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Great location, but over-rated for cherry blossoms
Price: 200 yen
I had heard great things about this park as a place to view Cherry Blossoms, but I was a little disappointed. The location is great, the park is really beautiful and the 200 yen entry fee is reasonable, but I personally would not go back during cherry blossom season. There are far nicer cherry blossoms elsewhere. However, out of cherry blossom season it is much more pleasant and a nice place to enjoy some green and get away from the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku city.
Shinjuku Gyoen is a national garden. It is very pretty and meticulously maintained, but from the point of view of a parent it has too many rules. You can't even throw a ball, never mind ride a bike. I understand why they have these rules, but if you are looking for somewhere to let the kids have a run around and a bit of fun, this is not the place. You can picnic there and it is a popular activity in the park. It is crazy busy during cherry blossom season and you have to queue to get in and sit among throngs of people. Last year we queued for 20 minutes. They check your bags as you go into the park; you are not allowed bring alcohol in.
They have English information brochures in the entrance area. They also have an official English webpage. There is also an information point there showing what flowers are in season for each month. The park opens from 9 am to 4 pm. The restaurants have slightly different hours; the information is on their website.