Now that Spring is here, it’s time to come out and enjoy a day in the natural beauty of Tokyo. With skyscrapers basking in this city, people often tend to overlook the warm terraces awaiting in the midst of the hustle and bustle. It might come as a surprise for some, but this metro offers a lot of nature parks that you can visit for a walk or for a picnic with family and friends. So, whether it is a sunny or a breezy day, we can always use some quality time with loved ones in these noteworthy picnic spots!
1. YOYOGI PARK
The list of the best picnic spots in Tokyo will never be complete without the famous Yoyogi Park. Its rich history paired with the beautiful scenery draws the crowd for a simple visit or a picnic. Yoyogi Park was a site for the first successful powered aircraft flight in 1910 and later became an army parade ground. It also housed athletes during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. These days the park has become a center of activity especially for the youth. Except for winter, you can see people having picnics in this park almost every day. It is a very popular hangout place with its spacious and grassy area – perfect for enjoying your food and time with loved ones.
Yoyogi Park is located in Shibuya, near Harajuku station. It is also adjacent to the Meiji Shrine, which makes the area convenient for tourists who want to visit the shrine and later on have a chill day at the park. The park is free of charge.
Name: Yoyogi Park
Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3 3469 6081
2. MIZUMOTO PARK
Established in 1965, Mizumoto Park is the biggest park in Tokyo with its water landscapes and fauna diversity. It boasts of riverside town scenery and metasequoia forest. Around two thousand metasequoias are planted in this park which gives it the strong accent of fiery autumn leaves and an amazing snow-covered forest view during winter. There are also cherry trees present in this park. The rich diversity of trees here makes it a good home for birds that’s why bird watching is also a famous activity in Mizumoto Park. You can enjoy spotting some herons, kingfishers, spotbills and more.
Located in Katsushika Ward, bus services are available from Kanamichi Station to Mizumoto-Koen. Note that the bus stop is 400m away from the park entrance, which is about 7 minutes on foot. Since you’re still going by foot after the bus ride, folks recommend that tourists walk straight up from Kanamichi station to the park, which is around 20 minutes.
Name: Mizumoto Park
Address: 125-0034, 3-2 Mizumotokoen, Katsushika, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3-3607-8321
3. SETAGAYA PARK
Setagaya Park is best for kids and those kids at heart. It offers many fun activities from pedal cart course, mini steam train, flea markets and many more. Your kids can even build fire using hand tools! This play park is run by a non-profit organization and they offer both free and paid activities. The park also has an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and an open area for those who just want to take in the scenery and have picnics. Pets are also allowed but of course you must be a responsible owner. Surely, Setagaya Park is a fun place for parents and kids to have quality time, or even among friends!
Setagaya Play Park is a 14-minute walk from Ikejiri-Ohashi Station. You can also go by bus if you are coming from Shibuya, as it is just 5km away. This park is packed during the Ohanami, an annual outdoor party under the cherry blossom trees.
Name: Setagaya Park
Address: 154-0001, 1-5-27 Ikejiri, Setagaya , Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3-3412-7841
4. SHOWA MEMORIAL PARK
Showa Memorial Park is surely a nice place for recreational activities. With its wide area, there are various attractions and relaxation opportunities present in every corner. You might want to rent a bicycle to explore the area as there are endless places to get to. There are themed gardens, folk village recreation, tea houses and more. The outer park is free, where you can just roam around and find a good spot to nibble on your snacks. The inner park, where most attractions are, is at 410-yen entrance fee. With the activities and scenery it offers, Showa Memorial Park is easily a family-favorite.
Access to this park is through JR Chuo Line which connects Central Tokyo to Showa Memorial Park. From Tokyo or Shinjuku Station, you can get off at Nishi-Tachikawa Station, where an entrance is just conveniently outside. However, only selected trains stop at Nishi-Tachikawa. Another option is from Tachikawa Station, where you will need to walk around 20 minutes to get to the park’s entrance. As it has a wide land area, note that there are multiple entrances to the park.
Name: Showa Kinen Park
Address: 190-8530, 3173 Midoricho, Tachikawa, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 42-528-1751
5. SHINJUKU PARK
Shinjuku Park was originally a feudal lord’s residence during the Edo Period. It was later recreated into a botanical garden by the Imperial Family and opened it to the public. Three gardens can be seen in this park: the Japanese, English and French gardens. They all feature greenhouses, cherry trees, large ponds and beautiful architectural structure. With its 58 hectares of wide lawns and nature, it is a sanctuary for those who want to just walk around and bask in the beauty of the flora and fauna of Tokyo. During autumn, its maple trees show off vivid colors which makes the park a sight to behold around mid-November to mid-December. Note that the park has an admission fee of 200 yen.
Shinjuku Park has three gates. Shinjuku gate is a 10-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station. You can reach the second gate, Okido, after a five minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line. The third one is the Sendagaya Gate. It is a five minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo or Sobu Line.
Name: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Address: 160-0014, 11 Naitocho, Shinjuku , Tokyo Prefecture
Phone: +81 3-3341-1461
Going for a picnic in Tokyo is a great time-out from our fast-paced lives. Getting together with people over food and drinks is an activity that most of us tend to forget as we get busy with our own routines. While it’s best to visit these parks during sakura or cherry blossom season, it’s guaranteed that you will have a great time visiting these parks at any given day.
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