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The six MUST visit places in Tokyo to see Cherry Blossoms this Spring (2019)

Wedy here,

As we’re waving good bye to Winter, we say sayonara to the cold nights and feeling blue, and wave hello to new life and feeling pink. That’s right, I’m talking about Sakura, or Cherry Blossoms to you and me.

In spring, over 1000 cherry blossom trees will bloom; painting Japan in shades of red, pink, and white. Many friends and families enjoy hanami,  the tradition of viewing cherry blossoms in spring, usually celebrated by holding picnics underneath the tress, as well as taking that customary social media selfie.


FUN FACT

Nippon Marathon celebrates the beauty of cherry blossoms in River Kawa Run, doesn’t it look beautiful?


I Foresee the Future, the Future is Pink

The Japan Meteorological Corporation’s forecast for the start of Cherry Blossom bloom across Japan. Source:  https://n-kishou.com/corp/news-contents/sakura/?lang=en

The Japan Meteorological Corporation’s forecast for the start of Cherry Blossom bloom across Japan. Source: https://n-kishou.com/corp/news-contents/sakura/?lang=en

Now cherry blossom season is taken very seriously in Japan; there are weather-man style reports on TV forecasting the bloom of the Somei Yoshino (Yoshino Cherry Trees) during sakura season. The cherry blossom bloom is dependent on the previous Autumn’s weather patterns (eg. temperature, wind speed), but mostly will be the same time every year, give or take a few days. When the first bloom begins, it takes about 7-10 days for the cherry blossoms to reach full bloom. Once at full bloom, you can enjoy the cherry blossom for a week before most of the blossom has blew off the trees. The bloom duration is highly dependent on wind speed, temperature and rainfall, so full bloom duration is never guaranteed.

 
Japan Meteorological Corporation’s forecast for the cherry blossom’s first and full bloom across Japan. Source:  https://n-kishou.com/corp/news-contents/sakura/?lang=en

Japan Meteorological Corporation’s forecast for the cherry blossom’s first and full bloom across Japan. Source: https://n-kishou.com/corp/news-contents/sakura/?lang=en

 

Pink-ture Perfect

I know what you’re thinking, you know what date you should view cherry blossoms, but “where do I go to see the best cherry blossoms in Tokyo?”.

Well Wedy has you covered, below are my top places in Tokyo to view cherry blossoms.


Recommendations:

  • Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden

  • Meguro River Cherry Blossoms Promenade

  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

  • Yoyogi Park

  • Ueno Park large fountain

  • Roppongi Hills: Sakurazaka Park & Keyakizaka Dōri


The cherry blossoms in Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden along with the historical garden layout makes it easy to forget you’re not in the Edo period. Image source under cc license, no attribution required.

The cherry blossoms in Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden along with the historical garden layout makes it easy to forget you’re not in the Edo period. Image source under cc license, no attribution required.

Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden

Koishikawa-Kōrakuen is a historical garden, combining both Japanese and Chinese influence. The garden was created by Mito Yorifusa in 1629, before being completed by his son, Mito Mitsukuni. With the garden being heavily influenced by Chinese Scholar Zhu Shun Shui, you can see a strong Chinese influence in the garden, with many ornaments and bridges popular in Chinese Culture.

This garden provides a unique background for you to fully embrace cherry blossoms in all of their beauty. It’ll also allow you to transport back in time and enjoy cherry blossoms how they would have in the Edo period.

Details:

  • Address: 1 Chome-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyō, Tokyo 112-0004 (Open in Maps)

  • Opening Times: 9:00 to 17:00 everyday

  • Entrance Fee: 300 yen

Closest Stations:

  • Iidabashi Station (5 mins walk)

  • Suidobashi Station (8 mins walk)

  • Korakuen Station (10 mins walk)

  • Kasuga Station (10 mins walk)


The trees line the Meguro river near Gotanda, making this an optimum location to view cherry blossoms. Image source:  Manish Prabhune  under cc license.

