Halloween has come a long way from Ireland to America from Pagans to Pumpkins and now celebrated and recognized across the globe, including Japan.
Originally, it’s believed that on this magical all hallows eve the glowing Jack-O-lanterns were carved from turnips and gourds, and lit with coal. But later on, as the Irish settlers arrived in America, they found the native pumpkin an ideal choice for Jack-O-lanterns. The season’s greatest mascot “The Pumpkin” is native to Mexico as a plant, while the culture behind had migrated over from Europe. The word “pumpkin” originated from the Old Greek word “pepon” meaning “large melon”.
Halloween is celebrated in many ways, and of the biggest and most nostalgic traditions is that of visiting a Pumpkin Patch – a farm or a garden where there are hundreds of pumpkins! You can explore the pumpkin patch and have fun, before you take your pick and buy pumpkin for carving our decoration.
If you miss this tradition, you would be excited to hear that a pumpkin patch has been finally found in Tokyo!
The Yumenoshima Tropical Greenhouse dome located centrally in Tokyo is hosting large pumpkins at its entrance garden – a great opportunity to get that postcard photograph this autumn.
Yumenoshima, literally meaning dream island, is a great place to celebrate Halloween. This year in Tokyo you can enjoy the traditional pumpkin patch experience at the Yumenoshima Tropical Greenhouse Dome where massive pumpkins are lying around. The only difference from a traditional pumpkin patch is mainly that you cannot walk out with a pumpkin, as they are not for sale, cannot be taken home or turned into pies. Instead take a walk in nature’s lap and take photos with the season’s happy mascots, the many pumpkins.
Here’s a PRO TIP: Pack some breakfast or lunch for a small cozy picnic, a perfect weekend tryst with nature in the garden. Or just sip some cinnamon pumpkin latte on a beautiful fall day.
The facility does have an in-house cafe with a spacious seating area over-viewing the lush tropical pond, but the menu does not leave a mark with about five or six items. This is also an excellent spot to play dress-up, so definitely get costumes – both adults and kids are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes. The pumpkins are highly photogenic, so they will get you into the pumpkin paparazzi mode.
Whatever you do, there is one important rule – don’t kick the pumpkins!
The Greenhouse has an exhibition hall which has an ongoing Halloween event until November 4th 2019. Take a moment here and take it all in. They have clarinet performers and singers – a perfect feast for the soul after the green house. The live programs are on repeat without any extra charges so if you happen to arrive midway to a performance you can always sit through another round. It only gets better, as this exhibition hall has a picture booth with a massive fake pumpkin in front and a backdrop of witches and bats, quite a few props are provided for that extra touch without any charge.
The hall is spacious and can easily accommodate 100-150 people giving room for everyone to enjoy the live entertainment and at the same time take pictures at the booth.
Another treat before you leave is a small bag of candies handed over to you.
The garden entrance is very reasonably priced at 250 yen for adults and free for kids under 12 years old. There is also an option to get an all English pamphlet for exploring the greenhouse.
The opening hours are 9.30 to 17:00 (last entry is 16:00), Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays). However, it starts to get crowded around the pumpkins by afternoon, so do plan the day early to steer far from the crowds.
More info on their website: http://www.yumenoshima.jp/english.html
The Yumenoshima Greenhouse dome is centrally located in Tokyo and easily accessible by trains. It has direct connection from Tokyo station via the Keiyo line, only 2 stops away. There’s also Yurakucho line and and Rinkai line. The closest station from the Yumenoshima Greenhouse dome is Shin- Kiba station, at approximately a 12 minute walk.
The Yumenoshima Tropical Greenhouse dome is chiefly divided into Dome A , Dome B and Dome C which houses the dense fertile greenhouse atmosphere. The Greenhouse’s dome area has the tropical rain forest’s high temperature and the rain. The distinctive vegetation is replicated and one gets to see diverse flora – numerous plants, creepers, trees, flowers – all in all, a beautiful tropical scenery unfolds in front of you while you take a quick but surreal walk under a mini waterfall.
The facility also has an exhibition hall, movie theater, dream room, restrooms and a shop for snacks and souvenirs. Another charming aspect of the Yumenoshima greenhouse, is the dream room or (Yume no heya) literally meaning that. Here, the walls are blue with rainbows and clouds all around, inducing a dream-like structure. This happy place definitely makes you feel like you are in a dream.
Before you exit the greenhouse, make sure to not miss the carnivore plants. Carnivore plants have long been a topic of curiosity for the botanists since ages due to their higher survival rate. Carnivory in plants had caught the interest of Charles Darwin and he was writing about them in depth. These plants basically are evolved to an extent where they can prey by the 3 step principle of attract, trap, kill. A unique chance to see these plants, and definitely worth the contemplation – are we really the fittest?