I spent October and May visiting gardens in and around Tokyo looking for roses: Japanese roses are unique in that they mostly look like peonies at times, while the ones you’ll find in flower shops are the same we’re used to in Europe.
Kyuu Furukawa Teien
Kyuu Furukawa Teien hosts two events dedicated to roses every year, one in October and one in May. The main shop sells rose themed cakes, cookies, tea, ice cream, jelly and of course stationary. The stalls at the entrance have completely different stocks and offer umbrellas, keychains, tea pots and cups (and other varieties of teas, cakes and jelly), towels, room sprays, bookmarks and so on. You can also buy your own rose plant and even taste different types of rose ice cream. Guided tours, fragrance tours and concerts are some of the events taking place here during the rose festivals. Entry fee is 150 yen.
Toden Arakawa tram line
Not a place by itself, but you will find roses and sometimes events along the tracks and at stations along the Toden tram line. The Toden is the last surviving tram in Tokyo, and runs from Waseda station to Minowabashi. You can purchase the Toden pass separately or on IC card or as part of a combination ticket for 400 yen. The Toden pass gives you unlimited rides for the day, allowing you to get off and on to admire the roses at every station you feel to.
Keisei Rose Garden
Keisei Rose Garden in Chiba is huge, having around 10000 individual flowers. There are different spots set up to take the perfect picture (there may be a little queue at times, so b careful where you stand). You can also check the garden center, equipped for all your gardening needs, and the plant shop selling roses, sunflowers, hydrangeas and many other flowers. The souvenir shop is not just themed around roses, but has some nice things. Next to the parking lot there’s a fantastic bakery that also serves coffee and has tables and chairs for you to sit outside. The ticket price is on the expensive side and fluctuates with the seasons and events.
Yokohama English Rose Garden
This garden is in a sort of continuation with the Yokohama Harbour Viewing Park and it’s completeley free to access. There are some nice spots to sit and enjoy the atmosphere, or to snap the perfect insta pic. The Harbour Viewing Park was formerly the site for European soldiers’ barracks after the port was opened. The English Rose Garden is part of the garden and flower viewing events that take place in spring – the rose is Yokohama city’s flower after all – and it’s not to be confused with the Yokohama English Garden, which you can access by paying a fee.
Yokohama America Yama Park
Easily accessed by taking the elevator from Motomachi-Chukagai station, America Yama Park has some great views of the Marine Tower and the Bay Bridge. Roses are grown in different areas and in a variety of ways, including on walls. The community runs periodical events here in every season, including markets and disaster prevention events. There’s a beekeeping project running in the park that usually produces 350 kilograms of honey per year, without using antibiotics or pesticides.
Yokohama Yamashita Park
Yamashita Park faces the port of Yokohama and is very popular in every season for its flowers and views. It’s also part of the gardening and flower events in spring, with its beautiful roses growing on columns and arches. It is indeed the most crowded of these Yokohama parks as it sees the most foreign tourists. Head here around sunset on weekends to enjoy music and the city lights slowly starting to glim.