Three Places to Stop and Enjoy the Flowers

by Luke - TripleLights travel specialist

A forest in the middle of Tokyo? That's right. Whether it was nature studies that brought you to this plant loving country, or you just enjoy the sight and scent of flowers, then look no further, as we have selected the three best spots for autumn leaves, marshlands, ponds, and natural beauty in Japan:

Institute for Nature Study

Three Places to Stop and Enjoy the Flowers(image by flickr.com)

This large green forest zone known as the Institute for Nature Study which remains in the heart of Tokyo has been designated as a Natural Monument as well as a Historic Site, and is a garden museum that has retained its natural appearance. The history of this land and the people is said to have begun from the lifestyles of people from ancient times according to the discovery of earthenware and mounds of shells from around 2500 years ago. During the Heian Era between the 9th and 12th centuries, rice fields were cultivated, and during the Muromachi Era (1337-1573), residences for powerful families were built there.  In the Edo Era of the 17th century, gardens were also constructed as the residences for the daimyo (feudal lords). The old pine trees within the park that are known as The Fabled Pine and The Great Serpent Pine are said to be remnants from the age of the daimyo gardens when they were planted. Currently, unlike other botanical gardens, the zone is being preserved based on the idea “of retaining its original natural form as much as possible” as its lush natural scenery expands to the point where it’s hard to believe that it is part of the urban landscape.

Within this green zone which inhabits one corner of a quiet residential area, a beautiful scene has been created by deciduous and coniferous trees that traverses through the nature of the four seasons and puts the minds of visitors at ease. When you put your ear to the quiet and the sound of water from the fields of Japanese pampas grass and reeds, the ponds and the small stream flowing in the park, you feel that you are in another world and forget that you are in Tokyo. Take a stroll here while observing the naturally inhabiting insects and wild birds and relax while enjoying the splendid vista of the naturally blossoming flora. At the Institute for Nature Study, there are educational activities actively held such as a Sunday observation society where people can get an even closer look and deeper understanding of nature.

Admission: ¥ 310

Guidebook from Planetyze about Institute for Nature Study
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Institute for Nature Study
Tours of Institute for Nature Study

Nikko Botanical Garden

Three Places to Stop and Enjoy the Flowers

(image by upload.wikimedia.org)

The garden was established in 1902 as a research and educational area for alpine plants and cold-weather flora. Afterwards, part of the former Tamozawa villa and the adjoining area were donated to the garden to create a total area of 106,980㎡. There are rivers flowing within the huge garden, and with Japan’s first Western-style horticultural site of Rock Garden and the bog gardens which use an abundance of water, you can view an alpine landscape that re-creates a highland beech forest among other things.  

The spring is the time to see the cherry blossoms and rhododendron. The rhododendron which blooms in mid-April is related to the representative azalea that marks a Nikko spring. Immediately afterwards, the cherry trees start blossoming heralding the arrival of the season. From spring to summer, Mizubasho Pond is a place to see. In mid-April, skunk cabbage (mizubasho) blossoms in the hundreds as their white spathes become very noticeable. Violet irises provide color around the pond in early summer. There is one spot for autumn foliage. 21 out of the approximately 28 wild species in Japan are cultivated here. From late October to mid-November, you can enjoy the changing colors of autumn everywhere in the garden. The garden path running alongside the Daiya River becomes a red carpet of fallen leaves. Nikko Botanical Garden is closed annually from December 1st to April 14th. Winter plants are few because of the cold region, and with the dangers of snow accumulation, maintenance is necessary.  

At the Tamozawa River flowing inside the garden, there is the Kayoimi Bridge. When this area was part of the Imperial villa, the Imperial family led by the Emperor went back and forth over the bridge. Refined stone lanterns stand silently, and you can catch a glimpse of what a Japanese garden of that time was like.  

Admission: Adult: ¥ 400 / Child: ¥ 130

Guidebook from Planetyze about Nikko Botanical Garden
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Nikko Botanical Garden
Tours of Nikko Botanical Garden

Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands

Three Places to Stop and Enjoy the Flowers

(image by upload.wikimedia.org)

Japan’s first wetland garden that starts from Hakone where 1700 species of flora live in the wetlands and marshes that exist between the high and low mountains of the nation. Closed during the winter.

Hakone Botanical Garden centers on the plant life thriving in the rivers and marshes originating from the wetlands. One particular feature is the walking path where you can look around the primeval wetlands from the lowlands to the mountains, and the wetlands that formed thereafter in order. 

There are 8 zones within the garden: deciduous broad-leafed forests, dry grassy plains, low moors, Japanese moor grass plains, high mountain flower fields, high moors, the Sengokuhara wetlands and hygrophyte forests.

