Tokyo's Best Parks

Tokyo is known for being one of the most exciting and busy cities in the world. However it is surprisingly easy to escape the crowds and relax in one of Tokyo's peaceful parks. If you're travelling in Japan I highly recommend visiting a Japanese garden as they are very different to parks in other countries, making them interesting places to visit.

Shinjuku Gyoen

Nearest station: Shinjuku Station (Shinjuku Gate), Shinjukugyoenmae Station (Okido Gate) or Sendagaya Station (Sendagaya Gate)
Entrance fee: 200 yen
Opening times: 9:00-16:30 (closed Mondays)
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Shinjuku Gyoen is a National Garden and probably Tokyo's most famous park, but despite its popularity the park remains very spacious and relaxing. The park is interesting because it features three different styles of gardening; French, English and Japanese and your 200 yen entrance fee also allows you to enter the botanical garden in the park's greenhouse.
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The best time to visit is spring as Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the most popular hanami spots during cherry blossom season. 

Yoyogi Koen

Nearest station: Harajuku Station (Yamanote Line)
Entrance fee: Free!
Opening times: Always open
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Because it allows alcohol, dogs and it is free to enter Yoyogi Park is like Shinjuku Gyoen's fun younger brother. You will usually see something fun going on, for example, dance groups performing, musicians busking and people walking meerkats dressed like Donald duck... you really never know what to expect at Yoyogi Park. Every Sunday there is a group of people by the entrance to the park that dress up like Elvis and dance to 50s music which is really interesting to watch and there are many fun events are hosted in Yoyogi Park throughout the year.

Showakinen Park

Nearest station: Tachikawa Station (Chuo Line, Ome Line and Nambu Line)
Entrance fee: 450 yen
Opening times: 9:30-17:00
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Showakinen park is huge, so you could easily spend a whole day exploring it. There's lots of things to see here, such as the bonsai tree museum and the bird sanctuary. Being so huge there is the option to rent a bicycle and it seems like a popular day out for families.
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The best time to visit is Autumn as the park is famous for its Autumn colours, but it is also popular during the Spring Flower Festival which features fields of flowers.

Kiyosumi Teien

Nearest station: Kiyosumi Shirakawa (Hanzomon Line and Oedo Line)
Entrance fee: 150 yen
Opening times: 9:00-17:00
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Kiyosumi Garden is pretty small compared to the other parks in this list but it's an incredibly beautiful Japanese style garden and it is a popular spot for wedding and kimono photoshoots. What makes Kiyosumi Garden especially interesting is that it is a great place to see Japanese animals such as turtles, koi and herons. The park is great to visit year round but in April the blossom trees bloom and there is also an Iris garden that blooms in June. You will probably only need to spend an hour here but there are lots of picnic benches so it would be the perfect spot for a relaxing picnic.

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Bethany Beffinee