Tokyo is massive. London seems like a village when compared to this enormous city. And the Japanese capital feels intensely urban, too. But now that I’m here, I’ve discovered 4 places that have completely changed my perception of the metropolis. They’re little pockets of natural beauty that soften the city and show me Tokyo’s peaceful side.

Tokyo Nature

Tokyo Nature

As I mentioned in my last post about Tokyo, I’ve traveled to Japan with the & TOKYO Project. They’ve sponsored my trip and given me the chance to experience the city’s 5 core values: Unique&TOKYO, Excellent&TOKYO, Exciting&TOKYO, Delight&TOKYO, and Comfort&TOKYO.

Nezu Museum Garden, Tokyo

The 4 places I’ve discovered embody a number of these values. The Meiji Shrine, for instance. A Shinto shrine dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his consort, Empress Shoken, the Meiji Shrine was established in 1920 and occupies 700,000 square meters of quiet land in the heart of Tokyo.

Meiji Shrine, Tokyo

And it’s all Excellent&TOKYO. A forest of 100,000 trees from all over the world transports me into a woodland far from the busy city streets. Wide paths lead to the main shrine buildings, where a sense of peace pervades.

Meiji Shrine, Tokyo

Not far from the Meiji Shrine, I find another pocket of tranquility at the Nezu Museum. The building itself is an impressive feat of contemporary architecture, but it’s the garden that really grabs my attention.

Nezu Museum, Tokyo

Winding paths lead down a hill to ponds full of boats and reflections. Here and there I come across a hidden cottage that makes me feel like I’ve tumbled into an alternative universe from Spirited Away. I’m captivated by this place, and can’t get enough of what the secret trails reveal. It’s all Comfort&TOKYO.

Nezu Museum Garden, Tokyo

Further afield, I find Tokyo’s nature in Setagaya’s Todoroki Valley.

Todoroki Valley, Tokyo

A set of steps descends below a red bridge and suddenly I’m on a towpath along a stream a million miles away from the high-rises and trains of the city center.

Todoroki Valley, Tokyo

Soon the path leads to a temple, where traditional bridges transport me into yet another world. Again I’ve landed in Comfort&TOKYO.

Todoroki Valley, Tokyo

But even in the bustling city center there are places to find respite from urban intensity. The Hama-rikyu Gardens, for example. Full of flower beds and pretty paths, this park among the skyscrapers is a great place to see Tokyo’s mix of man-made and nature. It’s Unique&TOKYO for me.

Hama-rikyu Gardens, Tokyo

While I’ve enjoyed getting my fix of tranquility in Tokyo, I’m also looking forward to exploring the city’s vibrant streets. But that’s for another blog post. In the meantime, I’m off to soak up more peace in the expansive gardens of the Imperial Palace.

To be continued…

4 Comments on Lady’s 4 Places You Won’t Believe Are in Tokyo

  1. norman
    August 10, 2016 at 8:00 am (10 months ago)

    Ah..tokyo. One of my favorite cities in the world (tho i love Kyoto more). It has so many different facets and so many positive contrasts. Love jogging in chiyoda with the skyline to the right and the imperial gardens to the right 😀

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      August 10, 2016 at 9:24 am (10 months ago)

      That sounds great. I would love to get to Kyoto one day. I’ve heard such good things!

      Reply
  2. Mimi
    August 13, 2016 at 8:56 pm (10 months ago)

    Tokyo seems such a richly diverse city! I love the vibrant red of the bridge against its natural backdrop- amazing! X

    Reply

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