Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen is a massive park in the middle of the city. This is a nice reprieve from our morning of airports and subways. The fall colors are out and since it’s relatively early the place is pretty empty. Just inside the gate is a green house.

20171028_093715.jpg

We step into the greenhouse and take a peak. Wow, humid. There’s a neat path that zigzags you to the back, up across a bridge, down under the bridge and back to an entrance in a 3d figure 8. Nice colors and patterns throughout, workers keep it tidy and organized. The little pond with Lily pads was great.

20171028_09443420171028_09453620171028_09484920171028_09493720171028_09500220171028_09501120171028_095147

So for the first time ever I purchased a selfie stick and brought it on this trip. I figured we’d be doing couple-y shit in front of monuments and scenic views a lot and thought it was time to give it a shot. After a few moments of figuring out how to use the damn thing I was able to snap this little gem. Queenie’s pointing to the waterfall. Ok, this isn’t too bad. Now I may actually be in some of the pictures on a trip for a change.

20171028_09553620171028_09575920171028_09585520171028_09591920171028_10000620171028_10020620171028_100259

20171028_100912.jpg

Up next in the park is an old Imperial Rest House. We take off our shoes and I throw a giant pair of fuzzy sandals on. We aren’t allowed to take pictures inside. We tour through the place in a little square.

20171028_100927.jpg

It’s just a few rooms and as we get to the last one a tour guide girl comes and tells us about the whole place. This is for  Imperial family visits. They bring chefs to cater it. The family gets the first taste of pineapple and banana from the green house gardens that were here. There was a ‘boiler man’ who brought hot water for showers. The building has undergone multiple renovations. Imperial family members would be cold after shower in the fall and winter so they walled it in. After the girl tells us all this she admits that she’s actually not allowed to. She is in training, and isn’t supposed to starts until next year. “Oh it was really good, thank you so much”, and she walks away quickly seemingly embarrassed. Maybe she just wanted to practice her English then felt ashamed that she’d broken the rules? It was cute.

Back out into the park and more people are starting to show up. It’s a big outdoor area with tons of space. A tall clock tower nearby can be seen throughout. The gardens are well manicured and there are a number of ponds and water features. It’s peaceful in here, only the sounds of the occasional bird. Crows are larger and sound more sarcastic here. Like count Dracula. There are a few tea houses as well, one of which is having a traditional tea time right now served by a few girls in kimonos.

20171028_10273820171028_10305720171028_10473020171028_104808

We find a nice looking shrine or something across a pond and walk around the water to find a way over to it. Apparently Japanese volunteers who were living in Taiwan donated it to Tokyo to commemorate the wedding of Showa. They brought over ‘the good trees’ and built it here.

20171028_10290420171028_10343420171028_10350520171028_103557

20171028_103652.jpg

We stroll around a bit more and find a nice bridge that crosses to a mini island in a pond then make our way towards the west entrance. It’s a nice covered path and people are out running along it. We pass by a group of photographers with telephoto lenses. We can’t make out what they’re looking at in the trees. Bird watchers?

20171028_10511620171028_105654

We cross over a small walkway and there are trees that have roots reaching up from the ground looking like zombie hands.

20171028_11004720171028_11012720171028_110217

This was nice. Really pleasant park away from the noise of the city. A peaceful and relaxing we to defrag from almost a days worth of travel.

We exit back into the streets and decide to continue our city walk over to Yoyogi park with the Meiji Shrine in it.

What's up?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s