With spring arriving soon, Japan is gearing up for its favourite time of year- Sakura season! Though a concrete jungle it may be, Tokyo is no exception, with numerous parks and open spaces that are converted to lively picnic areas for all to enjoy the beauty cherry blossoms offer. For those travelling to Tokyo, here is a list of Tokyo’s most famous and beautiful hanami spots.
Located to the north of the Tokyo imperial palace, this park is home to a number of museums and the remains of Edo castle, encircled by beautiful greenery, that transforms according to season.
Kitanomaru is considered one of the most scenic hanami spots in Tokyo, with the famous 330 somei-yoshino cherry trees surrounding the moat, covering the water in petals when they bloom. Riding a paddle boat across the moat has become a favourite activity in spring. Location
With more than 1,000 cherry trees lining both banks, this is also a popular spot in spring. Located near the ever so popular Asakusa, the park surrounds a river, and is a wonderful natural area, featuring views of the Tokyo Sky Tree.
Easy to reach and beautiful, this park is an obvious choice. After sampling some festival food, you can simply hop on the river cruise and enjoy the surrounding beauty, complete with the Sky Tree in the distance. Location
Well, by Inokashira park, I really mean Inokashira pond. Yes, the park is beautiful, but it is also impossibly crowded during Sakura season. The pond however, is what makes elbowing your way through the park absolutely worth it.
Surrounded by approximately 300 low lying cherry trees, the pond also features paddle and swan boats that allow you to get up close. Like anywhere else that is popular, it’s best to arrive early. Also, this is the park where the Ghibli museum resides, this could be a win-win if you plan to visit the museum. Location
Shinjuku Gyoen, being a national garden, boasts more than 400 somei yoshino trees, which blossom around the English garden during peak sakura season. The park also grows a bunch of other varieties, which bloom at various stages of spring.
The park has a small entrance fee if 200 yen, which is a pretty great deal considering this park is not even close to being as crowded as some of Tokyo’s most famous hanami spots. You can also easily hide in a quiet corner of the spacious park. Location
The park is quite possibly Tokyo’s most popular cherry blossom spot, and with good reason- the park boasts more than 1000 cherry trees, colouring the whole area a bright baby pink in spring. The park is also home to various museums, including Tokyo National Museum and Ueno zoo.
Ueno park will be crowded, so it’s best to arrive early because picnickers will start showing up and claiming more and more space. If you don’t enjoy crowds, consider somewhere else, but if you love a vibrant, festive atmosphere, this is definitely the place to be. Location
For information on the cherry blossom forecast this year, click here.