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Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
September 6, 2005
The 200-yen entrance fee gets you into several very distinct spaces. The English Landscape Garden at the centre of the park is instantly reminiscent of London or New York; wide, cedar, plane and sycamore bordered clipped lawns busy with families sprawled across jackets and picnic mats. The jagged peaks of Shinjuku and the lonely spire of Tokyo Tower hang above the tree line, invisible once you’re a few metres along the paths running through the small forest towards Tamamo Pond and the Greenhouse, which has beautiful water lilies, orchids, towering palms and two floors of subtropical plants. At the back, the French Formal Gardens are small but probably the most photographed part of the whole park, the symmetrical rose bushes combining Mozart, Moonlight, Black Tea, Prosperity and a hundred other exotica.
But my own favourite is the Japanese Traditional Garden, at the eastern end of the string of ponds splitting the centre of the park, whose tightly wrapped, gently undulating mounds are dotted with manicured pine, stone lanterns, pavilions and shrubs. Teahouses stand on small islands linked by wooden bridges and the chrysanthemum displays here in October are almost as famous as the cherry blossom that explodes across the park every April.
The park is a short walk from the New South exit of Shinjuku Station and is open daily from 9am-4pm (11am-3:30pm for the greenhouse).
From journal Tokyo Parks and Gardens
by globe trotter
Manchester, United Kingdom
April 4, 2001
From journal Searching for serenity in Tokyo