The Ultimate Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) Guide

by Erina - TripleLights travel specialist

Where To Go

Tokyo: The most common spots in Tokyo are Ueno Park, Yoyogi, Shinjuku Gyoen, or Chidori-ga-fuchi (next to the Imperial palace) are the most popular spots.

Kyoto: Maruyama Park, next to Yasukuni Jinja, is the most popular. Check out our article on Hanami Spots in Kyoto for a more in depth look.

Osaka: Kema Sakuranomiya Park is a popular spot with  nearly 5000 cherry trees that line the Okawa River. There are a lot of lawn spaces to hold picnics. There are over 4000 cherry plants that are planted on the grounds of Osaka castle.

Kobe: Shukugawa is undoubtedly one of the most popular spots in Kobe. It is located near the train station and you can walk alongside the river whle enjoying the blossoms. You can reach all of these areas through the Hankyu Line.

View the Updated Cherry blossom forecast and plan your trip: Japan Sakura Cherry blossom forecast

When To Go

Tokyo:  April 5 - 14th

Kyoto: April 3 - 12th

Osaka: April 3 - 11th 

Nara:April 3 - 11th

Kanazawa: April 7 - 15th

What To Bring

sakuramochi

 


Picnic mat:You can pick these at places in 100 yen shops, or better quality ones at Don Quixote

Paper cups, plates and disposable chopsticks: if you are planning to hold a potluck and share food amongst your group, then these are a must.

Plastic cups and wine glasses: these can easily be picked up at the 100 yen store and ensure that a (dangerous) mess will not be made from broken glasses.

Hand warmers and sweaters: while the Hanami season officially marks the beginning of Spring, it can still get quite chilly in the evenings. Make sure to be prepared for a drop in temperature during the nighttime.

If you are going to be celebrating with a large group, then the best option is to split the shopping duties between the entire group. Some people could be in charge of the food, while others are charge in buying other materials.

Alcohol: wine and beer can be easily purchased at your local grocery store or convenient store (if you are over 20 years of age).

Food: during the hanami season, there are foods that are you can eat only during that season. These include sakura mocha, which is a confectionary made of sweet red bean paste and mocha, wrapped in the leaf of the cherry leaf ,which has been dipped in salt water. You can also buy hanami-themed bento boxes in department store basements such as Isetan and Sogo. There are many colorful and seasonal ingredients used to produce these meals.
Yatai foods: there a plethora of stalls that are set up alongside the blooming sakura during the day and night. You can expect to find typical Japanese street foods such as yakisoba (stir-fried noodles), takoyaki (octopus balls), and chocolate covered bananas.

Who To Bring

cherry blossom festival in japan, hanami

While the daytime festivities are perfect for a gathering with family (especially those with children), the nighttime festivities are not exactly suitable for a family outing. As with many nighttime activities, alcohol and the celebrations get a bit rowdy. Depending on the type of experience you are seeking, you could choose either the daytime or nighttime activities, or simply spend the entire day in the presence of the blossoms.

Common Etiquette and Manners

Bring garbage bags and make sure to clean up your mess before you leave the premises. While the hanami is a festival that should be enjoyed, there is no need to leave a mess for others to clean. 

Do not have a picnic or hanami party in an area where it is not allowed. Ensure to check beforehand that parties are allowed in the place you are setting up.

Although it is okay to reserve a spot for your party with your mat, do not reserve a spot larger than you need. There are many people who would like to enjoy the sakura blossoms as well.

Other Tips To Remember

Spot a toilet before heading to the hanami area and have a designated one that you go to throughout the day/night. The public toilets can get incredibly busy during the hanami, and there is usually a long line. You can always visit the toilet of convenient stores but make sure to buy something small to show your appreciation for using their facilities.

 
Contact Now

Did you like my article?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Tokyo, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Tokyo


09 Mar 2014

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Superb tour ”

Excellent
4 hours ago Traveler: Bernadette -   Tour Guide: Yoshi

Yoshi took us to all the major highlights of Tokyo and to specific stores we wanted to visit. His knowledge of Japanese history is incredible. Fun and easy going - perfect for us. A very memorable experience!!
read more

“ Tokyo tour ”

Excellent
8 hours ago Traveler: Maurice -   Tour Guide: Atsuko

Atsuko was a joy to tour with. She was very knowledgeable and patient in meeting our needs and making adjustments that suited our mood. She's been doing this a while so understands how to customize based on your interests. When we head back to Japan, I will certainly look for her service once again.
read more

“ Daytrips to Hakone ”

Excellent
13 hours ago Traveler: Nicole -   Tour Guide: MAYUMI

Mayumi picked us up at the hotel and brought us to Hakone, where we had a lovely day including cable cars and pirate ship. It was a lovely day and Mayumi took care of everything, it was a great start to our trip to Japan. Thank you Mayumi!
read more

“ Visiting the Snow Monkeys ”

Excellent
15 hours ago Traveler: Jamie -   Tour Guide: KAHOKO

Having Kahoko as a guide when visiting Toyko was the best decision that we made. She made our time in Toyko fun and made it very easy to get around. Kahoko was full of knowledge and visiting the Snow Monkeys was one of our highlights. Thank you Kahoko for making out trip enjoyable and stress-free. Jamie and Deb Ruf
read more

“ Fantastic Tour Guide - Thank You Nobu! ”

Excellent
19 hours ago Traveler: Jeniffer -   Tour Guide: Nobu

Hands down, We had a fabulous time with Nobu. We saw so many different sites and Nobu is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and professional. I love the experience and would definitely book with Nobu again if I am ever visiting Japan again. Doumo Arigatou Gozaimashita!
read more

“ Essential ”

Excellent
21 hours ago Traveler: Stacy -   Tour Guide: ASC

After a 14 hour flight with a Family of four. Thanks to our guide we were able to get a good deal on train pass for 2 weeks,easily. He even drew us a map and made sure we made it to our train on time. Wonderful guide and person. Thank you very much.
read more

“ Excellent service ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Ken -   Tour Guide: Oeuvre Limousine Services

Communication before our trip and the driver experience were both outstanding and made all the difference upon our landing in Tokyo and easily getting to our hotel. I happily recommend this company!
read more

“ Warm, knowledgable and accommodating ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Johnson -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Kashima San hosted my wife, son and I on a days' tour of Tokyo. We had prearranged the itinerary to include some sites, some shopping and a museum. He met us at our hotel and talked us through the Tokyo Rail and Subway system which once you understand it is very efficient. We saw the Imperial Palace Bridges, Zozoji Temple (which is lovely), then we had time in Ginza including time in a quaint...
read more

“ Fun trip through Akihabara ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Seth -   Tour Guide: Yuko

We had a fairly diverse group of people. Akihabara is, of course, known for its electronics shops and for catering to various "Otaku" interests. However, Yuko adeptly guided us through not only those areas, but to other places off the main strip so that we would all have a good time. She also courteously helped plan the tour around the opening times of the shops. Very knowledgeable, helpful, and p...
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started