This naturally wooded park adjoins the Meiji Jingu Shrine, and until 1996, it hosted Tokyo's amateur rock and roll bands, who strutted their stuff every Sunday. They have since moved to Omotesando, and Yoyogi Park has become quiet, and ideal for groups of friends and families who like to enjoy a tranquil Sunday afternoon strolling by small ponds filled with koi (Japanese carp). Rental bicycles are available within the grounds during summer.
The Shinjuku Gyo-en blends Western and Eastern influences in its layout with English, French and conventional Japanese gardens. It also features quaint tea ceremony houses and a greenhouse with a considerable collection of tropical plants. It is most famous for its cherry blossom trees, which in early spring paint the whole place with different hues of fluttering pink. It is an ideal place to get some fresh air, relax amidst nature and lift your spirits.
While Chiba is not short of beautiful parks, the Makuhari Kaihin Park definitely stands out as one of the best. Surrounded by modern buildings of the city, the park offers much-needed serenity away from all the traffic and bustle. The lush lawns, flower decorations and cobbled pavements will lead the visitors to the side of the park which offers breathtaking ocean views. Perfect for a picnic day, the park is a must-visit.
Opened in 1873 at the top of Ueno Hill, Tokyo's first public park houses several world-class museums, a popular zoo, shrines, temples, a rental boat lake, historical monuments, hundreds of cherry blossom trees, and a lotus pond. Ueno Park, being Tokyo's largest, has so much to offer that a day would not be enough. Whether you come here alone to spend some time in solitude or bring along your family to spend quality time with them, you won’t be disappointed with the umpteen offerings of this gorgeous park.
Zou No Hana Park encompasses the area where Commodore Perry landed in 1854 on his second visit to Japan. The area became the main port of Yokohama and was the center of international trade in Japan. It was established as a park when changes in shipping rendered the city seafront too small for container ships. The port business was moved to the specially built quays on the outskirts of the city. The park was named after the dykes in the area, which were shaped like an elephant's nose (zou no hana means "elephant's nose" in Japanese). Today the park consists of a grassy slope overlooking the water and a paved area where exhibitions are often held. The terrace has a small café and a gallery space inside. Around the park are information boards in English and Japanese that give a history of the port's development. The foundations of warehouses and a railway line are also visible. -AH
This enchanting garden, first created in 1629, is a delightful place to visit at any time of the year. Koraku means to 'enjoy afterwards' and the garden was designed as a place of peaceful, quiet contemplation. It's only a quarter of the size it initially was but the paths, sloping hills and the beguiling pond at its center ensure that it is as charming and beautiful as it ever was. Year round, the garden displays an array of colors, from green, orange, red to pink; the trees, meadows and flowers are all painted in various colors of nature. The city appointed it as a special place of beauty; go and enjoy it for yourself.
The Imperial Palace East Gardens is one of the only parts of the Imperial Palace grounds that is fully open to the public. It was the innermost line of defense for the now gone Edo Castle and as a result, it has moats, guard houses and walls. A beautiful Japanese garden was planted in place of the buildings that formed the second-most inner ring of defense - it's a lovely place to visit and walk around, particularly in the spring and summertime. The park is closed on Mondays and Fridays.
Officially known as the Resurrection Cathedral of the Orthodox Church in Japan, this odd, though beautiful Byzantine-design Russian Orthodox church took its nickname from Archbishop Nikolai, its first administrator until his death in 1912. The original plans for Nikolai Do with the green onion dome were drawn up in St. Petersburg by Josiah Conder, a British architect, and the construction was completed in 1891. Service is in Japanese.
The bronze statue of former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida wearing a winter coat and walking with a stick stands in Kitanomaru Park. He was twice prime minister after World War II and twice Minister of Foreign Affairs. His policies emphasized Japan's economic recovery and regaining the lost industrial infrastructure. Yoshida died in 1967. -AH
Visitors to Tokyo shouldn't miss this gorgeous landscaped garden. Originally an imperial garden, Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Gardens was created in 1924 and was named as one of the most beautiful spots in Tokyo. Stroll along the pathway and admire the flowers as well as the prominent garden pond. You can cross one of the four bridges, admire a "waterfall" crafted out of stones, take your children to the playground, or just relax and take in the sunshine. Surrounded by tall building, this bit of nature creates a peaceful oasis in the city.
This delightful and picturesque pond, located inside Ueno Park, is an extremely charming place to spend an afternoon. It's a completely natural pond, even though it was once drained, and was dug out of marshland in the early seventeenth century. Now, it's the place for romantic walks and boat rides (from spring to early winter), and from July to the middle of August, you can see pink lotus flowers bloom. The park is close to the Toshugo Shrine; allow yourself a full morning or afternoon to enjoy both attractions.