When you come to Japan in the spring, you must go to see the cherry blossom festivals held all over Japan. In Tokyo, usually the cherry blossom season is from the very end of March through the beginning of April. However, when the Japanese cherry blossoms are known as “Sakura” bloom, really depends on the weather, so you should consider yourself lucky if you’re able to see them in full bloom. The Japanese people love the sight of these trees with their light pink blossoms. They go on picnics and excursions just to see them. This is called “Hanami” in Japanese, literally meaning “to see the flowers”. If you’re fortunate enough to be in Japan for this beautiful season, below are the top 5 places to see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo.
Japan Cherry Blossom, Where are the Best Spots in Tokyo:
Every spring, the Meguro River turns pink, with cherry blossom trees growing on either side of it. It is a small river running through a quiet part of town, but during this period it becomes one of the most crowded areas of Tokyo. You can walk along the street on both sides of the river and take pictures of the cherry blossoms quite easily as the trees are not so tall here. The scenery of the flowers hanging down over the river makes for a pretty picture. The area is lit up by lanterns from 5 pm to 9 pm during the cherry blossom festival, and there are many shops selling beverages or food. The best stations to use are JR Meguro station and Fudomae station on the Meguro line.
Chidorigafuchi is a street along the moat of the Imperial Palace grounds. The huge moat is lined on either side with cherry blossom trees, and that along with the fresh green grass growing on the slopes of the moat creates a beautiful contrast especially if you go there on a sunny day. On the weekends, you’ll see some people holding picnics, but since hundreds of people will be walking by, I would recommend just taking a stroll rather than sitting down. It’s quite a long distance to walk so be prepared with some comfortable shoes. The are is lit up from 6 pm to 10 pm for people who want to see the flowers at night. You can access Chidorigafuchi from 4 stations: Hanzomon station, Kudanshita station, Iidabashi station, and Ichigaya station.
Rikugien Garden is a park famous for its traditional Japanese garden. It was once the garden of a feudal lord. There is a tea house in the park and you can enjoy tea and Japanese sweets while looking at the cherry blossoms. Rokugien is especially famous for its weeping cherry tree. The impression the weeping cherry tree makes in the daylight differs from when it is lit up at night, so if you want to see both, I suggest going before sunset and staying until it gets dark. The cherry blossom trees are illuminated from sundown to 9 pm. And the park is 7 minutes walk from Komagome station.
Yoyogi Park is a quick 3 minutes walk from Harajuku Station. It is a huge park in the middle of the bustling city. There are 800 cherry blossom trees on the vast grounds, and it becomes very crowded during the cherry blossom season. This park has 3 different types of cherry blossom trees. The Kawazu cherry blossoms bloom in March, the popular Somei Yoshino blooms from the end of March, and you can enjoy the late blooming Yaezakura until the end of April. Next to Yoyogi Park is Meiji Jingu Shrine, so you can visit the shrine as well as see the cherry blossoms in one day.
Sumida Park is a narrow park along the Sumida River. It lies on a 1 km stretch between Azuma Bridge and Sakura Bridge. There you’ll be able to see cherry blossom trees blooming on either side of the wide river. Taking a stroll along the river is one way to enjoy the cherry blossoms, but another way would be to board the river cruise from Asakusa. However, you should be aware that this cherry blossom cruise is extremely popular, so you’ll need to make reservations if you want to get on. There are also night cruises if you want to see the illuminated cherry blossoms.
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