The trees line the Meguro river near Gotanda, making this an optimum location to view cherry blossoms. Image source: Manish Prabhune under cc license.

Meguro River Cherry Blossoms Promenade

Back in November you may remember when I suggested Meguro River as one of the best places to see winter illuminations, so unsurprisingly it’s also one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Spring too.

The Meguro River is lined with cherry blossom trees and when in full bloom, the air will be filled with smiles, excitement and pink petals. It’s quite magical to walk along the river whilst appreciating the beauty of the pink blossom reflecting into the trees. Don’t forget to walk over Nakame Park Bridge and stop midway to appreciate the cherry blossoms in all of their glory.

As a bonus, in the evenings the area is lit up by red lanterns, adding an extra level of magic to the cherry blossom trees.

Just be prepared for this area to be busy, especially at weekends.

Details:

  • Address: 〒152-0000 Tōkyō-to, Meguro-ku, Nakameguro, 2 Chome−6 (Open in Maps)

  • Opening Times: N/A - in a public area, Light illumination until 21:00

  • Entrance Fee: Free

Closest Stations:

  • Meguro Station (15 mins walk)

  • Naka-Meguro Station (10 mins walk)

  • Gotanda Station (5 mins walk) - from Gotanda Station when you reach the river turn left you’ll reach another part of the river where you can appreciate the cherry blossoms.


Shinjuku skyscrapers acts as a perfect backdrop for cherry blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Image source:  Kakidai  under cc license.

Shinjuku skyscrapers acts as a perfect backdrop for cherry blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Image source: Kakidai under cc license.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

In the heart of Shinjuku’s business district is Shinjuku Gyeon, a 3.5km park which is considered to be one of the most important gardens from the Meiji era. The garden was constructed as part of Lord Naito’s private mansion in the Edo period. The garden since has been handed over to the Imperial Household Agency of Japan, and was opened to the public after WW2. Shinjuku Gyeon has three very different gardens within its design, the Japanese Garden, English Garden, and French Garden. Cherry blossoms can be found throughout the Japanese and English gardens, so provide plenty of photo opportunities that you can only find in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The garden is also large enough to not feel cramped during cherry blossom season, which makes it a perfect setting for a picnic.

Details:

  • Address: 11 Naitōmachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0014 (Open in Maps)

  • Opening Times: 9:00 - 16:00 Tuesday to Sunday, closed public holidays

  • Entrance Fee: 200 yen

Closest Stations:

SENDAGAYA GATE GARDEN ENTRANCE

  • Sendagaya station (5mins walk)

  • Kokuritsu Kyougijyou Mae Station (5 mins walk)

OKIDO GATE GARDEN ENTRANCE

  • Shinjuku Gyoen Mae Station (5 mins walk)

SHINJUKU GATE GARDEN ENTRANCE

  • Shinjuku Station (10 mins walk)

  • Seibu Shinjuku Station (15 mins walk)

  • Shinjuku Gyoen Mae Station (5 mins walk)

  • Shinjuku 3 Chome Station (5 mins walk)


Yoyogi Park is the perfect location to have a picnic to celebrate  hanami.  Image source:  Karl Baron  under cc license

Yoyogi Park is the perfect location to have a picnic to celebrate hanami. Image source: Karl Baron under cc license

Yoyogi Park

What once was a US Military Site and then the Olympics Athlete Village is now one of the largest and most accessible parks in Tokyo; you could almost say it’s the “Central Park” of Tokyo. Get it?

Yoyogi Park is one of the most popular locations to view the cherry blossoms, especially when the location is easily accessible from Harajuku and Shibuya.

When you first walk in you’ll become instantly incapsulated in the cherry blossoms beauty, but also realise how busy it is, especially by the entrance. There are many cherry blossom trees in Yoyogi Park, so don’t feel like you have to stay by the entrance. Walk down one of the paths until you come across some cherry blossom trees that aren’t surrounded by people. You won’t regret the extra walk to enjoy the cherry blossoms in tranquility and without anyone potentially ruining your photo opportunity.

