Best places to view cherry blossoms in Tokyo
Cherry blossom season, or sakura, is legit one of the most magical experiences and should definitely be on your bucket list. It can be hard to time, as full bloom my come early or late, but your best bet is to time your trip to Tokyo late March/early April, and to keep an eye on sites that predict full bloom (mankai). It’s like a weather forecast, but for sakura! Last year, my family was lucky enough to hit full bloom in Tokyo, and it was pure magic. All of the Japanese participate in hanami (the art of viewing the cherry blossoms), and the fleeting and delicate nature of the bloom can’t help but make you contemplate how transient life is. We asked our concierge for recommendations on the best places to view cherry blossoms in Tokyo, and based on their list and places that we visited, here are the top ten best places to view cherry blossoms:
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. This was the first place that we visited and it usually tops the lists of best places to view cherry blossoms in Tokyo. It’s a huge park and there are cherry blossom trees everywhere. You’ll have to pay an entry fee, and you can expect a very big line (or crowd) to get in during cherry blossom season. Be patient, it’s worth the wait.
- Chidorigafuchi Moat. Rent a boat and paddle along this moat, and you’ll have cherry blossoms draping over you. I mean, just look at those magical pictures below! We had so much fun rowing our jenky little boat along and getting a unique perspective of the blooms from the water (and sometimes getting a bit tangled up in them). Again, expect a long line to rent a boat, but just wait in it because when else are you going to have the opportunity to row a boat through a canopy of cherry blossom trees?
- Ueno Park. Ueno is another beautiful park for hanami. Lots of people were having big picnics with friends and family and we saw several impromptu dance performances.
- Sumida Park. This is a great spot if you want to get some shots of cherry blossoms with the famous Tokyo Skytree in the background.
- Meguro River. Walk along the river here, or have drinks or dinner at a cafe along the river.
- Inokashira Park. The cherry blossoms bloom over the pond here creating a beautiful reflection on the water. You can also rent a cute little swan boat here.
- Yoyogi Park. Yoyogi is another large park in Tokyo, and a great spot to enjoy a bento box and enjoy some hanami.
- Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens. These gardens have several different types of cherry trees.
- Asukayama Park. There’s a monorail that runs through this park, giving you a different perspective above and through the cherry blossom trees.
- Rikugien Gardens. This garden has a large weeping cherry blossom tree that almost looks like fireworks or a waterfall when it blooms. They light it up at night for an extra special touch.
And now I’m dying to go back to Tokyo for cherry blossom season! If you’ve been during sakura, where did you go to see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo?