Shinjuku’s Tranquil Oasis Known for Its Serene Japanese Garden
Kansen-en Park, the sole strolling garden amidst the bustle of Shinjuku, exudes an air of serenity and peacefulness. The park’s name derives from the spring water that flows here, which is perfect for tea. Originally a rice field given to the Owari Tokugawa family during the Edo period, the land later became the garden of Viscount Soma’s residence during the Meiji era. Today, the park is a popular Japanese garden, bursting with seasonal highlights such as azaleas, hydrangeas, fresh greenery, autumn leaves, and yukitsuri in winter.
Kansen-en Park has a circular design and is the only Japanese garden in Shinjuku’s municipal parks. It’s no wonder it was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 historical parks. As you wander around, you can still feel remnants of the Edo era, when the park was the residence of Tokugawa Gosankyo of the Shimizu family. The park’s gourd-shaped pond, Yamabuki-no-ido, is surrounded by a forest that creates a serenity of a different world from the bustling city surroundings.
In the past, Kansen-en Park was much larger and included the current Mizuinari-jinja Shrine. You can still find a stone monument that once marked the outlet of the sweet spring water in front of the shrine’s office. The park’s current area is about 14,000 square meters and has become a favorite spot to experience the changing seasons.