When you think of Japan, what is the first image that comes to mind? For many, it is the picture of a geisha holding an umbrella. For some it is their favorite manga or anime. For those lucky enough to have visited Japan during Spring, the iconic view of hundreds of sakura trees in full bloom is hard to beat. This is hanami (“flower viewing”) season in Japan, and it is a highlight of the year for many people. While many might think that they can only see sakura in the country, Tokyo cherry blossom trees are just as beautiful! Don’t worry about where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo–we’ll show you some of the best places around.
5 Perfect Tokyo Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots
The 144-acre garden hosts over a thousand cherry trees, and is a favorite destination for both locals and visitors who have caught the Tokyo cherry blossom fever. The wide open areas ensure everyone has their own space to hang out and talk. It is the perfect place for those who like to sit down and enjoy the view without worrying about overcrowding. In fact, despite the huge number of people who visit every year, the vast grounds ensure there is ample room for everyone.
The park opens at 9.00 am and closes at 4.00 pm but visitors cannot bring any alcoholic drinks onto the grounds. Due to the early closing time and lack of alcohol you will find the park far more relaxed than elsewhere, and it is well worth the 200 yen admission fee. If you’re wondering where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo while also escaping the bustle of the city, this is the place to be.
With over a thousand trees on either side of the main route, Ueno Park is certainly not lacking in beauty – but with hundreds of parties taking place over the course of the cherry blossom season it is much more lively than Shinjuku Gyoen. The entire park is overtaken with people flocking to see the vivid colors and despite its large size, most people congregate around the main cherry tree areas and drinks flow freely, so the atmosphere is extremely festive. Although you might struggle to find your own spot among the trees, Ueno Park is a good choice if you want to experience the merrier side of hanami. The contrast between Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen really shows that alcohol vs. non-alcohol is a big consideration when deciding where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo.
The Imperial Palace is a popular destination all year round, but no more so than in Spring. At this time the moat around the palace is transformed, becoming a unique spot for viewing Tokyo cherry blossoms that is simply like nowhere else like it in Japan. This well known destination can also be viewed from a small boat, bypassing the crowds and giving you a sakura vantage point like no other.
You can even stay after dark, with illuminations keeping the trees looking their best well into the night. Despite the crowds this is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo because of the spectacular backdrop, and is a great place to get a feel for what the event means to everyone here.
Despite being the definition of an urban jungle, Tokyo still holds tradition dear. Meguro river is proof of that, with a section from JR Meguro station to Nakameguro being transformed into a cherry blossom walk every Spring. The route is incredibly popular, and hosts a large number of shops and stalls selling all kinds of food and drink.
If you are tired of all the walking you can stop at any number of restaurants for a rest under the trees, overlooking the man-made canal. It is particularly special at night when lanterns are strung up and provide illumination along the entire street. This unique combination of traditional and modern Japan means that people flock here from all over Tokyo, so space will be limited, especially at night. Expect to keep walking along the route, or stop to take pictures with the lanterns, but not to sit down on the street with your sake and snacks. This is doubly true during the Nakameguro Sakura festival, an event that attracts tens of thousands of people and makes the area very crowded. So many things to do and see makes this among the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo.
This spacious park, first opened to the public in 1917, hosts hundreds of sakura trees around a central lake. For those looking to spend a more relaxing time watching the gently falling petals, or simply wanting to get a bit closer to nature, the wide-open spaces make for ideal Tokyo cherry blossom viewing. This park also features a vibrant performance scene, with local artists providing a fun attraction for visitors. Everything from mimes to musicians have performed here, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
The central pond also gives visitors a chance to rent out a swan boat and look at the sights from the tranquility of the water. Even during peak times this spacious park ensures you will not be jostling for a prime position, but the boats are a great way to forego the seated crowds entirely. They are always in high demand during hanami season, so be prepared to queue for your chance at riding one.
Tokyo Cherry Blossom Viewing is Better with Sakura Mobile
The question of where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo is really up to you. Whether you want to sit down and savor your hanami experience, or try out the more hectic side of Japanese history and culture, the Tokyo cherry blossom spots highlighted above are sure to have something you will enjoy doing. Do not forget to share your pictures and experiences with the world with a Sakura Mobile WiFi router, compatible with a huge number of phones and tablets or a SIM Card for those who want to keep their own phone during their trip. You can pick up both SIM and WiFi routers from our Shinjuku office on the way to your hanami viewing party.
Visiting Japan during cherry blossom season is a great way to see something beautiful and experience a unique aspect of the culture, so be sure to take full advantage of the opportunity with Sakura Mobile.