There is not much greenery in Tokyo, but with parks such as Shinjuku Gyoen, Yoyogi and Ueno, picnic lovers can’t really complain. That being said, Shinjuku Gyoen’s entrance is not free, Yoyogi might get very busy during weekends and, let’s face it, there is not much greenery in Ueno Park. To solve all these problems you can take the Den-en-toshi Line from Shibuya Station and go to Kinuta Park in Setagaya. With its 96 acres of green lush grass you won’t really need to stress over finding a place to put down a blanket and sprawl out on—you’ll have plenty of room.
This free-entrance park is especially popular among families with kids since it offers various playground areas, a soccer and a baseball field and a cycling course. You can also find a bird sanctuary and a nice suspension bridge. On top of that, Kinuta Park is home to the Setagaya Art Museum (200 yen entrance for adults), in case you feel a little artsy.
But the main attractions of this park are perhaps its gorgeous cherry trees, making it a special but not super popular (keep it in mind!) destination for cherry blossom viewing in spring. I actually found out about this park because it was recommended by an elderly Japanese lady that I met by chance while viewing plum blossoms in pleasant Hanegi Park (after having read this article on Tokyo Cheapo—life comes full circle, right?). I asked her for some advice about places in Tokyo where one could enjoy cherry blossoms aside from the main destinations and she mentioned Kinuta Park. Since then, I have always wanted to go there for cherry blossom but, unfortunately, I couldn’t make it until now. The cheery trees are indeed majestic (as you’ll see below), but I found the park the right cup of tea for nature lovers during any season. In some parts, the park is more forest-like and you can enjoy a nice stroll or do some jogging.
Fun fact: there are three kinds of cherry trees is Kinuta Park which bloom over different periods of time making it possible to enjoy the hanami in this park a little bit longer than the others!
Kinuta Park is really a tiny gem among the concrete jungle it is surrounded by. When entering the park I was completely startled by how the atmosphere changed. It is a truly refreshing place where you can recharge during the weekend to face Monday less miserably (if that is even possible!).
The closest station in Yoga on the Den-en-toshi Line. From there you can take a bus or walk for roughly ten minutes exiting from North Exit (there are plenty of blue signs that indicate the way to the park).