Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Plum Blossoms at Shiba Park in 2019

I really have to be honest here.  Shiba Park used to be one of my least favourite parks in Tokyo.  For me, I just couldn’t see what it had going for it. Yes, it is one of Japan’s oldest parks.  Yes, it is very close to Tokyo Tower and does have some great views of it. Yes, it is very close to Zojoji, and it has some nice flowers on.  But for some reason or other, it never really grew on me. It just doesn’t rank up there there with say Shinjuku Gyoen or Kiyosumi Gardens. It is a nice place to meet and chat with friends, but that was about it for me.  My opinion of it changed when I visited it for this article.

Tokyo Tower seen from Shiba Park

To start with, the park is divided into two areas, a new one, and another older one.  In the middle, you’ll find a small car park and Shiba Toshogu Shrine. You won’t find any plum trees in the newer section, as they are all in the older one.  There are only seventy trees in total and when I visited them, they were in fantastic condition.

One great thing about Shiba Park is that you can get Tokyo Tower in the background.  Unfortunately though, the trees, a house and a hill all conspire to block the lower half of it.  Only the top half of the tower could be seen from the park. I think it still looks good though.

Can you spot the cat in the picture?

While I was there, I thought the flowers would have been the center of attention, obviously.  As with many other parks in Tokyo, you’ll usually find a stray cat or two. Shiba Park is no exception.  One of the kitties, sat right under a plum blossom tree and was quite content while everyone snapped pictures of him (or maybe it was a her).

As I mentioned earlier, Shiba Toshogu Shrine is between the two sections of the park.  And as it is a Toshogu shrine, Ieyasu Tokugawa is enshrined in it. It isn’t very big, but it does have a nice plum blossom tree in front of it as well as a huge ginkgo tree, supposedly planted by the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu.  It’s a good place to visit

Shiba Toshugu is right between the left and right halves of Shiba Park

If you are looking for place to visit after going to Shiba Park, you could try Zojoji, one of Tokyo’s most popular temples or Tokyo Tower.  Zojoji is literally right next door and the tower is only a few minute’s walk away, so they are both easy to get to. Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens is also within easy walking distance.  There is a lot to see in the area.

To get to Shiba Park, it is very easy.  You can get there by using Shibakoen subway station (Toei Mita Line) and leave via exit A4, and you’ll find yourself right at the entrance to the park.  Daimon subway station (Toei Asakusa and Oedo lines) aren’t far away, as is JR Tamachi station.

Shiba Park is a great place to enjoy plum blossoms.  You won’t get Tokyo Tokyo in your pictures, entirely, but what you can get it really good.

Gear used for these pictures:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T2

Lens - Fujifilm XF 10 - 24 mm f/4.0 R OIS

 Fujifilm XF 55-200 mm f3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

Film Simulation - Velvia/Vivid