Shinjuku Gyoen

Almost abstract image of picnic below fading cherry trees



Towards the end of cherry blossom season, the leaves sprout and the pale pink flowers are replaced by red pistils. The last few days are often warmest and best for picnicking.


A few of the many groups that gather together for cherry blossom season



This year I tried to focus on the different tribes that assemble beneath the cherry trees for hanami season in Tokyo. There were some scenes I expected, and many that were surprises. In this photo of Shinjuku Gyoen, my good friend from San Francisco’s back is in the middle, with a couple on the left and cosplayers on the right.

Some people prefer full bloom, but I like to watch the petals fall and float off


In a pond at Shinjuku Gyoen.

Ducks keep city dwellers company at ponds and rivers


Ducks are still a common sight in Tokyo, wherever there’s clean water. Don’t they get cold in winter? Also in Shinjuku Gyoen.

Crowds visit Shinjuku Gyoen for cherry blossom viewing despite the cold


These photos are from this year’s rather cold cherry blossom season, which meant easier access to some of the best spots. I love the difference in scale between the old trees and the people they attract. I also love how prepared the city is to manage the expected crowds of tree lovers.


See papaya growing next to Mexican angel trumpet flowers in the winter



The best place for a cold Tokyo day is the new Shinjuku Gyoen green house. Here’s a funny mix of Mexican angel trumpet and papaya under the glass dome.

A tropical escape from Tokyo winter in Shinjuku Gyoen reflects park and clouds



The best place to escape Tokyo’s winter is inside the new greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyoen. I love exploring all the tropical plants, and seeing the fall and winter park landscapes through the glass walls. From the outside, the building reflects the giant trees and clouds.

New greenhouse at Shinjuku Gyoen opens. A warm escape from winter.


An amazing, tropical place to spend a cold day. Yesterday, I enjoyed watching the park’s fall foliage through the enormous glass walls.

Long public path at Shinjuku Gyoen is an idyllic nature escape


It’s always fun to walk along this public path on the Shinjuku side of Shinjuku Gyoen. Shaded by tall trees, it’s a pleasant escape from the hard urban surfaces. There’s even a reconstructed creek to evoke the springs and rivers that used to flow naturally here.