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Shinjuku Gyoen glasshouse

G’day everyone,

During my travels around Japan I came across the Shinjuku Gyoen glasshouse, which is located inside the Shinjuku Gyoen gardens. In case you are curious to see pictures of the gardens I will leave a link to the last blog I did on my travels around Japan.

‘Chasing Cherry Blossoms’ – Shinjuku Gyoen gardens



Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on the glasshouse. But what I have managed to find out is that the first glass house room was constructed in 1893 and additional rooms were added every year until 1895. The conservatory was the first largest glasshouse of Japanese design in Japan. The building was constructed in the shape of an ‘E.’ From the building’s exterior you can’t see the shape, but once you set foot inside and make your way around weaving pathways you can recognise the shape of the letter ‘E’ in the design. The gardens and glasshouse were mostly destroyed by the air raids in the Second World War


I have managed to make a list of just some of the plant species that are featured throughout the glasshouse.

  •  Hyophorbe lagenicaulis – Bottle Palm – ARECACEAE
  • Ficus macrocarpa – Chinese Banyan, Indian Laurel – MORACEAE
  • Bruguiera gymnorrhiza – Large Leafed mangrove – RHIZOPHORACEAE
  • Kandelia obovata – RHIZOPHORACEAE
  • Rhizophora mucronata – RHIZOPHORACEAE
  • Asplenium antiquum – Birds Nest Fern, Japanese name, o-tani-watari. – ASPLENIACEAE
  • Aster asagrayi var. asagrayi – ASTERACEAE
  • Hemigraphis reptans – ACANTHACEAE
  • Saraca asoca – Ashoka tree ‘ Sorrow-less’ – FABACEAE
  • Ficus religiosa –Sacred fig – MORACEAE
  • Shorea robusta – Shala tree –  DIPTEROCARPACEAE
  • Pandanus boninensis – PANDANACEAE
  • Dioon spinulosum – Giant dioon or gum palm – ZAMIACEAE
  • Echinocactus grusonii – Golden Barrel cactus – CACTACEAE
  • Kalanchoe tomentosa  – Panda Plant – CRASSULACEAE
  • Cattleya bicolor – ORCHIDACEAE
  • Coelogyne cristata – Epiphytic orchid- ORCHIDACEAE
  • Angraecum sesquipedale – Darwin’s orchid, Christmas orchid – EPIDENDROIDEAE
  • Calanthe nipponica – ORCHIDACEAE
  • Paphiopedilum micranthum – Silver Slipper Orchid – ORCHIDACEAE
  • Phoenix roebelenii – Date palm – ARECACEAE


Over 800 orchids have been cross bred at the glasshouse to produce the best quality orchids. As a result, the Stanhopea Shinjuku orchids were produced.




©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014 ©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014



 By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs


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