Shiba Park (芝公園) has a lot of charms, such as the landmark of Tokyo – Tokyo Tower, time-honoured temples and a peaceful landscape thanks to the rich nature there.
Shiba Park, at the foot of Tokyo Tower
It is of course fun to explore the bustling city in Tokyo, but don’t you sometimes want to avoid the crowd and enjoy peace for a while? Shiba Park is the choice for you! Located at the foot of Tokyo Tower, Shiba Park offers you a rich nature, promenades and historic temples. Isn’t it perfect for having a relaxing time? What is more, the admission is free! So you can simply enjoy a day there without spending a penny.
Just a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Tower
The nearest stations to Shiba Park are Akabanebashi station (赤羽橋駅) on Toei Oedo line and Onarimon station (御成門駅) on Mita line of Tokyo Metro. As Shiba Park is only 11 minutes from Tokyo Tower on foot, many tourists would visit Tokyo Tower and Shiba Park together as a set. Moreover, in the vicinity of Shiba Park, there are also beautiful Japanese gardens and luxury commercial facilities. Visit all these sightseeing spots, climb up to the top of Tokyo Tower and chill out in Shiba Park after a long day!
One of the most historic parks in Japan
Shiba Park is one of the first parks in Japan. The camphor trees, Japanese zelkova and ginkgo trees in the park are telling you how long the history of the park is!
Highlight of Shiba Park: the collaboration of Tokyo Tower and the nature
The highlight of Shiba Park is the harmonious scenery which Tokyo Tower and the nature in the park together make up. Since Tokyo Tower is very tall – with the height of 333 metres, it is easy to see the tower wherever you are wandering in Tokyo, even though it is far from where the tower is located. But the thing is, in such a bustling city, there are always buildings obstructing the view of the entire tower. While in Shiba Park, you simply do not have to worry about it – you can enjoy an excellent view of the whole Tokyo Tower from there, with trees as decoration! Such picturesque scenery is quite rare in the metropolis Tokyo, frankly speaking.
Spring: Tokyo Tower decorated with lovely cherry blossoms
The seasonal nature in four seasons is also one of the charms of Shiba Park. In Japan, cherry blossom viewing is a very famous activity in spring, from March to April, and Shiba Park is well-known as a cherry blossom viewing spot. The fine matching of pink cherry blossoms and red Tokyo Tower together create a stunning scenery, attracting numbers of tourists. Enjoy Tokyo Tower with cherry blossoms in full bloom! Such an impressive landscape surely leaves you unforgettable memory of your Tokyo trip.
Autumn: a dream-like scenery filled with red
Apart from the dream-likely enchanting cherry blossoms, Shiba Park offers unbeatable, wonderful red leaves too, in autumn. There is an artificial valley called “Momiji Valley” in the park. Around the area, there is a number of maple trees planted. Starting from mid November, the leaves of maple trees turn red, and the entire area is painted red. The highlight here is a 10-metre-tall waterfall covered with red maple leaves. It is highly recommended for those who want to enjoy a Japanese-style autumn!
Lack of exercise? Stretch your body here in Shiba Park!
Although it is common to have exercise equipment installed in the parks in Japan nowadays, it was not the case over 100 years ago, and Shiba Park pioneered the installation of exercise equipment. There are various sports facilities installed in the pathway, which is southwest of the park. The area is designed for people who are lack of exercise. Do some stretching in the nature and feel refreshed!
In the centre of Shiba Park: Zojo temple, with a long history
Located in the centre of Shiba Park, “Zojo temple” has a long history of 600 years. There were once upon a time more than 3,000 priests chanting the name of Buddha in the temple – now you can imagine how big it is! It has become impossible to see such an impressive sight, you do not have to be disappointed, because the temple is still the place to train new monks until now.
Zojo temple: Buddhism ideas reflected on the details of design
One of the gates of Zojo temple is on the east side of Shiba Park. The road from that gate to the innermost building was designed to reproduce the ideal village of Buddhism. Rather than focusing on scenery, it is more to represent the concepts of Buddhism. Therefore, it is not so easy to notice the reproduction by just looking at it. For example, when you are walking along that road to the temple, you will see a big gate standing in the middle. The thing is, the length from the gate to the beginning of the road is exactly 108 “ma”, a traditional unit of length used in Japan. The number “108” is based on the idea of Buddhism – there are 108 kinds of greed. Moreover, the number of steps in the stairs are designed in a similar way too. For those who are interested in Buddhism, it must be fun to explore the designs.
"Jizo" statues in Zojo temple
There is a secret spot on the north side of Zojo temple. Around the border between Zojo temple and Shiba Park, there are a lot of stone statues wearing red wool hats. These stone statues symbolize the guardian “Jizo”. You will definitely be impressed by the sight – there are in total 1,000 “Jizo” statues, while there are usually only 1 or 2 such statues in other temples in Japan.
These “Jizo” statues were placed there to hope for children’s health and growth. Do not forget to pray if you have children!
At night: appreciate the lit up Tokyo Tower
Before you end the day, do not forget to appreciate the lit up Tokyo Tower from Shiba Park! The shinning Tokyo Tower standing between rows of trees gives you a completely different atmosphere from the daytime. Sit on a bench and take time enjoying the landmark of Tokyo!
Let's visit Shiba Park, a refreshing space in the bustling metropolis
Shiba Park is a must-visit if you want to take a deep breath, being surrounded in green during your sightseeing in Tokyo. Admiring Tokyo Tower, the symbol of Tokyo, you can at the same time get refreshed! The combination of Tokyo Tower and the greenery is perfect for photographs. Do not miss the shining Tokyo Tower at night as well!