Tokyo in April is arguably the best season to visit. Especially because at the beginning of the month, the cherry blossoms are in bloom. You’ll find these light pink flowers beautiful to see, and a great background for all photos. Other flowers also come into bloom in the warm weather and the parks start to be filled with color. It also becomes easier to spend hours walking around sightseeing Tokyo since it’s no longer bitterly cold anymore. The sunshine feels invigorating and will make your trip even more enjoyable.
Weather in Tokyo
April in Tokyo can be a bit unpredictable weather wise. It tends to rain once in 3 or 4 days so make sure to bring a small folding umbrella you can fit in your bag. If you don’t have one, it’s the perfect opportunity to buy one in Tokyo. There all sorts, big and small with pretty designs, so choosing an umbrella can be fun for the girls.
The temperature varies a lot. The highest temperature of the day is around 15 - 20 degrees Celsius and the lows around 6 - 10 degrees. So even if it sometimes feels like you’ll be okay in a T-shirt during the day, make sure you bring a jacket or something warm for the evening. The temperature drops after sunset, and you don’t want to catch a cold during your trip.
Things to do in April
First off, the most famous thing to do is go enjoy the cherry blossoms. You can join the hundreds of Japanese people strolling along or having a picnic under the beautiful pink flowers. There are many places to go as you can see in the blog here. But they’ll only be in bloom until probably the first week of April so if you absolutely want to see the flowers, make sure to visit at the very beginning of April. There are also tours with local guides you can take if you don’t know where to go like this tour around the Imperial Palace or this half-day tour of famous cherry blossoms spots.
The Kanamara Festival is a festival held at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, and is also known as the “penis festival”. The deity of the shrine is not only a protector of blacksmiths but also a deity of sex. This very unusual festival has become hugely popular due to people uploading videos of the main gigantic phallus parade onto YouTube. There are now lots of foreigners visiting this festival as well as the local people. The festival itself is held to pray to be blessed with children and also to pray for the unity of a married couple. If you want to do something off the beaten path, this is one of the most unique and weirdest thing you’ll find.
Address: 2-13-16 Daishi Ekimae, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa
Access: a 2 minute walk from the Kawasaki Daishi Station
Date: April 7, 2019
Hours: 11 am - 4:45 pm
Tokyo Romantic Flea Market
This is a flea market of about 50 booths, held in the garden of a building located in central Tokyo. It’s held every 2nd Sunday of the month so if you can’t make it April, there’s always a chance to visit at another time. You’ll be able to find all kinds of antique goods both international and domestic. The vendors change on a monthly basis so you’ll always be able to see something new.
Address: Shibuya Garden Tower, 16 - 17 Nanpeidaicho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access: a 8 minute walk from Shibuya Station
Date: April 14, 2019
Hours: 10 am - 4 pm
Ichiyo Sakura Festival
This festival held in Asakusa is very popular. You’ll be able to enjoy the “yaezakura”, a type of late blooming cherry blossom, and the “oiran” parade. An “oiran” was a high ranking courtesan in the Edo era. Some became celebrities even outside the pleasure districts. You’ll be able to see the “oiran” parade recreated with elaborate authentic costumes weighing up to 30 kilograms. In order to see the parade at a good spot, make sure to get there about an hour before it starts.
Address: (Ichiyo Sakura Komatsubashi street) 4 chome and 5 chome, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: a 5 minute walk from Asakusa Station
Date: April 13, 2019
Hours: 10 am - 4 pm (the parade starts around 13 pm but varies on the year)
Yabusame is a traditional Japanese sport or art. Riders on galloping horses try to hit several targets with a bow and arrow. The archers are dressed in the hunting clothes of long ago and also carry short and long swords as the noblemen of the 12th century did. It’s quite an amazing performance. It’s held in the narrow but long, Sumida Park, starting from the Azumabashi bridge. The performance is highly popular and crowded so you need to get there much earlier than the starting time in order to get a good spot.
Access: Sumida Park, a 8 minute walk from Asakusa Station
Date: April 20, 2019
Time: 11 am (but get there much earlier)
Nakisumo is an event where two sumo wrestlers each hold a baby in their arms and face them off in the sumo ring. The one which cries first wins. In some areas of Japan, it’s the other way around. If both cry at the same time, the one who is crying the most wins. Either way, the baby’s cries are said to ward off evil. And this festival is a tradition held to pray for the babies’ health and growth.
Address: Yukigaya Hachiman Shrine, 2-25-1 Higashi Yukigaya, Ota-ku, Tokyo
Access: a 2 minute walk from Ishikawadai Station on the Tokyu Ikegami Line
Date: April 29, 2019
Hours: 12pm - 14 pm
Nezu Shrine Azalea Festival
This festival is a scenic place great for taking amazing photographs. The 3,000 azaleas of 100 types create a garden filled with various shades of pink. There are flowers that are a very pale pink to ones that are magenta, and even flowers that are a more purplish color. You can also try some Japanese sweets at the small cafe next to the pond of the shrine grounds.
Address: 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Access: a 5 minute walk from either Nezu Station or Sendagi Station on the Chiyoda Line or Todai-Mae Station on the Namboku Line
Duration: April 6, 2019 - May 5, 2019
Hours: 9am - 5:30 pm
Fees: 200 yen
Website (Japanese Only): http://www.nedujinja.or.jp/tutuji/t.html
Recommend Tours in Tokyo
TripleLights provides a service of matching customers with the best tour and guide for them. It’s like a marketplace of guides from which you can choose.
Guides create their own tours so all of the tours are unique. You can also communicate directly with the guide to ask questions or convey requests, for example, the length of a tour, before actually booking a tour. And you can ask them to take you to one of the places above if you like.
And, if you don’t find the perfect tour on the list of tours, you can request a tour for half a day, a full day or more, listing what you’d like to see or eat or so on. All of the guides will be able to see requests like this and the ones that are available during your requested dates will recommend a tour itinerary just for you. So you’ll be able to compare what several guides suggest and see which one looks to be the best. This way you can create your own customized tour for however long you’d like.
Most tours are walking tours, created so that you can use the public transportation system while sightseeing and get a feel for getting around the city. It’s also an experience that will give you insight on how the local people move around during their daily lives. However, there is also the option of hiring a private car and driver for your tour or just to get around. This is an option that people with disabilities or elderly people who aren’t able to walk for hours on end find to be helpful. Catching a taxi is also fine, but sometimes you just can’t find one, so having a car just for you is pretty convenient.
You can also look at the guides’ profile videos to see what kind of person they are and also see the reviews they got from other customers. This is an important step in choosing a tour. At most places, you aren’t able to choose your guide nor see what they look or sound like before the day of the tour. But having a pleasant companion during your tour is an important aspect in having a great day. So choose the perfect guide for you and enjoy spring time in Tokyo.
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