While spring is known for its beautiful flowers, autumn also transforms Japan's parks and gardens into a sea of colors! We've scouted both the Tokyo metropolitan area and its surroundings for the best viewing spots for vivid roses, bright red kochia, and elegant cosmos blossoms.
An Oasis of Roses in the Middle of a Business District
The spacious Hibiya Park was opened in 1903 as Japan's very first modern park made in a Western style. Bordering on both Ginza and Kasumigaseki, it has become an oasis of relaxation in the middle of the busy business districts. The first and second flowerbeds are dedicated to roses and is a beautiful sight particularly in autumn. Around 400 kinds of different roses are planted throughout the park, such as the "Dancing Girl of Izu" tributing rose shining in a vivid yellow, as well as the bright red "Mister Lincoln" rose. Pink, orange, and other vivid roses dot the entire park and can best be enjoyed in October and November.
Hours: 24 hours
A Sea of 500 Roses from about One-Hundred Species
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, opened in 1906, encompasses a vast space of around 583,000 square meters and is divided into three areas: the French Garden, The English Garden, and the Japanese Garden featuring a pond to stroll around.
For stunningly beautiful roses, the French Garden is the place to go. Around 500 individual flowers from 100 species of roses bloom in the entire area, making for a gorgeous sea of roses. Among them are especially popular blossoms such as Double Delight or Freesia. Every year on the 22nd and 23rd of October, a free "Rose Guide Walk" is offered that educates visitors about the history of rose cultivation, the many unique species, as well as the different scents of the blossoms.
Entry: 200 yen
Hours: 9;00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Holidays: Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday), New Year's
Over Two Hundred Roses, Pastel and Vivid
Setagaya's Kinuta Park spreads over roughly 400,000 square meters and features a large open-spaced lawn, a bird sanctuary, an art museum, and many other facilities. On the eastern side of the athletic plaza is also a beautiful rose garden, home to around 240 roses of twenty different species, such as Princess Aiko blossoming in a lovely pink or the calm Blue Bayou. Mid-October is the best time to visit as the flowers are in full bloom during that time, and around that time, a rose guidance tour is offered on a Saturday and Sunday. Why not learn more about the park's beautiful roses while enjoying the magnificent sight? The rose garden is usually not accessible so this is really a rare and unique opportunity.
Entry: free (some facilities require an entrance fee)
Hours: 24 hours
Kinuta Park 砧公園
- Address 1-1 Kinutakoen, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-0075
Sceneries from a Fairytale
Western-style buildings that seem to have sprung right out of a fairytale stand on a small hill of the Musashino Plateau - this beautiful scenery is the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens. In the past, this stunning place served as the holiday villa for Mutsumune Mitsu, a Foreign Minister during the Meiji era. A Western-style garden graces the slopes of the hill while a beautiful Japanese garden spreads over the lowland.
Around the mansion blossom all kinds of different roses such as First Love, Princess Michiko, and Inca - 199 roses of one-hundred different species.
Every year in mid-October, when the flowers are in full bloom, an autumn rose festival is held and the rose garden, usually closed to the public, is opened. Listen to soft string music while strolling along the beautiful flowers.
Entry: 150 yen
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (last admission: 4:30 p.m.)
Holidays: New Year's, three afternoons per week from December to February
One of Tokyo's Most Beloved Flower Viewing Spots
Originally, the Jindai Botanical Gardens were a nursery for trees that were supposed to line Tokyo's many streets but in 1961, it was reopened as the metropolitan area's only botanical garden. The place is actually one of Kanto's most famous and popular rose gardens and was even awarded the WFRS Award of Garden Excellence in 2009. Inside the symmetrical sunken garden, you'll find a total of 5,000 individual roses from about 300 different species, letting the garden shine in all variations of colors, vivid and pale alike. The best period to see the flowers in full bloom is mid-October and during that time, the entire garden is beautifully lit up and various events are being held throughout the entire month of October.
Entry: 500 yen
Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Holidays: Mondays (closed on the following day instead if Monday is a holiday), New Year's
A Contest Between Kochia and Cosmos
The vast Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture, about two hours away from Tokyo by public transport, spreads over a total of around 200 hectares of land, filled with millions of different flowers. Every season, the park is dyed in a different color with seasonal flowers such as tulips, daffodils, and nemophilas. Out of all the seasons, autumn might just be the most beautiful one, when about two million cosmos flowers are in full bloom. Besides this pale blue carpet, another highlight of the park is the bright red kochia that covers the entire part of the park called Miharashi Hill with about 32,000 plants. In summer, the kochia shine in a lush green and gradually start to change their color from late September until the entire hill is dipped in a deep, vivid red in early October. In the "Pleasure Garden Area", visitors also get to enjoy various attractions, such as a giant Ferris wheel and even a roller coaster.
Entry: 410 yen
Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Holidays: Mondays ((closed on the following day instead if Monday is a holiday)
Hitachi Seaside Park 国営ひたち海浜公園
- Address 605-4 Mawatari Aza Oonuma, Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki-ken 312-0012