Shiba Park, one of the country’s oldest greenspaces, is a popular respite from city life for residents and visitors alike. Meandering footpaths lead to vantages of the orange and white Tokyo Tower, an Eiffel Tower-esque construction and the second-tallest structure in Japan. The park also houses a cedar tree planted by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, as well as an artificial gorge with tall maple trees and a 30-foot waterfall. The area is ringed by hotels and public facilities including tennis courts, a baseball field, and library. Because of the natural setting and the urban backdrop, the park is popular with walkers, joggers and picnickers, and is often featured in local television shows.
The leafy grounds also encompass the ancient Zojoji Temple. One of seven sacred sites of the Jodoshu of Buddhism the temple was founded in 1393 and relocated to its current space in 1598; its two-tiered, wooden and red Sangedatsumon, or main gate, has been designated by Japan as important cultural property. One of the park’s tree-topped hills an actually Tokyo’s largest megalithic Maruyama burial mounds.
Shiba Park is located at Shiba koen 4-10-17, Minato-ku in Tokyo. The Shibakoen Station on the Toei Mita subway line borders the eastern edge of the park.
It is free and open all day, year-round; a popular time to visit is in autumn when the park’s many maple trees change colors, and in early spring when flowers—including a few cherry blossoms—bloom.