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Updated on December 6, 2017

A Perfect Day in Tokyo

Rich expanse of nature in the heart of the city:
The Institute for Nature Study, National Museum of Nature and Science(Minato-ku)

Colored leaves in the Robo (wayside) Botanical Garden

From the east exit of JR Meguro station, walk for about nine minutes along Meguro-dori Avenue to find the National Museum of Nature and Science’s Institute for Nature Study, where the nature of the Musashino plateau is kept in its original condition. During the Muromachi period (1336–1573), a powerful local clan built its mansion in this area. Much later, the villa of Matsudaira Yorishige (the lord of the Takamatsu Domain) was also located here. In the Taisho era (1912–1926), the site became the Shirogane Imperial Estate. This historical garden abound with nature has been designated a natural monument and a historic site. Everywhere you look, you can see all kinds of seasonal flowers and insects up close.

Deciduous trees such as konara oak and Japanese zelkova, as well as evergreen such as sweet-acorn trees and pine, line the walking trails in the park. Among them are robust pine trees more than 300 years old, nicknamed “giant snake pine” and “pine of legend.” Wild plants and flowers, including Japanese silver grass and Aster scaber, grow in the “Suisei Botanical Garden,” which features a pond and marshes, and the “Musashino Botanical Garden” with preserved grassland and woods. Every year from late November to early December, the autumn foliage is at its best, with vibrant red and yellow hues covering sections of the grounds.

Trees reflected on the waters of the“Hyotan Pond”
(Photographed on November 1, 2017)

The air in the park is peaceful and quiet. If you listen carefully, you can hear the plants and trees rustling and birds chirping. Take a deep breath and savor the blessings of the earth. You’ll completely forget that you are in the center of the city. Enjoy this precious encounter with nature.

◎A 9-minute walk from Meguro Station on the JR Yamanote Line and Tokyu Meguro Line or a 7-minute walk from Shirokanedai Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line and Toei Mita Line.
Open 9:00 a.m. –4:30 p.m. (last admission at 4:00 p.m.). From May 1 to August 31, 9:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m. (last admission at 4:00 p.m.). Closed on Mondays (the following day if Monday is a national holiday) and the year-end and New Year holidays.
The Institute for Nature Study Phone: 03-3441-7176