The flowers of more than 100 types of plants bloom in the garden. October is the peak time for Japanese pampas grass in the adjacent Sengokuhara. The grass that spreads out all over turns gold under the sun to become a shining carpet, a magnificent sight. As the autumn gets into full swing in the garden, the area is surrounded by the colors of flowers such as violet bellflowers and gold toad lilies. Right by the entrance, grass from mountains and fields from other countries is planted. Worthy of note are the unusual water plants from abroad. On the information board at the entrance, the best times to see the flowers are listed at any time. 

Admission: Adult: ¥ 700 / Child: ¥ 400

Guidebook from Planetyze about Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands
Tours of Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands

Did you like my article?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Tokyo, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Tokyo


Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ in depth tour of Zojo-ji ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Prasanna -   Tour Guide: Kazuharu

We were looking for an in-depth understanding of Zojo-ji, and it is not one of the popular spots in Tokyo. Kazuharu prepared and came with lots of notes and tried his best to answer all our questions. He was patient and enthusiastic.
read more

“ The best way to get around Tokyo ”

Excellent
3 months ago Traveler: Catarina -   Tour Guide: Mitsuru

Mitsuru was very careful when planning our visit, and made sure we got exactly the experience we wanted from Tokyo, with the right balance of tourist hotspots and local finds. His patience when explaining local habits and teaching us how to ride the tube were the reason we were able to get around the rest of the country, and his impecable guidance made it able for us to cover all of Tokyo in the l...
read more

“ Delightlful .... ”

Excellent
4 months ago Traveler: Jerome -   Tour Guide: Aki

Aki was very easy to work with and accomodating to our group of 6. As requested, he put together a 3 day itinerary for us based upon our interests and desired activity level. He is quite knowledgeable about "all things Tokyo" as well as the Japanese culture and history. He is a master of the Tokyo transit system and without him we would have had a difficult time navigating around. We asked Aki...
read more

“ KOJI--OUR WONDERFUL GUIDE! ”

Excellent
4 months ago Traveler: JEFF -   Tour Guide: Koichiro

In the midst of the ongoing COVID drama sweeping the world, my partner and I decided to continue on with our trip to Japan. We were a bit nervous and wary but ended up having an incredible, once in a lifetime trip and a large part of this was our time with Koji. Koji has youth and energy, knowledge about Japanese culture, food and life, and was a wonderful host during our stay in Tokyo. We felt...
read more

“ Great guide ”

Excellent
4 months ago Traveler: Kerry -   Tour Guide: Yasuro

Though it rained most of the day we had a good look around Tokyo. Yasuro was a polite patient guide with great knowledge.
read more

“ March 7 2020 Tokyo ”

Excellent
4 months ago Traveler: Teresita -   Tour Guide: Noriko

Due to lack of time I decided to hire a Tokyo local guide to make use of our time,most especially for 7 hours. I did not regret to choose Noriko ,she was professional ,punctual ,very knowledgeable and she can feel the feelings of what we really wanted to see. We were so happy because we saw the places we wanted in 7 hours time. We recommend Noriko to all travellers who wanted to see in a short ...
read more

“ First day in Tokyo ”

Excellent
4 months ago Traveler: Nathan -   Tour Guide: Nobu

Nobu was wonderful. He accepted our last minute booking and met us at our hotel at 10am. A lot of things where closed, but Nobu had a great iteneriary for us. He spoke great english and did a great job of explaining the local culture and history.
read more

“ einen Tag in Tokio, einen Tag Teezermoniechmarkt. ”

Excellent
4 months ago Traveler: Maria -   Tour Guide: Yukiko

Es war wunderschön .Yukiko Hat uns mit ihren liebenswürdigen Art und viel Wissen über die Geschichte Tokios und besten Deutschkenntnissen, Tokio zu einer der Liebenswertesten Städte der Welt gemacht, man kann sie nur empfehlen und wir hatten wunderschöne Tage, sollten wir mal wiederkommen,Dann nur mit Yukiko.Liebe Grüße aus Rosenheim Marisa, Susanne und Tanja
read more

“ I had a wonderful time with Juliana. ”

Excellent
5 months ago Traveler: Arnold -   Tour Guide: Juliana

OMG, I had a fabulous day with Juliana. She was very informative and very professional while showing me around Tokyo. I've requested to Juliana to take me to the snoopy museum. Despite being closed because of the virus, she took me there anyway to visit the Peanut cafe and Snoopy town. That's when i learned she too was a Snoopy fan. Her command of the English language is very fluent. I have learn...
read more

“ 8 hour tour worth every penny! ”

Excellent
5 months ago Traveler: Chris -   Tour Guide: Maru

Maru was quick to respond to my request and assembled a nice customized itinerary for our day in Tokyo together. The shrine we visited was incredible! She has good local knowledge and is very personable and friendly. Maru's English is excellent and she was able to help me put together a few key phrases that I used during the rest of my stay in Japan. I would highly recommend her!
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started