Shinjuku Gyoen Park, Tokyo, Japan in the spring cherry blossom season.; Shutterstock ID 245037472; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/ Destination Galleries

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Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Shinjuku-gyoen was designed as an imperial retreat (completed 1906); since opening to the public in 1951, it has become a favourite destination for Tokyoites seeking a quick escape from the hurly-burly of city life. The spacious manicured lawns are perfect for picnicking. Don’t miss the greenhouse; the Taiwanese-style pavilion (Goryō-tei) that overlooks the garden's central pond; and the cherry blossoms in spring.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo attractions

1. Place M

0.28 MILES

Run by four veteran artists (including pioneering street photographer Daido Moriyama), this gallery serves as a hub for the city's photography scene…

2. Hanazono-jinja

0.58 MILES

Merchants from nearby Kabukichō come to this Shintō shrine to pray for the solvency of their business ventures. Founded in the 17th century, the shrine is…

3. Golden Gai

0.62 MILES

Golden Gai – a Shinjuku institution for over half a century – is a collection of tiny bars, often literally no bigger than a closet and seating maybe a…

4. Godzilla Head

0.75 MILES

Godzilla, a portmanteau of the Japanese words for gorilla (gorira) and whale (kujira), is king of the kaijū (strange beasts) that ruled Japanese popular…

5. Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

0.78 MILES

This Nishi-Shinjuku landmark building (completed in 2008) is a 50-storey webbed tower designed by Tange Associates. Easily identifiable among the blockier…

6. Meiji-jingū

0.88 MILES

Tokyo’s grandest Shintō shrine is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken, whose reign (1868–1912) coincided with Japan's transformation from…

7. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

0.99 MILES

Tokyo's city hall – a landmark building designed by Tange Kenzō – has observatories (202m) atop both the south and north towers of Building 1 (the views…

8. Watari Museum of Contemporary Art

1.01 MILES

In a building (1990) by Swiss architect Mario Botta, Watari-Um stages exhibits that range from retrospectives of established art-world figures (such as…