If you’re in the Netherlands during autumn or spring, a visit to the Japanese Garden in The Hague is a must. Wandering through the garden feels like you’re transported to Japan. Depending on the season you’re visiting, the garden is either filled with different colors or the most beautiful orange and red fall palette. In this blog, we’re sharing everything you need to know about visiting the Japanese Garden in The Hague.
The Japanese Garden boasts an atmosphere that is truly one-of-a-kind. The garden is covered by a blanket of moss and there are many rare plants and trees. During spring, the azaleas, rhododendrons and Japanese cherry blossom trees are blooming and fill the garden with color. In autumn, the different Japanese maple trees create a perfect fall foliage scene. It’s definitely one of the best places to see fall colors in the Netherlands.
The garden was created in the beginning of the 20th century by the then-owner of Landgoed Clingendael. She traveled to Japan and brought back home (by ship) a few lanterns, a water barrel, statues, the bridges and the pavilion. It’s the oldest Japanese Garden in the Netherlands. With a surface of 6800 m2 it’s also the largest Japanese Garden in the Netherlands.
Opening hours of the Japanese Garden
Due to the fragility of the garden, the garden is open to the public only a few weeks a year. In general, the opening hours of the garden are:
Spring: from the end of April until the beginning of June, daily from 09:00 until 17:00.
Autumn: from mid until the end of October, daily from 10:00 until 16:00.
The specific opening hours are published every year a few weeks before the gardens open on this website. In Spring 2023, the garden was open from the 29th of April until the 11th of June. Although the opening hours aren’t published yet, we assume that the garden in Autumn 2023 will be open from the 14th of October until the 29th of October.
Check the opening hours before you go as they are subject to change. We actually wanted to go last spring, and checked the opening hours a few weeks before. However, when we got there, the opening hours had changed and the garden was already closed. In spring 2022, the garden didn’t open at all because a sparrowhawk created a nest in the garden.
It’s good to know that visiting the Japanese Garden is free of charge.
As the garden is only open a few weeks a year, it can be quite crowded, especially on the weekends. If possible, we’d recommend visiting on weekdays or as early in the morning as possible on the weekends. This way you’ll get to enjoy the serenity of the garden the most and it’s also easier to take photos.
The Japanese Garden is located in Landgoed Clingendael, or Estate Clingendael. When visiting the Japanese Garden, we’d recommend wandering through the estate’s park as well. In the estate’s park you can find meandering footpaths through nature, gardens, ponds and even small animals such as goats. There’s a small tea room called IJgenwijs near the entrance of the Japanese Garden where you can have a coffee/tea with cake or an authentic Dutch lunch.
How to get to the Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden (and Landgoed Clingendael) are located a bit outside of the city center of The Hague. From The Hague Central Station, it’s a 40-minute walk to the Japanese Garden. We actually prefer walking to the Japanese Garden as it’s such a pleasant walk through The Hague Forest. Yes, there’s an actual forest near the city center of The Hague, which is amazing!
If you can’t or don’t want to walk, there are a few bus lines that you can take from The Hague Central Station, for instance bus lines 29, 20 and 24. These bus lines stop near the entrance of Landgoed Clingendael. From the bus stops, it’s around a 13-minute walk to the garden. If you want to go to the Japanese Garden by public transport, we’d recommend checking the routes and schedules on Google Maps, they are usually very accurate.
To make your Japanese stay complete, we’d recommend stopping by Tokyo Taiyaki Story in the city center of The Hague, not far away from The Hague Central Station. Tokyo Taiyaki Story is a small Japanese food place owned by a Japanese woman with a small menu. A visit to The Hague is not complete without trying a taiyaki here, it’s so good! As the taiyakis are freshly made, there might be a bit of a wait time, especially when it’s crowded. During lunch time there are freshly made onigiri balls, which are delicious too.
We hope that our blog post inspired you to visit the Japanese Garden in The Hague next autumn or spring. Have you been to the Japanese Garden in The Hague or is it still on your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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