The Institute for Nature Study in a nature preserve tucked away in the central Tokyo neighborhood of Meguro. It’s a branch of the National Museum of Nature and Science. It’s home to more than 200 species of Japanese plants, and many, many insects (watch out for mosquitos!). There are also lots of birds, and apparently even some tanuki (Japanese raccoon dogs).

The site has a long history stretching back to the Jōmon Period (14,000-300 B.C). More recent history saw it used as a garden and residence of feudal lords during the Edo Period (1603–1867) and for military purposes during the Meiji Period (1868-1912). It became public property after World War II and became the Institute for Nature Study in 1962.

How to buy tickets

You can buy tickets in person at the entrance. Tickets cost ¥320 for adults and university students. High school students and younger are free.

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How to get to there

The Institute for Nature Study is about 10 minutes on foot from JR Meguro Station. Or, it’s about a 7-minute walk from Shirokanedai Station.

Frequently asked questions

How long do you need for Institute for Nature Study?

You can easily spend one to two hours wandering through the grounds. There are also areas to sit, and if you’re a bird-watcher you can easily spend much longer here.

Is there English information available?

Unfortunately, most of the signage around the grounds is in Japanese. So you probably won’t be able to identify that cute butterfly you saw if you don’t read Japanese.