Actually for most of tourists this park is not a must-visit spot. For sure the park has some history and good location, but there’re many other places to visit in Tokyo. So, I think it’s good to go there 1. when you get tired in many people, 2. when you want to rest in a beautiful and not crowded Starbucks, 3. in the season of cherry blossom.
If you get sick of massive people in Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen will warmly invite you in there. Welcome to the one and only empty space in Tokyo. I suppose you feel you can get some ball play with your children at last but nope. Ball play is not allowed since this park is “historical” place, somewhat.
But you can see great contrast of vast ground and buildings. In another angle, there’s a small pond in woods reflecting the buildings. I think this sky is one of the widest one seen in Tokyo.
Okay this park has another good location. It’s Japanese garden from Kyu Goryo-Tei (Taiwan Pavilion.) I don’t know why Taiwan building is in front of Japanese garden, or perhaps it’s totally converse in the timeline but anyway the garden from the building is good. The trees are well trimmed and we can feel #old #silence in spite of the modern buildings over there.
If you want some coffee in not-so-crowded space
Starbucks are gradually going to control over Japan. They can be seen in college campuses, hospitals, beaches… and also in Shinjuku Gyoen. Since we have to pay fee to enter this park, 2 USD for an adult, usually Starbucks Shinjuku Gyoen is not crowded.
The concept of this Starbucks looks modern Japan. The decor is featured of woods, and the outside appearance is just like single-storied Japanese normal house.
From the big window in the cafe, we can see landscape of garden.
Because it’s located just at the center of Shinjuku Gyoen, I recommend to rest there after walking around in the park.
Shinjuku Gyoen English map -> Official homepage
If you are in Tokyo in cherry blossom season
This park is also famous for cherry blossom. In every Spring, “Cherry blossom viewing party” had been held by the Prime Minister in Shinjuku Gyoen till 2019. The best season is around middle – end of April. But of course you have to expect extra massive people though.
By the way
I found a news that said a staff of this park hadn’t charge fee from foreigners, in two year long. It’s reported the staff had been frightened at foreigners once he was told off by a foreign tourist. Free visitors had been over 160 thousands, wow.