Ultimate Guide to Showa Memorial Park

Showa Memorial Park gingko alley and fountain Nature
Writer's profile
Writer’s profile

Mao Goto is a Japanese freelancer who was born in Hayama, Kanagawa prefecture and raised in Tokyo. Since 2016 she lives in the Taito Ward, home to a lot of Japanese culture hotspots such as Asakusa, Akihabara, and Ueno. She has been interested in the field of English education in Japan and got her Master’s degree in March 2020. A lover of photography, travel, sweets, and cross-stitch. Contact her via Facebook.

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As one of the world’s most important economic and financial hubs, your image of Tokyo is probably more of a buzzing concrete jungle than of refreshing greenery. However, leaving the 23 wards of Tokyo and heading west, an oasis of nature awaits you. Showa Memorial Park is a large national park in Tachikawa City which was constructed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Showa. The park has many attractive points, such as colorful seasonal flowers and a sports area for children to play to their heart’s content. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the lush retreat that is Showa Memorial Park.

1. The History of Showa Memorial Park

Gingko trees yellow
The gingko trees at Showa Memorial Park turn bright yellow in autumn

As mentioned above, Showa Memorial Park is a large-scale national park established in Tachikawa City as part of a project commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Showa. Currently, the park covers an area of approximately 180 hectares, and land development is still underway to expand the area of the park even further. The park is blessed with a favorable location of mostly flat land which is intersected by the Zanbori River. The soil quality here is excellent, enabling a wide range of different trees and flowers to grow. A swimming pool, sports plaza, the Emperor Showa Memorial Museum and other buildings and areas for recreation as well as cultural and historical studies were added when the park later opened as a public facility. 

2. Seasonal Flowers

Tulips Showa Memorial Park
In spring you can see beautiful tulips in Showa Memorial Park

Showa Memorial Park boasts an array of beautiful seasonal flowers throughout the year, with the ones below being among the most noticeable.

SpringSummerAutumnWinter
Cherry blossomsWater liliesRed spider liliesSasanqua
Tulips LotusesFragrant olivesChristmas roses
Canola flowers HydrangeasCosmosUme plum trees
WisteriasSunflowers Dahlias
AzaleasLilies Ginkgo trees

At Showa Memorial Park, a botanical guidebook, “Hanagoyomi”, is available for 550 yen per copy at stores throughout the park. The book is full of information on the many flowers and trees found in the park and also makes for a perfect souvenir.

If you want to know what kind of flowers are currently blooming at the park, we recommend checking out their official website, or social media accounts.

3. Areas and Attractions at Showa Memorial Park

As a green oasis in the city, Showa Memorial Park serves as an important place to relax and refresh for the locals. Among the many things to see in the park, we would like to highlight 6 different areas and attractions.

Waterfowl Lake

Showa Memorial Park waterfowl lake
The Waterfowl Lake provides a unique opportunity for bird watching

Waterfowl Lake, an artificial pond covering an area of around 5 hectares, is a great place for bird watching. Originally, the soil was very absorbent here, so the area was developed to artificially collect rainwater. After building a favorable environment with water plants and flowers waterfowl naturally began to gather, creating a unique opportunity to observe birds in the city.

The Emperor Showa Memorial Museum

Emperor Showa Memorial Museum
Emperor Showa was an avid researcher of flowers and other plants

The Emperor Showa Memorial Museum is a relatively new building, opened in 2005, and exhibits the botanical research of Emperor Showa, who loved greenery and nature, as well as many items related to him. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum sometimes hosts special events. The museum store, located inside the building, sells imperial family goods such as wallets, coin purses, and reading glasses which make for perfect souvenirs.

Official website: The Emperor Showa Memorial Museum

Bike Trail

Showa Memorial Park bike path
It’s relaxing to get around the vast park on a bike

Showa Memorial Park is perfect for a relaxing stroll, but did you know it also features a dedicated cycling course? The park has a 14-kilometer bike path which is a great way to get around the vast grounds. If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one at the park. Enjoy the fresh air as you ride your bike through the beautiful natural surroundings.

Forest Zone and Japanese Garden

Showa Memorial Park tea house and pond
Visit the tea house and enjoy a fresh cup of matcha while taking in the views

A Japanese garden of approximately 6 hectares was built in Showa Memorial Park, making it the largest Japanese garden from the postwar period. The entire area is enveloped in a traditional atmosphere and features Japanese-style bridges and old Japanese houses as well. Some serve as tea houses and offer tea sets with a bowl of matcha tea and a Japanese sweet on the side. We highly recommend enjoying an invigorating cup of tea while admiring the splendid Japanese garden!

Rainbow Pool

Splashing water and rainbow
Cool down in one of the nine pools at the Rainbow Pool area

Rainbow Pool is an area perfect for cooling off during Tokyo’s hot summers. With a total area of 63,000 square meters and no less than nine pools, it is one of the largest leisure pool areas in Tokyo and attracts many visitors throughout the summer. With a wide variety of pools, including water slides and children’s pools, bathers can enjoy themselves all day long!

Sports area

Petanque
Volunteers will teach you how to play disc golf, croquet or pétanque

In addition to the standard soccer and softball fields, Showa Memorial Park has an additional sports area. In this area, visitors can try out rarer leisure sports such as disc golf, pétanque and croquet. Events are held regularly on the third Sunday of every month (except July and August), and at these events, you can learn the rules and how to play the games with the help of volunteers.

Official website: Showa Memorial Park

Which area of Showa Memorial Park was your favorite? With its swimming pool, museum and gorgeous flowers, there’s enough to do at this Tachikawa park to make for a full day of fun. Showa Memorial Park also has a few restaurants and cafes, so if you get tired, you can take a rest and refuel here. If you miss greenery and nature during your visit to Tokyo, we highly recommend swinging by Showa Memorial Park!

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