Sakura Tokyo – Every year during the spring season, Japan comes alive as millions of tourists pour into the charming country to experience the globally renowned cherry blossoms. Whilst this flower sure does bloom in different areas around the world, it is indigenous to Japan, and since before we can even document, has been one of the most symbolic features of the country. In ancient times, the blooming of the cherry blossoms signified new beginnings; a new era, a time for renewal; a fresh start ahead. Over time, stories of the exuberant style in which the Japanese people celebrate this period has crossed borders and thus came the global phenomenon that is now the cherry blossom viewing season in Japan.
One of the most popular areas to join in on the festivities is, of course, Tokyo. From ancient shrines and temples, to parks that are acreages large, to illuminations along kilometre-long streets, there are plenty of opportunities for people to witness the beauty of the flowers during this period. However, given the popularity of the activity, you can bet that wherever you go, there will be crowds!
The cherry blossom season only lasts for about two weeks in Tokyo, and every year it changes dates. However, the peak of the season usually starts around the last week of March and ends before the second week of April in Tokyo. Of course, due to the varying climates around the country, places like Okinawa and Fukuoka experience the blooms earlier than most cities, whilst cities within the Tohoku region as well as Hokkaido will experience the cherry blossoms later. You will need to keep an eye out for the forecast which is released a few months ahead of the season to make sure you have the key dates!
The 10 Best Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Spots in Tokyo
Here are the 10 places you should visit to see the cherry blossom in Tokyo:
- Yoyogi Park
- Meguro River
- Sumida Park
- Ueno Onshi Park
- Mori Garden
- Tokyo Midtown
- Rikugien Garden
- Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
- Showa Memorial Park
1. Yoyogi Park
Being one of the biggest, and probably being the most popular, park in all of Tokyo, Yoyogi Park welcomes visitors to its expansive grounds all year round. Whether it be for seasonal festivities such as the cherry blossom or autumn leaves viewing, to party at a music concert, indulge in a food festival, or simply just to unwind and picnic under the trees, Yoyogi Park has long been a destination that visitors will pass by at least once during their travels.
During the cherry blossom season, this oasis in the city sees around 700 cherry blossom trees blooming across the park. At the peak of the season, you will see thousands of people swarm into the park every day to spread out their bright blue picnic mats and settle in for a full day of eating, drinking, music and games. We highly recommend that you try and fit in a few hours of picnicking at this park; the feeling of dining on even the most convenient of foods like 7-11 onigiri and beer under the sakura trees and feeling the falling petals on your face is an experience like no other.
- Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052, Japan
- Access: Take the train to Harajuku Station, and walk 5-minutes from there.
2. Meguro River
Meguro River, located in Nakameguro which is close to Shibuya, is an intensely popular spot for cherry blossom viewing, especially during the night. Around 800 trees line the four-kilometre-long river, with trees stretching overhead and creating the most picturesque of images. You will find visiting this place very pleasant, as there are small restaurants and cafes lining each side of the river for you to peruse and enjoy whilst taking in the sight.
However, it is the night scene at Meguro River which is truly spectacular. The illuminations of the cherry blossom tree along with the lanterns displayed, the food and drink stalls which open up selling cherry blossom specialty items, and the energy of the crowd here is indescribable. The imagery of the lit-up blossoms hanging over the river with their reflections is truly a sight to behold – we highly recommend you make some time for this!
- Address: Nakameguro, Meguro City, Tokyo 152-0000, Japan
- Access: Take the train to Naka-Meguro Station and walk 3-minutes.
3. Sumida Park
Sumida River presents a gorgeous scenery to capture throughout the year, but it really turns it up during the cherry blossom season. From there, you can easily see the famous Tokyo Skytree tower, and whilst during the day the view of the waters with the Skytree as a backdrop is indeed beautiful, it is during the peak cherry blossom season, when the Tokyo Skytree is illuminated at night in bright and colourful neon lights, that makes this cherry blossom viewing spot that much more special.
