Located just over half an hour away from the central Tokyo district of Shinjuku is Showa Kinen Park, a huge public park that offers a wonderful day out for couples. Whether it is admiring the beautiful seasonal flowers or having fun on a rowboat, there is plenty to do on a sunny day.
The park is a short walk from Tachikawa Station on the JR Chuo Line. The outer areas of the park are free to enjoy, but if you want to fully appreciate what it has to offer, then it will cost just 410 yen per adult to enter the park gates.
Get on some wheels
Showa Kinen Park is wonderful for a relaxing stroll, but it is also very large (180 hectares/440 acres). So it might be easier and more fun to rent a bike from one of the bicycle rental places inside the park, especially if you want to explore the whole area.
Be aware that renting a bike is an extremely popular option for visitors and it would be wise to get to the park early if you go on a weekend so that you don’t miss out on a bike.
There are bike rental places at the park’s gates.
There is also a park “train” that costs 310 yen per ride or 510 yen for a one day pass with unlimited rides.
Row, row row your boat
One of the first things you will come across if you enter from the Tachikawa gate is the majestic canal, lined with trees and fountains. Come here at the right time in autumn and the trees will have a beautiful yellow glow from all the leaves changing color.
Head further in and you will see the 5 hectare (12 acre) Waterfowl Lake. It is here that you can hire either a row boat or a pedal boat to have some fun on top of the water. The row boats cost 700 yen for up to an hour and the pedal boats cost 700 yen for up to 30 minutes.
Once you have had your turn on a boat, you can head to the Flowering Tree Garden, which blooms with blossoms in spring and turns stunning shades of red and orange during autumn.
Or, if it’s summer, go visit the Rainbow Pool – if you pay for entry to the pool (2500 yen per adult), then you get free entry into the whole park as well as unlimited re-entry into the pool area. The pool is only open from July to September.
The central part of the park is “Minna no harappa”, or “Everyone’s field”. This is where families and couples gather for picnics, where children play games and everyone can enjoy the sunshine and open space.
Located in the east and west sides of the field are two large flower gardens, where various seasonal flowers bloom.
Don’t forget to pack a picnic to enjoy here, or if you’re less prepared, there are a number of food stalls and restaurants scattered around the park.
One of the star attractions of the park is the Japanese Garden, featuring eye-catching Japanese landscaping and a traditional teahouse. Nearby there is also a quaint recreation of a Japanese agricultural village and farmhouse that isinteresting if you want to get a glimpse of Japan’s rural past.
Both of these are located at the most northern end of the park near Sunagawa gate, where another large flower garden is also located. In spring you will find poppies here, while in autumn there will cosmos flowers – the perfect background for a cute couple’s picture in either season.
With so much to offer, Showa Kinen Park is so much more than just a park and it will undoubtedly be a fun day out for any couple looking for a relaxing escape from the city.