Best Cherry Blossoms in and Around Tokyo!

Best Cherry Blossoms in and Around Tokyo!

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Let’s do hanami! But where to go..?

Springtime in Japan often brings to mind the image of sakura, the Japanese word for cherry blossoms. Sakura season draws many tourists from both around the country and around the world to Japan’s many famous cherry blossom-viewing spots. Where exactly are some of these locations? Let us introduce you to some of the most well reputed places for hanami, meaning flower viewing, around Japan!

white cherry blossomsCherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi taken by Homma Hiroshi.

A guide to hanami spots in and around Tokyo

First up are 5 popular spots in the Tokyo and Yokohama area. This year, it is predicted that cherry blossom season will start around March 20, and the best viewing time will occur between March 27 to April 4, 2018.

1. Chidorigafuchi and Kitanomaru Park

65bea5dd205230dd73ed473f5f7117d0-620x413Fallen cherry blossom petals in the moat of the Imperial Palace. Taken by Miyoshi Kazuyoshi.

Featuring a 700 meter-long pathway through 260 cherry trees lining a moat of the Imperial Palace, Chidorigafuchi makes for a very beautiful hanami spot. While picnics are not allowed, the scenic stroll, nighttime light up, and option to row a boat around the moat still make this a very popular option. The nearby Kitanomaru Park also features more trees to enjoy.

Access: An 8-min walk from the Tokyo Metro Kudanshita Station or Hanzomon Station
Admission: No admission fee

2. Shinjuku Gyoen

bird in cherry treeA bird perched among pink cherry blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen. Photograph by Homma Hiroshi.

This spacious park in central Tokyo offers a nice, peaceful getaway from the city, and also includes around 1,300 cherry trees. Not only do the lawns provide wonderful seating for flower-viewing picnics, but the mix of different early and late-blooming varieties of cherry blossoms in the park grounds ensure a long hanami season. One note though, alcoholic drinks are not allowed.

Access: A 5-min walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi line or Sendagaya Station on the JR Chuo/Sobu line, or a 10-min walk from JR Shinjuku station.
Admission: 200 yen
Opening hours: 9:00 to 16:30 (last admission 16:00)

3. Ueno Park

pakutaso.com-shared-img-JS721_uenonosakura-620x394

The cherry blossoms in Ueno Park are said to bloom a few days earlier than other spots around Tokyo. Visitors can enjoy picnics along the central path, which is lined by around 800 cherry trees. Like many other spots, Ueno Park also illuminates the trees in the evening from 17:30 to 20:00. After enjoying some flowers, visitors can easily access the many museums in and around Ueno Park as well. One note though, Ueno Park is one of the most crowded spots in the city for hanami, so get there early to claim a spot!

Access: A 5-min walk from Ueno Station or 10-min walk from Uguisudani Station
Admission: No admission fee

4. Naka Meguro

naka meguro cherryCherry blossoms along the Meguro River taken by Homma Hiroshi.

Around half of the length of the Meguro River is lined by 800 cherry trees, and sakura season brings out numerous food and drink stalls to the canals. Many visitors enjoy tasty treats as they stroll along enjoying the blossoms. The nighttime light up and charm of the Naka Meguro neighborhood makes this a great date spot for couples, too.

Access: Naka Meguro, Meguro, or Ikejiri-Ohashi Stations
Admission: No admission fee

5. Sankeien Garden

sankei-en

Located in Yokohama, the beautiful Sankeien Garden features many historical buildings from around the country, in addition to several hundred cherry trees. Though it is a bit further out of the city, the many types of Japanese landscape gardens within the grounds offer lovely scenery for visitors.

Access: A 10-15-min bus ride from Negishi or Sakuragicho Station
Admission: 500 yen
Opening hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (last admission is 16:30), nighttime viewing from March 31 – Apr 8, 2018 (open until 21:00, last admission 20:30)

The Japanese love for sakura

Curious about why these flowers are so popular and how they were incorporated into Japanese culture? Discover more about their allure here.
Sublime yet short-lived, the beauty of Japanese sakura
Why do Japanese people love sakura so much?

chidorigafuchi_hommaCherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi taken by Homma Hiroshi.

Other popular places to view cherry blossoms

Kyoto’s cherry blossom temple
Popular cherry blossom-viewing spots in the Kansai region

Have a place in mind?

Now that you have picked a place, what else is there to prepare for hanami? Check out our guide to enjoying sakura to ensure the best hanami experience!

Best Cherry Blossoms in and Around Tokyo!
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