Known for Its Natural Beauty and Cultural Significance: Toyama Park, a Green Sanctuary in the Heart of Shinjuku
Toyama Park, situated in the bustling Shinjuku area, stands out as a green sanctuary and one of the largest parks in the city. Its roots can be traced back to the Edo period, which has endowed the park with a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural significance.
The park is divided into two districts: Okubo and Hakoneyama, each with a distinct history. The former was once the estate of Okubo Hikaru, a samurai who served the Tokugawa shogunate. Meanwhile, the latter was once part of the grand Mito residence, a Tokyo mansion belonging to the Tokugawa family. Today, the park has evolved into a multifaceted destination featuring the Shinjuku Sports Center, a park information center, a children’s playground, a jogging course, a water playground, and numerous grassy areas for picnicking and relaxation.
At the heart of the park lies Mount Hakone, the highest peak among Tokyo’s 23 wards. With a breathtaking view of cherry trees, it’s a must-see location for hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, during spring. The summit presents a picturesque panoramic view of Shinjuku’s skyline, making it an ideal spot for a romantic picnic or an escape from the bustling city below.
Nevertheless, the park’s past is not without dark moments. During World War II, the Imperial Army’s Unit 731 conducted biological and chemical warfare research in the area, utilizing human subjects for experimentation. Despite its troubled history, Toyama Park has emerged as a beloved destination for both locals and visitors, showcasing the beauty of its seasons and its rich cultural heritage.
Whether you’re a nature lover or seeking refuge from Tokyo’s urban turmoil, the serene beauty of Toyama Park is bound to enchant and revitalize your senses. Don’t hesitate to pack a picnic basket, grab a good book, and embark on an exciting journey to this peaceful oasis in the heart of Shinjuku. Experience the magic of this enchanting park and immerse yourself in the history and beauty of this incredible destination.