Despite being close to Chidorigafuchi, Kitanomaru Park is often neglected by spring visitors longing for sakura viewing spots. It is however a place of relaxation, a lot more quiet than the famous Shinjuku Gyoen or Yoyogi.
Located in the large, central Tokyo, Chiyoda ward, Kitanomaru, as its name suggests, is the northern part of the former Imperial Palace grounds, opposite to the Eastern Gardens, that visitors are more acquainted with as they are closer to Marunouchi. Kitanomaru used to be the northern garden of Edo Castle. The park opened to the public in 1969 to celebrate the 60th birthday of Emperor Hirohito, who reigned during Showa Era (1926-1989) and was Emperor Naruhito’s grandfather.
Kitanomaru Park is accessible by Tayasu-mon gate, the remains of defensive fortifications dating back to 1685, and the path leads to the Nippon Budokan, one of the most famous concert hall and sport events arena in the capital, along with Tokyo Dome. The park is also home to the Science Museum and the National Museum of Modern Arts. On a side note, Kitanomaru is also where the Imperial Guard and its serving members live.
Kitanomaru Park offers charming landscapes of vast lawns bordered by walking paths. A narrow pond is the characteristic feature on its western side, with flowers beds blossoming from time to time between trees. There are of course wonderful cherry trees to admire : more specifically several hundreds of the usual but nonetheless sublime somei-yoshino with rose colored flowers, under which tarpaulins are spread in the beginning of spring for the celebration of Ohanami, sakura flowers viewing.
How to get to Kitanomaru Park
By Tokyo Metro: Shinjuku, Hanzomon or Tozai Lines, Kudanshita Station (S05, Z06 or T07), then 2 minutes walk
Location unreachable with the JR Pass
Get there with a rental car
Get your Japanese Yens free of charge
北の丸公園 (Kitanomaru kôen)