looking for the perfect place for their wedding, comes from.

Enjoy a matcha tea (green tea powder), contemplating the bonsais, which are more than five hundred years, inspires humility. For lovers of traditional Japanese weddings, weekends provide the opportunity for you to indulge your curiosity and to watch ceremonies from a distance.

opening hoursfrom 11:30 am to 10 pm.
address1-1-1 Shirokanedai, Tokyo.
accessShirokanedai station on the Mita and Namboku metro lines.
NB : Guided tours only on weekdays, reservations required for all visits (except self-guided tours without meals).

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Marvel at Shinjuku-gyoen


Nicknamed "the urban oasis" Shinjuku Garden is one of the largest parks in the capital. It is one of the favorite places for a stroll for Tokyoites and tourists and even becomes an attraction during the blossoming of the cherry trees.

Its fifty-eight hectares and two thousand trees make Shinjuku-gyoen a real breath of fresh air, just minutes from the bustling district of Shinjuku Station.

Next to the French and English areas, a Japanese garden with its cherry trees, cypresses and Himalayan cedars invites visitors to continue their walk. Go a little further, to discover a pond and its huge carp, on the other side of which stands a house, which guards over Shinjuku-gyoen.

From late March to late April, the garden is bedecked with its main spring wealth, the blossoming of its one thousand five hundred cherry trees. The Japanese, tourists and avid photographers invade the garden, which becomes a much busier place, but without losing its charm or its calm.


 

opening hours:  9 am to 4:30 pm.

address11 Naito-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.
access Marunouchi metro, Shinjuku gyoen mae station (exit 1) or Toei Shinjuku metro line, Shinjuku 3 chome station (exits C1 & C5).

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