If you’re new to Japan then you maybe surprised that you’ll often see people having a picnic with friends whilst drinking beer; this is totally normal in Japan. Just remember to take your rubbish and although drinking in public areas is legal, drunken and disorderly behaviour is not.

Details:

  • Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0052 (Open in Maps)

  • Opening Times: N/A - Open 24/7

  • Facilities will typically be open 9:00- 17:00, but best to check on the Park’s website

  • Entrance Fee: Free

Closest Stations:

  • Harajuku Station (3 mins walk)

  • Meiji Jingumae (Harajuku) Station (3 mins walk)

  • Yoyogi Hachiman Station (6 mins walk)

  • Shibuya Station (15 mins walk)


The beauty of the cherry blossoms fills Ueno Park in spring. Image source:  Gavin Anderson  under cc license

The beauty of the cherry blossoms fills Ueno Park in spring. Image source: Gavin Anderson under cc license

Ueno Onshi Park (Ueno Park)

With a museum, zoo, rental boats and a wide range of restaurants, you could easily spend the whole day exploring Ueno Park whist admiring the cherry blossoms. Why not hire a boat at Shinobazu Pond and get creative with your photos?

To get the best photos of the cherry blossoms, I recommend starting at the bottom of the park by Shinobazu Pond and Keisei-Ueno Station and walk North towards Tokyo National Museum. On the main pathway you’ll feel like a million miles away from bustling Tokyo whilst you casually walk through the tranquil setting of Ueno Park.

Details:

Closest Stations:

  • Ueno Station (3 mins walk)

  • Keisei-Ueno Station (2 mins walk)


Sakurazaka Park is a lesser known area to view cherry blossoms in the heart of Roppongi. Image Source:  NY066  under cc license

Sakurazaka Park is a lesser known area to view cherry blossoms in the heart of Roppongi. Image Source: NY066 under cc license

Roppongi Hills: Sakurazaka Park & Keyakizaka Dōri

One of Tokyo’s hidden gems to viewing cherry blossoms is right in the heart of Roppongi, next to Roppongi Hills. Why not view cherry blossoms the very traditional Japanese way, just aligning the street as life typically passes by. You won’t be disappointed seeing cherry blossoms this way, to be honest isn’t it what anime has taught us happens anyway? In Winter, I previously mentioned how Keyakizaka Dōri was an excellent area to view winter illuminations, especially as Tokyo Tower acts as a beautiful backdrop. Well in spring it’s the same. Walk down Keyakizaka Dōri taking in the cherry blossoms beautifully framing Tokyo Tower in the distance, before hopping into Louis Vuitton to buy spring/summers must have bag, the “BLEECK BOX” bag. No? That’s just me? Well, either way enjoying the cherry blossoms the Roppongi way is definitely a talking point and not one to be missed.

Details:

  • Sakurazaka Park Address: 6 Chome-16-46 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032 (Open in Maps)

  • Keyakizaka Dōri Address: 〒106-0045 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Azabujuban, 1 Chome−5 (Open in Maps) (5 mins walk from Sakurazaka Park)

  • Entrance Fee: Free

Closest Stations:

  • Roppongi Station (8 mins walk)

  • Azabujuban Station (11 mins walk)


So hopefully I’ve given you enough inspiration to be able to enjoy the cherry blossoms the Japanese way. Even if you don’t make it to any of my suggested areas, it’s likely that you’ll come across cherry blossoms whilst you’ll walking around Japan, so just keep your eyes peeled for the blush trees filling the air with the feel of spring, just remember to watch out for traffic!

Is there anywhere I’ve missed? Do you have any suggestions? Feel free to get in touch via my Twitter.

So that’s all for now folks,

I’ve been Wedy Jones.

Keep it Real, Keep it Nippon.



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