Continuing with my quest to visit off beaten places in the city led me to the district of Meguro, just about the perfect timing when the rain decided to stop and was replaced by a cold,winter breeze , to see the Institute for Nature Study – Nature Reserve (Shizen Kyōiku-en).
Information available on the web regarding this place often suggest one thing- that once you enter the park grounds, the sounds and sights of the city will completely disappear. I am a bit intrigue with this description, not sure if this is possible on metropolis like Tokyo, where every parks that I have visited by far is as crowded and as hyper as the nearest JR station malls.
After paying the 300 Yen entrance fee, I made my way inside the park grounds and all the noises of the cars passing by the nearby streets were replaced by the relaxing sound of birds chirping. Any vision of the surrounding residential buildings were magically gone and replaced by the towering trees whose branches and trunks where free to grow wildly and disorderly as they please, which will make you feel as if just by stepping into the gates of the institute you have successfully time travel into a wild forest.
The Institute for Nature Study is built to serve as the grounds for research and education and operated by the National Museum of Nature and Science. The institute aims to preserve the natural environment of Tokyo’s forests and marshlands. On a beautiful spring day, visitors will get a chance to see cherry blossom trees lining up on a small pond and will have an opportunity to see some of the beautiful creatures inhibiting the land.
Seems like most people prefer to visit the well-manicured landscape gardens in the city, as I only see exactly 5 people roaming around the Nature Reserve park. The fact that the place is not popular in a way added to its charming effect to people who are looking for a weekend of nature at its untamed glory, offering relaxation and solitude. After all, everyone needs this kind of weekend.