It may be the world’s largest metropolis, but there are plenty of peaceful spots to be found in Tokyo in the city’s parklands. If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors, here are our recommendations for the best parks in Tokyo to check out.
Situated in the west of Tokyo in the pleasant Kichijoji area, Inokashira Park is a great spot to visit when paired with a trip to the nearby Ghibli Museum. The park is known in Tokyo to be one of the best spots for cherry blossoms during the sakura season, but it is worth a visit at any time of year. The center of the park is home to a boating lake where visitors can rent paddleboats, and there is also a shrine and plenty of restaurants around the park area.
Showa Kinen Park
A little further west out of the city but well worth the extra journey, you’ll find the expansive Showa Kinen Park which hosts some fabulous flower festivals throughout the year. Among the seasonal highlights are the vast fields of sunflowers, cosmos flowers, and autumn colors to include a spectacular avenue of golden-colored ginkgo trees. During the summer, the park is home to the largest collection of outdoor swimming pools, making it the ideal place to escape the intense city heat for a few hours.
Probably the most well-known of all the parks in Tokyo due to its location in the Shibuya ward, Yoyogi Park is a huge green space consisting of grassy picnic areas, rose gardens, a bird sanctuary, and sports facilities. Other useful facilities include a cycling center where visitors can rent bicycles during the day for less than 300 yen per hour. Throughout the year several international music and festivals take place inside the park such as the Brazilian and Thai festivals as well as jazz and Latin music concerts. During December each year, an area of the park is transformed into a dazzling blue grotto of winter illuminations when the trees are lit up with more than 600,000 lights.
One of Tokyo’s most famous outdoor spaces, Ueno Park is the gateway to many of Tokyo’s cultural sights, where you’ll find several of the city’s top museums to include the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. Japan’s oldest zoo is also located in Ueno Park and is a popular attraction for families who flock there to see the giant pandas. Also, there are several cafes located inside the park which serve as a scenic location for a coffee and a cake.
Odaiba Marine Park
A visit to the Odaiba Marine Park is a pleasant escape from the noisy crowded streets of the city and is particularly quiet on weekdays. The waterfront area of the island offers impressive views across the bay of the city skyline to include the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, and Tokyo Skytree, whilst the sandy beachfront makes a good spot to set up a picnic and enjoy a bento lunch. Whilst in the area, be sure to check out the 12.5-meter tall replica Statue of Liberty!
One of the oldest parks in Japan, Shiba Park is home to ancient ginkgo trees and red maple leaves during the autumn and cherry blossoms in springtime. Shiba Park is also one of the best spots in the city for fabulous views of nearby Tokyo Tower and is also home to the Shiba Tosho-gu shrine and Zojo-Ji temple which featured in the Hollywood movie Wolverine.