Location: Yoyogi Park

Tokyo doesn't have a lot of recreational spots, but it has one gem. New York has Central Park, San Francisco has Golden Gate Park, and the residents of Japan's biggest city head to Yoyogi when they want some green space.
 Most people probably use the nearby subway stations or come from Harajuku, but I walked from Shibuya Station. Along the way, I saw NHK Studios, which I'll tour at some point.
 Then, there is a long tree-lined promenade. Most days you'll find all sorts of performers and speaker, but when I visited there were only a few groups.
 All the action was in the plaza at the end of the promenade. Was there a cosplay convention going on? Nope, those are just loligoth girls hawking their new cd at...
 An Asian festival. Since Japanese people love to eat, most of the stalls had all sorts of ethnic food. The lines were horrendously long so I just made my way through the crowd on to the park itself.
 After crossing a bridge, I finally get to Yoyogi Park. It's comprised of trees and fields, mostly. Just like a park should be.
 It's where people come to run, jog, walk, have a picnic, play a little catch, or practice talents like martial arts or musical instruments. I saw some guy playing a saxophone under a tree.
 The clouds overhead threatened rain - there was a short downpour as soon as I left the park - and most people were probably at the festival, so crowds were light.
 The park wasn't empty though, and I saw a lot of people near this lake with a fountain. There is a short promenade approaching it where several groups were spread out to enjoy the weather while they could.
 The pond/lake is nicely landscaped.
 You can walk along the edge of the water.
 This area of the park is really nice. That's why I have so many pictures.
 Yes, I took another.
 One more for good measure. I see a bridge out there!
 Continuing on the path on the south side of the park, headed toward Harajuku, I saw a nice garden. Here, you can see that there were a lot of people out for a stroll, even if they didn't go deep into the park.
 These pink flowers were in bloom.
 What kind of flower is this?
And one to grow on. I like macro shots involving flowers, if you couldn't tell.

There's a lot more to Yoyogi Park, though it's mostly paths with fields and trees. And Tokyo doesn't have a lot of space like that. There are landscaped gardens throughout the town, but it's difficult to find a little green space to sit under a tree and enjoy a sandwich with friends and family.

The best way to get to Yoyogi Park, in my mind, is from Shibuya, after walking through the shopping insanity you find there. Then you can make your way through the promenade and around the park as you wish.

 If the temptation for shopping in Shibuya is too great, Harajuku and Yoyogikoen Stations are on either side of the park. I recommend starting from Yoyogikoen, and being sure to swing south to the promenade and on to Shibuya after exiting around Harajuku. The walkable portion of the park isn't very large and could be done in 1-2 hours depending on how much time you stop to smell the roses (if there are any). As a comparison, it took me almost a full day to circle around and explore Central Park in New York.


  1. That flower is a 5-petal rose. They are "old" roses. Similar to but not the Rose of Sharon. Most rose species are native to Asia... and there you are!

  2. I thought it was a rose but it looked different. Thanks!