Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo

1038

Tokyo the mammoth concrete city is surprisingly full of stunning sakura’s. In this guide, we look at our top 10 Cherry Blossom spots in Tokyo. Some of them are gorgeous displays of beauty too. Sakura or 桜 is Japanese for Cherry Blossoms.

Every year the Japan Meteorological Corporation provide a forecast for the Cherry Blossom or Sakura. They provide this with an estimated date for each prefecture, which you can find below. Tokyo is estimated to start blooming from March 22, with full bloom expected around the end of March or first of April.

Photo Source Japan Meteorological Corporation

Tokyo is expected to start blooming from around March 22, with full bloom occurring around the end of March.

If you’re interested in our FAQs Section, you can check our Life in Japan FAQ or our Exploring Japan FAQ.

1. Meguro River

One of the most photographed, Instagrammed and uploaded images from Tokyo is the Meguro River during the sakura season. It is home to some 800 Cherry Blossom trees, and during the Nakameguro Sakura Festival, the beauty is illuminated in the evening too. The reflection of the river and the surrounding trees make this picturesque wonder so stunning. The river stays lit up till 21:00 and features many food stalls (yatai). Also within reach is the new Starbucks Reserve, which has just opened up in the area. I would anticipate big crowds for this event, similar to every year it is a popular site for locals and visitors alike.

2. Shinjuku Gyoen

One of the larger nature escapes in central Tokyo is Shinjuku Gyoen, claiming more than a thousand Cherry Blossom trees. This is across an open space of approx. 58 hectares and which is some 3.5km wide. The sanctuary is full of open grass fields, lakes and specially manicured gardens, and is a more peaceful getaway compared to other parks. Alcohol is also prohibited from the grounds, and that helps to keep its serene reputation in check. Some of the trees here sprout early, while others sprout later, so it is a good place to visit if you have missed the main event. Entry to the park is 200 yen, and it is open to the public every day from 9 am to 4 pm during the sakura season.

3. Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park is another place full of life activity all year round, but especially during the sakura bloom. More than 700 trees are planted around the park grounds, and there is always plenty happening. This the third largest park in the city of Tokyo, and its spacious grounds let people spread out across different areas of the site. There are always many planned events here with crowds of people joining one single event a common sight. There are also many smaller groups scattered across the park too. You can take advantage of some of the food stalls that set up during the sakura bloom. Unlike some of its counterparts in Tokyo, Yoyogi doesn’t have a closing time so you can access it 24/7.

4. Ueno Park

This famous park in downtown Tokyo has been largely associated with the sakura season since the 16th century. The park itself is massive, at 538,000 square metres and with over 800 cherry blossoms there are many photo ops to be had. The central walkway through the park features the most amount of Sakuras that line the sides of the path. However, you can find more in other sections of the park too. There are also a bunch of food stalls available with a selection of food and drinks available. Plus, convenience stores are located not too far from the park entrance as well. The park is open from 5 am to 11 pm, and is very lively and crowded for that matter during the bloom time, when many party till closing. Lanterns are hung around in the evening to light up the park at night too.

5. Sumida Park

The perfect spot for the Sumida Fireworks in the summer is also one of the best places to experience Sakura. The park is host to around 600 blossoming beauties, on both sides of the river. On either side, you will find nothing but people perched on their sheets or blue tarps drinking, eating and drawing in the beauty surrounding them. The Sumida River, plus Skytree in the background make for the perfect backdrop for a pretty pink picture. You can also appreciate the Cherry Blossoms from one of the many riverboat tours on offer.

6. Chidorigafuchi and Kitanomaru Park

These areas are also stunning spots to enjoy the beauty of the sakura season. Firstly Chidoragafuchi is most beautiful at night when they pretty colours are lit up. Further, couples or friends can ride one of the many boats available for rent in the Northeastern moats of the imperial palace. Unfortunately, they tend to be sensitive with the weather for these boats, and so any kind of adverse conditions can close the service down.

The nearby Kitanomaru Park is also a quiet place for viewing the Cherry Blossoms in this area. If you’re feeling a bit famished, head to the Yasukuni Shrine, which is a short walk away. They always put on a large array of food stalls and street vendors during this time too. They sell a variety of food and drinks. is many people tend to celebrate Hanami in this area, so there will many groups drinking and eating together. Hence, you will find it quite crowded, especially during the evenings and weekends.

7. Inokashira Park

Out in the Western suburbs of Tokyo, near Kichijoji station is Inokashira Park. There are about 500 trees sprouting stunning Sakuras, with many arching the branches down over the central pond. This makes for some particularly exquisite shots with the reflection of the pink petals bouncing off the water’s surface. The sight of withered petals floating on the surface of the pond also makes for an astounding photo. There are also a number of attractions of kids, and boats are also available for rent starting at 600 yen too. You can also picnic on the parks grounds and enjoy the view from one of the bridges.

8. Rikugien Gardens

These gardens are a popular spot throughout many seasonal changes, but the Sakura are truly spectacular. The main prize here is the large weeping Cherry Blossom tree, a symbol of the Rikugien Gardens. It stretches out about 20 metres and reaches heights of almost 15 metres, making it difficult to miss. Lit up during the evening, this is the main attraction of the site and a photo opp not to miss. You can appreciate both the shibazakura tree and daimyo garden, and the whole garden can take about an hour to get through.

