Time out in Tokyo

The Tokyo metropolitan area has more than 37.8 million people, so when you find some green open space, make the most of it!

Here are some top tips for taking some time out from sightseeing in Tokyo.

Imperial Palace East Gardens

The Imperial Palace is the official residence of Japan’s Imperial Family, and there are large gardens in the inner palace area to explore and take in great views of the city. It’s a real contrast of old and new.

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The gardens are on the former site of Edo Castle, the residence of the Tokugawa Shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 to 1867.

You can see the remaining moats, walls and entrance gates, but the Edo Castle itself was destroyed in the 1600s by fires raging throughout the city.

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To get there, use Otemachi Station on the Chioda Metro Line.

Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen park is one of Tokyo’s largest.

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There are French, English and Japanese landscaped gardens, lakes full of turtles and koi carp, and songbirds singing in the trees.

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In Spring, the park is filled with cherry blossom trees.

There are a number of traditional tea houses and stalls selling green tea ice cream and frozen pancakes filled with soy bean paste.

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The park is busy on a morning with groups practising Tai chi and yoga and it’s a very peaceful place to relax in the heart of Tokyo.

To get there, take the Metro to Shinjuku Station. The park is a 10 minute walk east from  the New South Exit.

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