Shinjuku is known for quite a few things: world’s busiest railway station holding more than 2 million passengers per day, largest and wildest red light district (Kabukicho), skyscrapers and as the main location for the movie Lost in Translation. With all of these distinctions, anyone will think that Shinjuku is obviously another modern district at Tokyo metropolis.
Who would imagine that one block away from the main shopping district (if you see Forever 21, just go straight on that street) is a forest like park and one of the most pleasant area to spend a weekend afternoon- Shinjuku Gyoen National Park.
I visited Shinjuku Gyoen to see if the leaves have already turned to orange. Well, I was not disappointed even though green is still the predominant color. The park is simply beautiful and you can’t help but feel like you travel far away from the city and in reality you’re just few steps from the train station. I love the Japanese Garden and how magnificent the nearby building blends in to create one perfect frame. The Maple trees area is where you can definitely feel that autumn is here- the leaves, the color is just amazing.
I don’t know if I will still be here by April for the cherry blossom months where the gyoen is one of the recommended best viewing spot, but to my delight there is a Cherry Tree. Of course, I cannot resist the temptation for a photo opt so I asked the Japanese couple nearby if they can take a souvenir phot0 of me and the tree.
With a circumference of 3.5km, Shinjuku Gyoen is a testament that it is possible to have the best of both worlds- the tall buildings symbolizing the modern times and a forest-like park giving importance to the value of preserving nature- for this, I admire the Japanese people.