Out of all the parks in Tokyo, Yoyogi Park has the most character; equal parts beautiful, quirky and just plain odd.
When it’s not hosting a world cultural festival or a vegan food fayre, Yoyogi Park offers a calming green-space amidst the general hustle and bustle. Once upon a time, it served as the Olympic Village for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as well as military barracks. Now, as one of Tokyo’s biggest parks, it lays claims to mini-lakes, stunning water features and miles upon miles of nature instead.
International meetups and sports clubs often cite it as a location of choice because of its centrality and the park attracts one of the most diverse crowds in Japan, making it ideal for meeting new people to show you around the big T.
Yoyogi Park is famous for its regular weekend festivals. Highlights include the annual Earth Day, Gay Pride, and various food or culture festivals usually kitted out with an event plaza and open-air stage.
If you want to catch a break from the festival crowds, take a walk around it’s magnificent water feature. Just don’t be surprised when you stumble across a group of breakdancing grandpas (trust us, it happens), young artists spray-painting their subjects and couples enjoying a respite from city life.
Although popular during cherry blossom season, Yoyogi Park hasn’t actually got that many cherry blossom trees. Instead, it is renowned for its Ginko forest which heralds the onset of autumn by liberally splashing the park in shades of gold, red and orange.