There are two notable parks to visit at Shinjuku, both known for sakura viewing in spring. The bigger, more popular and beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen is formerly owned by the Imperial Household and located on the east side of Shinjuku. We were instead walking towards Shinjuku Central Park, on the west.
On the day we decided to head for the park, the sky was grey and gloomy. Unlike the other side of Shinjuku, there aren’t as many people on the roads here at the Skyscraper District. For a second I wondered how it must be like to be working in the area, to be surrounded by high-rise buildings at every turn. Must be nice although slightly suffocating. After walking ten minutes or so, we reached the park.
The park was a typical Japanese garden. With koi ponds, birds chirping and it’s own Niagara Falls – though nothing exceptional. In front of the falls there was ample space for a mini gig. Youngsters were seen practising their skateboarding skills there. It’s mentioned that Japanese workers come down here from their offices for a breather. Apparently if you wander far enough, you’d get to see the camps of the homeless (yes, there are homeless people in Tokyo), with people living in tents made of cardboxes.
Though the park is also known as a sakura viewing spot, it seemed unlikely for us to spot any sakura tree blossoming in Tokyo as it was barely spring. But outside the garden and around the complexes of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, we did!
I haven’t the chance to properly see sakura blossoming all over Tokyo (they bloom earlier in Osaka and Kofu). I think it’s safe to say that the second week of April might be a more appropriate time for Tokyo. Next time I might stay longer to have a picnic under the trees and properly experience hanami.