Yoyogi Park is one of the largest parks in Tokyo : it was opened in 1967, after that the Tokyo Olympics was hosted here in 1964.
Yoyogi Park is also one of Japan’s most active sites of counter youth culture. For more than 20 years, it has been the place where young people hang out on Sunday and dismiss Japan staid business culture as irreverent.
Today the park with its vast expanse of trees and grass, is a popular gathering place for people to play music, practice martial arts, jogging, picnics and other outdoor activities, above all on Sundays : but it is also a park where you will find homeless people.
It is interesting to see the rockabilly gangs, Elvis-inspired guys with pronounced pompadours who usually gather by the park’s east side entrance on Sundays to jam to American pop music from the ’50s.
Yoyogi Park has a mellower side that is also worth exploring : areas to the north and west, past the fountain pond and central field. There is a cycling center, northwest of the central field that rents bikes, including tandems, for just a few hundred yen and a snack hut with tables that sells ice cream and beer. There is also a little dog run, so you can see chihuahuas dressed like cheerleaders.
Yoyogi Park is opened from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. Take the JR Yamanote line to Harajuku, Omotesando exit, or the Chiyoda line to Yoyogi-koen, exit 4.
Times and Prices
Summer: 05:00-20:00; winter: 05:00-17:00
Harajuku, Shibuya-ku (adjacent to Meiji Shrine)
How to Get There
JR Harajuku Station