Opening hours are usually 9 am to 5 pm, but are extended to 9 pm during the Cherry Blossom bloom. Entrance is 300 yen all day long.

9. Asukayama Park

Another historical park sitting on a hilltop, this park has picnic areas and illumination too for all the Sakura enthusiasts. It holds around 600 trees on its premises and there is a monorail service running through the grounds too. Take note of the Cherry Blossom festival that takes place every year. This features food stalls, games, performances and tea ceremonies. It is located very close to Oji Station.

10. Koshikawa Korakuen

This park is located a central 10-minute walk from either Iidabashi, Suidobashi or Korakuen station. Located quite close to the Tokyo Dome complex. This features Cherry Blossom bloomers scattered throughout the park, with one main feature. The main Cherry Blossom tree labelled as a weeping wonder is the spectacle of the immaculately maintained gardens. It’s full bloom usually matures a few days later than most of the other trees in the area. Opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm, and it is open every day during the Sakura season.

So, what do you think about our list? Do you have any other recommendations? What has been your experience been like at some of these venues? We would love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment below.

Honourable Mentions

If you missed the scene in Tokyo, you could try a few of these places which typically bloom a few days or more after central Tokyo. The main trail itself has a few Cherry Blossom orchards along the way, but the main area is

Takao-San

The famous spot in Japan, not only for its summer beer garden, and seasonal beauty also has its fair share of sakura beauty too. The main hiking path has a few Cherry Blossoms scattered along the journey. However, the main area to see the towering beauties is at Itchodaira.

The Itchodaira area is also a great place to capture the full bloom a few weeks after Tokyo’s main spectacle. After reaching the halfway point, the Itchodaira or Takaosan Senbonzakura (Mount Takao Thousand Cherry Blossom Trees) is a short hike. Beyond the summit (599m) and cable car station, you can reach the thousand sakura trees within about 30 minutes. Here there are a large variety of different blossoms that paint a spectacular array of colours.

Check out further information about the well-known hiking and scenery spot Mt Takao here.

Satte Sakura Festival

The provide Sakura Festival is a large festival full of a huge plantation of draping Cherry Blossoms. It is located in Satte, Saitama north of Tokyo, but usually blooms around the same time as Tokyo. The festival itself is quite a popular event, and as a result, it attracts many locals via car. Hence the carpark fills up pretty quickly, rather I would recommend catching the train and bus to the event.

There is no shortage of food or beverages at the event, as the line of ‘yatai’ (Japanese Food Stalls) goes for miles. There is also plenty of places to sit under the stunning pink flowers and enjoy the serenity and beauty of the park. The fields of yellow rapeseed blossom also provides a gorgeous ocean of yellow with the pretty pink sakura.

For more information, please check out our post about the festival here.

Kawaguchiko

The famous Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) is positioned at the northern base of Mt Fuji, and provides one of the grandest views of Japan’s iconic mountain. The best place to witness these views is of course from the Chureito Pagoda or Lake Kawaguchiko.

The best timing is usually around two weeks after Tokyo’s timing for full bloom. From the Chureito Pagoda, you can capture Fuji in the backdrop of the stunning Pagoda and surround cherry blossoms. Alternatively, Kawaguchiko’s Sakuras surrounding the main landmark, especially with the reflection of the lake is also a truly astounding photo opp.

Kawaguchioko can be reached by express bus from Shinjuku Station directly. You may also be interested in the ‘Mt Fuji Excursion’ direct train service from Shinjuku. Otherwise, you could consider one of the Odakyo line discount passes to spend a few days in the area.

Alternative Options

If you’re looking to escape some of the crowds from the main sights, be assured there many options in Tokyo. This includes many parks like Sarue Park in Sumiyoshi, Kiba Park located between Kiyosumi Shirakawa and Kiba. Additionally, you can also try Hibiya Park nearby Hibiya Park, Shiba Park close to Shibakoen station and Roppongi Hills.

Furthermore, you can also visit around moats of the Imperial Palace, along the outside pathway. The Imperial Palace grounds can be reached a short stroll from Chidorigafuchi.

Close to the Osaki station (one stop from Shinagawa) is the nearby canal which is lined full of Cherry Blossom Trees. It is also lit up at night too for the illumination fans, so there are plenty of photo ops here too.

If you love Japanese Style Gardens you can check out Kiyosumi Teien, which is an immaculately sculpted and maintained nature escape. They feature stunning sakura trees full of bright whites and pinks. You can also visit the Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens close to Hamamatsucho station.

You can also visit some of the surrounding mountains, including Mt Oyama, and Mt Tsukuba for glorious scenery and stunning sakura.

Feel free to check out our Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spot guide on the Traditional Capital of Kyoto. Alternatively, you may want to brush up on your Japanese with our Cherry Blossom Vocabulary post.

If you’re planning your travels in Japan, we invite you to join our rapidly expanding Travel in Japan Discussion Group via facebook.

You can also catch up on all our latest articles and photos via our Facebook and Instagram pages.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.