Jindai is a one of Tokyo's botanical gardens and it is pretty big and very good. It has a lot of plants and trees inside, about 100,000. If you are a flower lover it should be on your bucket list. There are cherry blossoms, dahlias, azaleas, plum blossoms and wisteria. However, the main attraction would have to be its rose garden, which is truly beautiful. The rose garden might well be the best in Tokyo, even better than Kyu-Furukawa's, due to this one being much larger and far more spacious. Of course, it has more varieties of roses too!
That rose garden, for those into flower photography, is superb. At one end of it there is a covered area with a kiosk, at the other is a rather greenhouse and in the middle you'll find some fountains. Very picturesque stuff. So you can take pictures from either end for some wider shots you can head directly into the garden to do more close-up work as well as macro photography. The rose garden is just amazing! After all, it has over 5000 bushes!
Of course you can head into other areas to see those other flowers and trees that I mentioned before. Being a botanical garden there are many flowers that bloom at different times of the year. However, you just need to be aware that most of them don't bloom at the same time. For example if you visit in October, the only things on offer will be the roses and dahlia (with chrysanthemums soon after), not much else, which might be disappointing for some.
As you walk around Jindai, you'll find a small restaurant, little kiosks as well as little shops that sell flowers. I thinkat around 425000 square meters it is fairly larger, but smaller than Shinjuku Gyoen (article coming very soon). Jindai however, is more focused towards those fantastic roses in its display area, with everything else taking more on supporting roles, whereas Shinjuku Gyoen has its three gardens (English, French and Japanese) that are more equally balanced.
If there is one thing I don't like about Jindai Botanical Gardens is that you need to take a bus to get there. Yes, you can get a train to Tsutsujigaoka, Kichijoji or Mitaka, but you need to get the bus which becomes a little troublesome when carrying a camera and lenses.
Jindai is such a great place, that you could easily spend several hours there photographing the flower. And if you didn't know, just out the main gate are the soba shops which are extremely famous and the temple of Jindai, so make sure to visit them if you go. You can the website for the garden here.
How to get to Jindai Botannical Gardens
There are no trains to Jindai Botanical Gardens only to nearby stations. From those stations you can then get buses and these are your three best options:
1) Tsutsujigaoka station (つつじヶ丘北口) - Take the Keio Line from Shinjuku station, and get off at Tsutsujigaoka Station. From Tsutsujigaoka Station (North Exit), take a bus bound for Jindaiji 深大寺 and get off at Jindaiji(18-min ride).
2) Kichijoji station (吉祥寺駅) - Take the JR Line from Shinjuku station to Kichijoji Station. From Kichijoji station find bus stop number 6, take a bus bound for Jindaiji (深大寺).
3) Mitaka station (三鷹駅) - Take the JR Line from Shinjuku station and get off at Mitaka station, leave via the south exit and find bus stop number 3. From there take a bus bound for Jindaiji (深大寺).
Here is a Google map to help you:
Jindai is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm, with last entry at 4:00. The gardens are closed on Mondays and from December 29 to January 1.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy:
Japan Open Air Folk House museum - a great place to learn more about how people used to live in Japan
Kyu-Furukawa Gardens - a little piece of England in Tokyo
Omiya Hachiman - one of Tokyo's local shrines
Rainbow Bridge - enjoy a walk with fantastic views over Tokyo's most famous bridge
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building - without doubt the best FREE observatory in the city