In my previous entry about autumn viewing spots in Tokyo, I highlighted the expansive Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa as the best place to see fall foliage in the Japanese capital. Tachikawa is located in Western Tokyo and is about a 45 minute train ride away from the city center plus a 15 minute or so walk. If you’re pressed for time, you can consider these other worthy autumn spots which are definitely must-sees if ever you find yourself in the city between late November and early December.
I personally consider this the second best place for autumn viewing in the city. Shinjuku is probably best known as Tokyo’s red light district, and many probably don’t realize that one of the city center’s largest parks is located here, surrounded by tall office buildings and charming cafes. If you have time to visit only one place for autumn viewing in Tokyo’s CBD, it should be no other than Shinjuku gyoen.
Allow at least 2 hours to fully explore this 58.3 hectare park. Inside, there’s an English Garden, a French Garden and Japanese Garden. The highlight during fall is of course the Japanese Garden when maple trees turn a fiery red while the tall gingko trees add a warm, golden glow to the scenery.
Admission: 200 yen. During autumn, the park is open from 9AM to 4:30PM daily except for Mondays
Getting there: Nearest metro station is Shinjuku-gyoenmae, just a few blocks from the park entrance
The most convenient to visit among Tokyo’s open spaces, Hibiya Park is just walking distance from the shopping district of Ginza or the transport hub of Tokyo Station. It may not boast of several hectares of greenery but its small Japanese Garden is just as majestic.
Getting there: Within walking distance from the Ginza or Tokyo Station. Several metro stations nearby including its namesake – Hibiya station
Located in Bunkyo ward, the Rikugien is a bit out of the way when it comes to the usual destinations that tourists venture to in Tokyo but the 30 minute or so ride from the city center makes for a rewarding trip at autumn. From late November to early December, the park is open well up to 9PM for some rare evening autumn viewing. Certain parts of the park are floodlit for visitors to appreciate the varied seasonal colors.
I visited during a numbingly cold evening and managed to see only the centerpiece. The park’s pretty big so do allow for some time to explore.
Admission: 300 yen. The park’s open until 9PM during the autumn lighting.
Getting there: The park is 2 blocks away from Komagome station which is accessible from the JR Yamamote line or Nanboku metro line.
Do you have any autumn viewing spot in Tokyo to recommend?