- Rowboat 30 minutes ¥500, pedal boat 30 minutes ¥700
- 3 Chome-9-10 Zenpukuji, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 20 minutes on foot from JR Nishi-Ogikubo Station (buses also available)
- Boat rental operating weekends and public holidays from mid-March until early November, 9:00am - 5:00pm (ticket booth closes at 4:30pm)
- http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index010.html (external link)
BIRD-WATCHING WALK IN ZENPUKUJI PARK
Wild Bird Paradise in a Residential Area!
Nature-rich Zenpukuji Park is situated in a residential area 1.4km away from Nishi-Ogikubo, a beloved little town packed with lovely cafes and zakka variety shops. The park can be reached by trains plus walking for a total of around 30 minutes from Shinjuku. The ponds take up the majority of its grounds, which makes this park a healing space blessed with an abundance of water and greenery.
You can enjoy wonderful seasonal scenery, from cherry blossoms in spring and Koinobori carp streamers in May to red maple leaves in autumn.
In 1934, Mr. Nakanishi Godo who was called Japan’s “father of wild birds”, engaged in wild bird observation and protection work in this very place, leading to the establishment of the organization Wild Bird Society of Japan.
Zenpukuji Park and its surrounding areas are considered to be the starting point for wild bird conservation activities in Japan.
What’s amazing about Zenpukuji Park is the the close proximity to wild birds thanks to its compact setting, making it so attractive for beginner birdwatchers and seasoned ornithologists alike. Birds you may encounter almost every day include kingfisher, grey and night herons, cormorants or at other times migrating birds like various ducks and durian redstart. Another significant feature is that a plethora of wild birds can be spotted here. The park provides habitat for 15 different kinds from spring to summer, 30 kinds of wild birds from autumn to winter including kingfishers, spot-billed ducks and grey herons.
Also enjoy wonderful scenes of mejiro (white-eye) feasting on the nectar of the plum or cherry blossoms, Japanese pygmy woodpecker tapping the tree and the spot-billed ducks and ducklings family. You might even see a kingfisher catching a fish or feeding its partner or fledgling!
How About Boating and Art?
In Zenpukuji Park, there is a boat house so you can have fun on a rowing boat or a cycle boat on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays (Closed during the winter months). In November, a popular annual international outdoor art exhibition “Trolls in the Park” takes place in the park for three weeks. The fusion of nature and artwork can be appreciated as you take a casual stroll.
The area around the closest station, Nishi-Ogikubo is home to a number of cool eateries and zakka variety shops where you can enjoy good food and shopping to your heart’s content.
[published June 2022]
Writer: Ian Jackson
Photographer: Minako Jackson