Tokyo is the capital city of the most amazing and modern island in East Asia: Japan. The first thing that usually comes to our mind when we think about Tokyo is its busy modern society or its eccentric lifestyle. Although huge buildings, skyscrapers, and technology are the most highlighted aspects, Tokyo has much more to offer. Within this busy city, beautiful and calming parks can be found. These parks, or Japanese gardens, are mostly historical places. An aspect that shows how the big contrast of old and new can coexist in only one city without ruining the beauty of a place. On the contrary, old and new bend so well together that it’s hard to imagine Tokyo without this divergence.
What makes Tokyo’s Parks so unique is how they are like magical places, completely different from the endless development of the city. These parks have a lot of breathtaking landscapes, where one of the most beautiful features are the small and traditional bridges. These bridges, along with the charming nature, create an idyllic space for you to enjoy and relax. Just imagine having a break while watching some koi carps swimming or some elegant herons and cormorants sunning themselves.
Hama-Rikyu Onshi Teien
A perfect example is Hama-Rikyu Onshi Teien park, which was a hunting preserve that was reserved solely for the imperial dynasties. Located in central Tokyo, it is surrounded by high buildings that make it seem like only this place has been untouched with the passage of time. As it’s alongside the Tokyo Bay, this park is famous and unique because of its seawater ponds that change level with the tides. Visitors, apart from admiring the scenery, can also relax while drinking green tea at the teahouse located in the middle of the park. Isn’t it awesome?
Hama-Rikyu Onshi Teien is also a wonderful place to witness blossom seasons in Japan. From the marvelous plum blossom season in February to the worldwide famous cherry blossoms that usually take place between March and April. Although this park is an excellent blossom spot, you can visit it at any time and still not be disappointed. In Autumn, beautiful red and orange leaves melt together creating a relaxing palette color.
If you can’t get enough of this amazing and relaxing contrast between old and new, you can also visit Meiji Shrine, which is dedicated to enshrining the deific spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken. Meiji Shrine, also known as Meiji Jingu, is usually visited by the followers of the Shinto religion to pray. However, other visitors are also allowed but they must follow some rules to pay respect.
Meiji Jingu has iconic buildings like the Shrine Archway and the Treasure Museum, but nature is also a relevant part of this place. So, don’t forget to visit and have a look at the astonishing inner garden and its forest. These two places have their own peculiarity and beauty. The inner garden is very colorful and relaxing. Apart from beautiful flowers, you can also find in this place a tranquil pond and some unique animals like mandarin ducks, kingfishers and koi carps. On the other hand, the forest is inhabited by endangered plants and animals species, and although it seems to be like any other natural forest, every tree in this forest was planted by hand. And even some of them were specially brought from other countries.
Another park in Tokyo that you cannot miss out on is Shinjuku Gyoen. This botanical garden is one of the largest and most visited parks in Tokyo. As it’s centrally located and near to the Shinjuku station, it is very easy to get to this place and have some time to spend in a peaceful and comforting environment.
This lovely place has three types of gardens where you can perfectly distinguish each landscape garden. The traditional and oldest Japanese landscape has those old-style bridges that go across the ponds and highlight the beauty of what is around. This type of relaxing and elegant scenery will make you feel as if you were part of an old Japanese historical movie. The other two types are English and French formal landscaped gardens. They have the symmetry and other similar characteristics to the original gardens’ designs; however, it has that typical Japanese style that is easy to recognize. For example, there are cherry trees in these gardens too!
As there are different varieties of cherry trees in Shinjuku Gyoen, this place is considered to be the best spot to witness cherry blossoms. However, there are also many activities that you can do in this park. From having a nice picnic to visiting the greenhouse, which is full of many tropical flowers.
As you can see, Tokyo has wonderful and relaxing parks where you can spend time with your family, partner, friends or even yourself to relax. Even though there are different options to choose from, all of them are incredible places. So, no matter what your choice is, rest assured that you’ll have a great time if you visit any of these parks.
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