It’s time for cherry blossoms!!
Many countries around the world have cherry blossoms but when you think of Japan, the two images that pop to your mind are Mt. Fuji & cherry blossoms, isn’t it?
The time of the year that everyone in Japan is waiting for with bated breath: Spring brings with it warmth and the delicate elegance of the pink blossom. Are you ready for sakura? Spring is almost here so let’s gear up and gather all the information necessary for your trip to Japan.
We have created six regional guides with our recommended spots for cherry blossoms to make your life easy and this one highlights those in TOKYO.
You can narrow down your choices with the help of our list!
Cherry blossom forecast for 2019
The following are the most well-known websites for weather updates in Japan!
Tenki.jp (Not yet updated for 2019)
First bloom: March 22
Full bloom: March 29
Weathernews (updated on January 18, 2019)
First bloom: March 18
Full bloom: March 26
Walkerplus (Not yet updated for 2019)
First bloom: March 20
Full bloom: March 27
Earth Communication Provider (Updated on January 18, 2019)
First bloom: March 22
Full bloom: March 29
Get access information, details like opening times, peak season by clicking on the “Details” for each spot. Note that the best viewing period is based on previous year’s data.
Located in central Tokyo, Ueno Park has the feel of an oasis in the hustle and bustle of a big city; blending nature, culture and entertainment into one. Ueno Park is known to be one of the best sites in Tokyo for viewing cherry blossoms. The season starts towards the end of March and ends in early April. You can see as many as 800 cherry trees of 40 different kinds in bloom during that period. Its reputation as being one of the best sites for viewing cherry blossoms attracts many tourists each year, both domestic and international.
Also on the premises are the National Museum of Nature and Science and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. With Ueno Zoo, another big attraction on the site where you can see giant pandas, the park offers all types of entertainment for everyone.
Having over a 300-year history, Rikugien was known as one of Edo’s (old Tokyo) two greatest gardens along with Koishikawa Korakuen in Bunkyo, Tokyo. The garden has 40 cherry trees, not as many as other famous gardens, but its large weeping cherry tree is very impressive. Going through the front gate, you will see a weeping cherry tree that has become a synonym for Rikugien. Its cascading long branches are covered with beautiful blossoms.
The garden and cherry trees are beautifully lit up at night. The cascading branches of the cherry tree create a lovely gradation of color as a result of the interaction between light and shadows. Each petal seems to have its own color. The garden lit up in the darkness only enhances the enchanting atmosphere.
For more on Rikugien
Sumida Park stretches along the Sumida River over 100,000 square meters – a popular location often crowded with tourists visiting Asakusa and Skytree. The cherry trees, first planted at the discretion of the 8th Shogun of the Edo Shogunate and now multiplied to approximately 640, make this park one of the best spots to view cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms on trees lining both banks of the river over approximately 1 km between Azuma-bashi and Sakura-bashi, both well-known bridges in Tokyo, offer a spectacular view. Affectionately called “Senbonzakura,” literally translating to “a thousand cherry trees” with the word thousand used as a form of rhetoric to mean mass, they keep drawing many visitors every year. Sumida Park lies near the foot of the Tokyo Skytree. You can take advantage of this geography and snap a special photo that has both cherry blossoms and the Tokyo Skytree in it. They look beautiful together in daylight, but at when both are lit up, they exhibit a different but equally fascinating appearance.
Showa Memorial Park
Showa Memorial Park is a large park whose charm lies in its expansive area of about 180 hectares. The large park has 1,500 trees of 31 sakura (cherry blossom) species, from the early-blooming kawazu-zakura to the later-blooming sato-zakura. During spring, flower festivals are held where visitors can appreciate the collaboration of 200,000 rape flowers and 180,000 dame’s violets with the sakura. It is well worth seeing, as the large scale of the park makes everything look dynamic.
In the sakura garden, located almost in the center of the park, there are around 200 sakura trees mainly of the somei-yoshino variety. The most beautiful thing in Showa Memorial Park during this time is the collaboration of sakura and rape flowers. Once the sakura start blooming, the rape flowers follow and display a symphony of white and yellow. Together with the blue sky, it creates a view in front of your eyes that looks like a painting.
Meguro river flows 8 km through the city center into Tokyo bay. Especially between Ikejiri-Ohashi Station and Meguro Station, the river is among Tokyo’s top famous spots with approximately 800 trees of sakura blooming proudly. Between Nakameguro and Ohashi, there are sometimes amazake (sweet sake) and mochi (rice cakes) served.
There are also restaurants and bars where you can dine while looking at the sakura, this is highly recommended for seeing the lit up cherry trees in the evening. The sakura petals appearing in the darkness look fantastic and the lit up sakura reflected on the river surface adds to the great atmosphere.
For more on Meguro River
Mori Teien is a Japanese garden in Roppongi Hills and is famous for its cherry blossoms in spring. There are somei-yoshino cherry trees and weeping cherry trees in Mori Teien. Next to this garden is a street that is lined with 75 cherry trees called Roppongi Sakura-zaka that attracts many visitors. The blooming trees are lit up at night in late March. This is a wonderful spot to bring a date to see the fantastic blossoms at night.
For more on Mori Teien
Nippon Budokan is a historic building that was a stadium used during the 18th Olympic Games in Tokyo and was constructed in September 1964. The roof is conceptualized after the highest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji, and its octagonal design is inspired by the World Heritage site, Horyuji in Nara.
Nippon Budokan is also famous for cherry blossom flowers. In spring, many people visit here to see the gorgeous pink hues. You can enjoy the stadium along with beautiful cherry blossom trees only for a short period of time. Many street stands appear during this period, so you can buy something to eat and stroll around.
For more on Budokan
Koishikawa Korakuen has a history that dates back to 400 years. Being designated for two categories is quite rare and this garden is designated as a special historic site as well as a national scenic beauty. It is also a famous place for cherry blossoms. Inside the garden, there are seven weeping cherry blossoms and Somei-yoshino blossoms that bloom beautifully. Furthermore, Koishikawa Korakuen is situated in the heart of the city, and you can get some great shots with cherry blossoms in the foreground with Tokyo’s modern buildings in the background. You will be surprised to see how beautiful the cherry blossoms look even with Tokyo’s modernity.
For more on Koishikawa Korakuen
Super Convenient Google Map List
Worried about getting lost in this massive city? We’ve made a special cherry blossom viewing list on Google Maps! Add the list to your own google maps and enjoy basking in the glory of cherry blossoms.
(This feature was originally written in 2018. The forecast dates have been updated to 2019.)