Shinjuku’s French Garden

After years of walking past bare, brown hedges not even worth a second glance, I finally managed to visit Shinjuku Gyoen when the roses were actually in bloom. Hooray!

The French Formal Garden is one of the three main areas within Shinjuku Gyoen – the others being a wide open English lawn, and a Japanese garden and pond. This section of the enormous park has its turn in the spotlight every May, when 500 rose shrubs splash a multitude of colours throughout the lush, green landscape.

There are around 100 varieties of roses here and it’s just as much fun finding out what they are called as it is admiring the flowers themselves: Playboy, Jude the Obscure, Lavender Dream, By Appointment, Sexy Rexy, Honey Bouquet, Princess Aiko and Glamis Castle, just to name a few!

May is such a nice time of year. It’s not too humid yet, nor the sun too intense. The hectic start to the new work and school year in April as well as the craziness of the cherry blossom season has died down and the pulse of the city has slowed to a steady beat. It’s a great time to do things like sit under a tree reading a book, have a picnic with some friends, or stroll around a garden. And Shinjuku Gyoen is the perfect place to do so.

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20 thoughts on “Shinjuku’s French Garden

  1. I am not sure what is more fun – seeing 500 shrubs in bloom – or thinking about all those varieties of roses – 100? Or those names…..
    Sexy rexy
    Play boy!?

    Hah!!
    Great photos C!

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  2. このフランス風な公園の中に パレスが建っていると もっとすてきでしょうね。長崎のハウステンボスにある パレスを 思い出します。色とりどりのバラの中で、ワイン色のプリンセスと ダブルディライトがひときわ 私の目を奪いました。特に 赤いバラの花を見ていると、甘い香りが漂ってくるようです。
    深紅(しんく)のバラの花びらを乾燥させて、ローズティ―を 味わってみませんか。
    貴族が 味わう上品なティーですよ。

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    • バラは色んな種類がありますね。私は赤と白がミックスされたアラビスクが特に綺麗だと思いました。バラと言うと形と色だけじゃなく、言われる通り漂う甘い香りも楽しめます。「見る」、「匂う」、「触る」、「味わう」ことができる花ですね。

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  3. Everything is so tremendously cared for. The flowers are so beautiful. It would be such a wonderful spot like in that last picture to find a quiet spot and lean up against a tree to relax and unwind! :)

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    • Hi Carl! Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the most popular parks in the city and it’s easy to see why. There’s an entrance fee, so I feel like the crowd and the vibe is quite different to other parks because of that.

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