With the spring season at its peak, thousands of tourists are on their pilgrimage to Japan to see the cherry blossoms. If you are based in Austria or plan to visit soon, you do not even need to go to Japan anymore. At a small park in the Northern district of Doebling, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom as well. And it actually feels a bit like being in a garden in Tokyo…
The Setagaya Park at the corner of Doeblinger Hauptstrasse / Hohe Warte and Barawitzkagasse is easily being overlooked if you do not know about it. A small door next to a retirement home is the entrance to a beautiful Japanese garden. When I lived in Vienna, I used to study there or just go for a walk to unwind.
In spring, the park turns pink with magnolias and, of course, cherry blossoms.
Setagaya is a district of Tokyo which has been a partner district of the Viennese Doebling district since 1984.
The tea house, pagoda, stone lantern and the entrance area were gifts of the city of Setagaya.
The pond is home to koi fish and duck couples.
There are the pink Japanese cherry blossoms but also white ones, which are equally beautiful.
Even when the cherry blossom season is over, the park is a beautiful green oasis and one of my favourite places in Vienna.
What Else is There to Do?
After you visit the park, I recommend walking up Hohe Warte and have a look at the beautiful neighbourhood. Already over 100 years ago, Doebling was home to artists such as Gustav Mahler, Carl Moll or Kolo Moser. You will arrive in Grinzing, an area famous for its “Heurigen”-restaurants. These Heurigen are usually owned by wine producers and you can have a nice glass of wine and enjoy local food.
How to Get There
Tram line 37 from Schottentor in the city centre takes you directly to the entrance of Setagaya Park. It takes about 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can also take the subway U4 until Heiligenstadt and then take the bus lines 10A (direction: Niederhofstrasse) or 39A (direction: Sievering) until the stop Barawitzkagasse.
If you come by car, the best chance for a parking spot is in Ruthgasse.