Kitanomaru Park (Kitanomaru Koen)
At the center of Kitanomaru Park lies a tree-shaded pond, fed by a small stream. You may see a variety of birds, as this is a wild bird sanctuary. The park also houses the Science Museum, the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, and Nippon Budokan martial arts arena. The Tayasu-mon gate in the northern part of the park dates from 1636. The park is a good place to stroll while touring central Tokyo.
Things to Know Before You Go
Entrance to the park is free.
There’s a marked walking trail around the park, which takes about 40 minutes to complete.
Paddle boats are available to hire.
There’s a café within the park; you can also take a picnic to enjoy on the grass.
How to Get There
Kitanomaru Park is located in central Tokyo, just north of the Imperial Palace. The easiest way to reach the park is to take the Tozai, Hanzomon, or Toei Shinjuku subway lines to Kudanshita Station. Walk through the Tayasu-mon gate to the park.
When to Get There
The Japanese celebrate spring and autumn with gusto, so these seasons are attractive but busy times to head to Kitanomaru Park. More than 300 cherry trees surround the castle moat, making this park one of the most popular places in Tokyo for hanami (cherry blossom-viewing parties).
Visit the Imperial Palace
Just south of Kitanomaru Park is the Japanese Imperial Palace. The emperor of Japan still lives there, so the inner grounds are not always open to the public. But twice a year, on Dec. 23 (the emperor’s birthday) and Jan. 2, the inner grounds are open and throngs of people come to catch a glimpse of the emperor waving from his balcony.