The Tokyo Metropolitan Jindai Botanical Park is the city’s oldest botanical garden, though a garden existed on the site much earlier. This especially well-designed park is divided into 30 areas, each of which is home to different varieties of the same kind of plant.
With the biggest rose garden in Tokyo, plum and cherry trees that blossom in spring, and an aquatic plants section, the Jindai Botanical Park is an ideal destination for gardeners and flower lovers. There’s a strong emphasis here on teaching visitors about natural diversity, as well as preserving endangered Japanese plants. There are around 100,000 plants belonging to 4,500 varieties. Most visitors come here independently on a full- or half-day trip from central Tokyo.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visitors require a ticket to enter most of the park.
- There are two areas that don’t require a ticket to visit: the part of the park that lies south of neighboring Jindaiji Temple, and an area just north of the park.
- Plants are sold outside the entrance.
How to Get There
Getting to the park from the central Tokyo area requires a train and a bus. The first option is to take the JR Chuo line train to Mitaka, and take the No. 56 bus to Jindai Shokubutsu Koen Mae. The second is to take the Chuo line to Kichijoji station, then take bus No. 4 or 6 to Jindai Shokubutsu Koen Mae.
When to Get There
Like many attractions in Japan, the park is closed Monday, unless Monday is a public holiday, in which case it will be closed the next day. Admission is free on Greenery Day (May 4) and Tokyo Citizens Day (Oct. 1).
Visit the Jindaiji Temple
Near the park is the Jindaiji Temple. Founded in AD 733, it is believed to be the second-oldest temple in the Tokyo area. This Buddhist house of worship is beloved not only for its historical significance, but also for its on-site pet cemetery. This destination is easily combined with a visit to the Jindai Botanical Park, and there are some very popular soba noodle stalls outside the main temple entrance.