Shizen Kyoikuen Park in Meguro, Japan

September 29, 2008 · Print This Article

Though it took two trips to finally make it to Shizen Kyoikuen Park actual, in Meguro, Tokyo, Japan, it was well worth the effort as it is a unique Tokyo park/garden experience.  The full name of the park translated into English is the mouthful, “The Institute for Nature Study National Science Museum Tokyo” as it says on the English brochure handed to me at the entrance.  Ever since I was a little boy, I have been totally into getting up close and intimate with forests, so I was stoked to soon discover upon entering the park, that this wasn’t the usual pond and pagoda setup of traditional Japanese gardens, but rather a 100-year old forest with long paths—a forest too large to seemingly still exist in Tokyo.

With me as always were my trusty Nikon D80 and of course Aya too! The rather thick forest canopy caused me to soon switch to my fast Nikkor 50mm 1.8D lens, which I used for most of the shots below.  This allowed me to get quite a few deep DoF shots, as pictured above.  Later, we entered a part of the park that opened up and I switched to my Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens, which was used for the wasp photo below.

There were few people in the park this day, and a near majority of the ones that were, were photographers toting one or more DSLRs each.  There was even an older Japanese woman, an obasan, pulling a suitcase of camera gear behind her over the very rough paths of the park.  It’s really a great park for macro photography (I don’t have a true macro lens however…yet).  

But all camera talk aside, this park has an oldness to it I haven’t felt in any other park of any size within Tokyo-to.  Aya is very good at pointing out flower and tree signs in Japanese and telling me about them in English.  She showed me one tree that its sign said was over 300 years old, and that people in the past thought it looked like a snake.  I am fascinated by such small trivia as this.  I of course had to lay a palm upon this tree’s broad trunk.

I can’t recommend this park enough as an escape within the limits of Tokyo.  And also right next door is the excellent Teien Art Museum Garden (and museum).  I highly recommend both, especially for long-time Tokyo residents who have never been to either before.

SHIZEN KYOIKUEN PARK PHOTO GALLERY:
Sign points this way to Shizen Kyoikuen Tree bark with creepers in Shizen Kyoikuen A big bite taken out of a leaf in Shizen Kyoikuen
Turtle looking at me in Shizen Kyoikuen Moss grows heavily on a tree in Shizen Kyoikuen Decaying tree in Shizen Kyoikuen
Long tree covered path in Shizen Kyoikuen Small boardwalk in Shizen Kyoikuen Aya looks up a tall tree in Shizen Kyoikuen
leaves reaching out in Shizen Kyoikuen A rare flower blooming in Shizen Kyoikuen Aya holds acorns in Shizen Kyoikuen
Aya tries to touch a turtle in a pond in Shizen Kyoikuen Red flower over a log in Shizen Kyoikuen Close-up of unique red flowers in Shizen Kyoikuen
Side view of a spider and its web in Shizen Kyoikuen A wasp drinks a snack in Shizen Kyoikuen Bird with a nut painting in Shizen Kyoikuen
Wild flowers and grass in Shizen Kyoikuen The roaming wild grass in Shizen Kyoikuen Swamp grass in Shizen Kyoikuen
Tree stands out in the forest in Shizen Kyoikuen Light on a center tree in Shizen Kyoikuen A mushroom grows high up and out of a tree in Shizen Kyoikuen
The education center in Shizen Kyoikuen    

SHIZEN KYOIKUEN PARK INFORMATION:

  • HOURS:  9:00 – 4:30; 9:00 – 5:00 from May 1 to August 31 (Last admissions 4pm)
  • CLOSED:  Mondays (unless a national holiday then Tuesday); Dec. 28-Jan. 4
  • ADMISSION:  ¥300 yen for adults, school children and seniors free!
  • Address:  5-21-5 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • Official Website in English

Comments

8 Responses to “Shizen Kyoikuen Park in Meguro, Japan”

  1. on September 29th, 2008 11:05 PM

    [...] UPDATE:  This post first mistakenly called it Shizen Kyoikuen Park. (1 votes, average: 3 out of 5)  Loading [...]

  2. on September 29th, 2008 11:30 PM

    Up close with Shizen Kyoikuen Park in Meguro …

    A photo gallery of Shizen Kyoikuen Park in Meguro, Tokyo, Japan on the first day of autumn 2008. There are several DoF photos as well as some vertical tree shots….

  3. on September 30th, 2008 10:06 PM

    Great shots as usual! How do you get the colors so vivid – do you use any filters?

    We really have to plan a photo walk sometime soon…

    Reply

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Thanks Shane.

    No, no filters used at all. Most of the shots were with my Nikkor 50mm 1.8D lens, which many people say is one of the sharpest lenses for Nikon, so maybe some of the colors can be attributed to it.

    I do, do some slight touching up in iPhoto on some photos, but nothing major.

    I want to get a polar filter sometime soon though!

    Yes, a photo walk soon! Maybe Shinjuku Gyoen?

    P.S. I have my exposure bias set to -1/3 EV so that helps add contrast too.

    Reply

  4. on September 30th, 2008 10:49 PM

    Mentioned it before but I’ll say it here again.

    Nice photos, especially the one of Aya and the turtle. Also like the bird painting for obvious reasons. The greens in those pics is really stunning.

    Reply

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Thanks Can….Aya actually touched the turtle on the nose a couple times but I somehow missed getting that exact shot unfortunately.

    The whole forest was very, very green. Good canopy as well.

    Reply

  5. on October 1st, 2008 2:28 PM

    Truly transporting shots Jason! I’m going out today to get a waterproof bag so I can keep my camera with me at all times – no more excuses!!

    Reply

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Thanks Danielle! The Nikkor 50mm 1.8D lens can produce some great shots.

    And most definitely, get a waterproof camera bag. I take my Nikon D80 with me in its Lowepro Nova 160 AW bag about 90% of the time I leave the house. AW stands for all-weather as it has a tucked away rain cove that can be unfolded to cover the whole bag securely. It’s kept my kit dry on three different occasions in less than a month of ownership! That’s Tokyo weather for you.

    Reply

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