Institute of Nature Study

Institute for Nature Study, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

Institute for Nature Study 附属自然教育園

Institute for Nature Study, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

Musashino Plants Garden, National Institute of Nature Study, Tokyo.

The Institute for Nature Study of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, occupies 20 hectares (c. 50 acres) of almost primal forest in the Shirokanedai district. The Institute of Nature Study preserves the pre-modern natural habitats of the Tokyo area, including forest, marshes, and ponds. The Institute serves as an ecological research and educational facility.


The history of the Institute for Nature Study's grounds goes back about 600 years when they were the site of the home of the area's feudal lord, Shirokane Choja, and then, from 1664, of Lord Matsudaira.

In 1872, during Japan's initial period of intensive modernization during the Meiji Period, it became the site of gunpowder warehouses for the army and navy. It became an Imperial estate in 1917, known as Shirokane Goryochi, and assumed its present identity in 1949.

Visitor Hall, Institute of Nature Study, Tokyo.
Monogatari no Matsu, Institute of Nature Study, Tokyo.


Stepping into the grounds of the Institute makes for an almost total escape from civilization, the only reminder of it being the distant sound of traffic, which almost blends in with the rustling of the trees and the bird calls.

The massive multi-trunked Tale-bearing Pine (Monogatari no Matsu) on the way to the Gourd Pond (Hyotan no Ike) is believed to be the site of the 17th century Lord Matsudaira's residence.

The flora, fauna, and types of scenery are multifarious and prolific, and few places in Tokyo offer such a radical break from the general life of the city. Those into wildlife will be fascinated. Those into sylvan strolling will unwind and be rejuvenated.

There is a limit of 300 visitors at any one time, so be prepared for the (slim) possibility of having to wait a little before you can go in.

Buy your ticket (from the ticket machine) and hand it in in exchange for a ribbon to pin to yourself, and a guide pamphlet (English version available). The building itself is a mini-museum of the park with a small but very well presented, and high-tech, array of various items of ecological interest.

Mizutori no Numa Pond, Institute of Nature Study, Tokyo.
Roadside Plants Garden, Institute of Nature Study, Tokyo.


9am-4.30pm (May 1 - August 1: till 5pm). Last admission 4pm.
Closed Mondays & Dec 28 - Jan 4.


300 yen for adults.

Access - Getting to the Institute for Nature Study

From Meguro Station (JR Yamanote Line), go out the East Exit, and walk along left hand side of Meguro-dori Street. 3 minutes.

From Shirokanedai Station (Metro Namboku Line) take Exit 1 (closer but you have to cross the road) or Exit 2 (further, but you don't have to cross the road). 1 - 2 minutes.
5-21-5 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0071
Tel. 03 3441 7176

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