Mizumoto Park: Seasons in Tokyo

Mizumoto Park in Summer

Mizumoto Park (水元公園) may be one of the best kept secrets in Tokyo. The park, located in Katsushika ward, is the largest public park in Tokyo and worth a visit in every season. It is also one of the main reasons why I may never move out my neighborhood – Shibamata in Katsushika.

I remember the real estate lady showing me apartments looking very surprised when I, within minutes of seeing it, decided to rent the house that I now live in. She questioned whether, as a foreigner, I would want to live in a rather old part of Tokyo and not in one of the livelier and more famous districts such as Shinjuku or Shibuya. At the time – my Japanese was very limited and I could not explain to her that I had enough of lively atmosphere back at my home in Istanbul and a less showy and vivid neighborhood would definitely not hurt. I would also need to give up at least 10m2 of space if I wanted to live in a more popular neighborhood due to the high rents in Tokyo, and that 10m2 makes substantial difference in a city of tiny apartments.

Autumn in Mizumoto Park

There are many great places to experience fall colors in Tokyo. If you want to avoid the crowds, Mizumoto Park is one of the most ideal places for a more secluded experience. The park, which first opened in 1965, is spread to a very large land of almost one million m2.

The weather is usually still pretty warm in Tokyo during late autumn and the chances of rain are low. So you usually have all the perfect conditions to enjoy a day out in the parks.

There is no entry fee to Mizumoto Park (unlike Shinjuku Gyoen or some others). There are number of simple eateries in the park but you can also – as commonly done – bring your own picnic. There are also many vending machines for soft drinks. 

Women under sakura tree in Japan

Sakura Season in Mizumoto Park

There are many sakura trees in Mizumoto Park where you are free to picnic either on the grass or on picnic tables spread around the park. My favorite activity is to bike or walk around the park during the Sakura season and watch the joy of the families scattered all over the park enjoying their day with their families.

Given the large size of Mizumoto Park, it never really feels too crowded – not even during the mighty sakura season.

Day camping is among the favorite park activities during the sakura season. To explore all sections of the park, bringing your bike may a good option.

Lotus flower in bloom in Mizumoto Park in Tokyo

Lotus Ponds

There is a lotus pond in Mizumoto Park that comes to life each year in mid-July. Although Ueno Park is the more popular spot for lotus flowers with its “extra” large pond and central location, you may also want to give a try to the small one in Mizumoto Park where you can observe these beautiful flowers without any crowds. One of my favorite activities in July is to bike to the park early in the morning everyday and watch the progress of the lotus flowers throughout the very short flowering season.

There is also a bird sanctuary in the park, which makes it a very popular spot for bird watchers and photographers. I often run into a group of fully equipped photographers with zoom lenses as big as 400mm ones patiently waiting for the best shot. I really respect their devotion to bird photography. Carrying those big lenses and biking with those require a good level of devotion.

Access to Mizumoto Park

Mizumoto Park requires a little bit of walking from the nearest train station (20 minutes) – Kanamachi Station.

You can also combine your visit to the park with a visit to one of the most interesting temples in Tokyo – Taishakuten Temple. For that you can either take the line to Shibamata Station (nearest one to the temple) or the Shin-Shibamata Station (Hokuso Line which is connected with Asakusa Line). If you visit Taishakuten, make sure to also stop at Yamamoto Tei Tea House.

I hope I gave you enough reasons to visit Mizumoto Park and make a day out of it by also visiting the surrounding area. You will often question whether you are still in Tokyo.