Regular readers of our site will no doubt be familiar with Mr. Sato, our intrepid Japanese reporter. Despite his tendency to pursue unusually zany exploits in the name of journalism, Mr. Sato also has a slightly more conventional side, and enjoys taking in the beautiful autumn scenery just like anybody else.

In fact, Mr. Sato was so impressed by his recent visit to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (新宿御苑) in the heart of Tokyo that he wanted to share his photos with you. So why don’t you grab a cup of tea, relax, and enjoy the dazzling colors of the park, all from the comfort of home!

Shinjuku Gyoen, which was previously the estate of the Naito family during the Edo period and then subsequently fell under management of the Imperial Household Agency, has been under the jurisdiction of the national Ministry of Environment since 2001. The park boasts over 20,000 trees and is famous for its trio of French, English, and traditional Japanese gardens. More background and travel information about the gardens can be found here.

Mr. Sato says that on the day of his excursion, a multitude of families, couples, and even foreigners could be seen perusing the grounds and enjoying the colors of autumn:




In addition, about 60-70 percent of the trees inside of the park were in the midst of changing colors. In particular, the maple and ginkgo trees were at the peak of beauty, displaying beautiful hues of red and yellow against the autumn sky. On the flip side, Mr. Sato goes on to say that there were many trees in the park, including the Japanese maples, which hadn’t even begun turning colors yet. In other words, there’s still lots to look forward to at the park, even as we head into the chillier days of early December.






Our man also suggests taking a stroll along the promenade found near the northern side of Shinjuku Gyoen. Located just outside of the Shinjuku Gate of the park, you don’t need to pay an entrance fee to enjoy the trees along this pathway. Furthermore, there is one particularly large ginkgo tree that will positively enchant you as you walk along its carpet of fallen, golden leaves–you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to another world.




Shinjuku Gyoen is located near the similarly named Shinjuku-gyoenmmae Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line or Sendagaya Station on the JR East Chuo-Sobu Line. If you do happen to be looking at these pictures while you’re in the Tokyo area, try stopping by the park sometime through mid-December to enjoy a splash of color in the midst of the city.

Original article by Mr. Sato
Photos © RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]