Sumida Park is easily accessible from various tourist hotspots, which makes it a popular stopover to capture some photos of the cherry blossoms. If you want to visit this place during a festival, watch out for the Sumida River Fireworks festival, an annual festivity that draws thousands to the riverside to watch the spectacular show. Some people even camp for hours for the best spots, so plan it properly!
- Address: 1 Chome Mukojima, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0033, Japan
- Access: Take the train to Asakusa Station and walk 5-minutes to the park entrance.
4. Ueno Onshi Park
Ueno Onshi Park is a cherry blossom viewing spot that you can literally spend hours at, and that’s not just laying on a picnic mat indulging in sushi. The park itself is one of the largest green spaces in all of Tokyo, and its ground hosts many structures, activities and attractions. Here, you can visit the Ueno Zoo, visit some shrines and temples, grab a coffee at a rustic Starbucks, and chill on the grassy areas. During the cherry blossom season, it gets packed from early in the morning until late at night as the Ueno Sakura Matsuri draws massive crowds for its festival food and drink stalls, and the illumination of the flowers at night.
- Address: Japan, 〒110-0007 Tokyo, Taito City, Uenokoen
- Access: Take the train to Ueno Station, and it is a 5-minute walk to the park.
Located northwest of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the Chidorigafuchi area refers to the waterways and moats area of the historic Edo castle. Along the promenade of this area, 700-metres of cherry blossom trees bloom during the spring season, making it look like a scene out of a beautiful historic Japanese movie.
The most unique aspect of viewing cherry blossoms here is indeed the activity which made this area a popular viewing spot: hiring a boat and paddling out onto the water is the thing to do when you’re viewing cherry blossoms here. The activity runs from morning until night time so there’s plenty of time to squeeze it in, even with the crowds here. Even after the peak cherry blossom season when the flowers have stopped blooming, people still come here to witness the millions of pink blossom petals covering the waters, creating yet another spectacular sight.
- Address: 1 Chome-2 Kōjimachi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-0082, Japan
- Access: Take the train to Hanzomon Station, and it is a 3-minute walk away (use exit 3A or 4).
6. Mori Garden
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This is an unusual addition to the list, although some might say it yields one of the best sceneries. Mori Garden is actually located within the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, a building site right in the middle of the city. Here, around 70 trees burst into colour during the spring season, creating a dynamic scene with the high-rise buildings in the background.
For an absolutely stunning image, swing by at night when the sakura trees are illuminated bright pink; along with the lit-up buildings in the background, this makes for a very popular photo opportunity indeed. Of course, being in Roppongi, this activity can be combined with various other tourist attractions to make for an excellent day of exploring the city.
- Address: 6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-6108, Japan
- Access: Take the train to Roppongi Station, and it is a 1-minute walk (exit 1C).
- Hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm
7. Tokyo Midtown
Tokyo Midtown is definitely one of the more popular metropolitan sakura blossom viewing spots. It encapsulates a large site of residential and business buildings, as well as entertainment, restaurants, hotels, and more. During the cherry blossom season, a whopping 150 (or more!) trees line the main street of Tokyo Midtown, creating an avenue of beauty. As you can imagine, driving underneath this would be breathtaking.
During the peak, festivals take place in and around this area, with food and drink stalls, and some restaurants even participate by having seasonal specialties! This place is especially romantic for couples to take a stroll through, as what can be more special than walking under a canopy of lit up cherry blossoms underneath the stars in a city like Tokyo?
- Address: 9 Chome-7-1 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
- Access: Take the train to Roppongi Station, and it is a 3-minute walk.
8. Rikugien Garden
As the only traditional Japanese garden on the list, Rikugien is quite the stunner. Being almost four centuries old, its history can be felt in the nostalgic and calm atmosphere. Here, the crowds will still be buzzing, but the air of peace still transcends. It’s popular throughout the year for those who appreciate the greener side of Japan, however, during the cherry blossom season, the garden draws immense crowds due to the unique weeping cherry tree (Shidarezakura) at its centre. The tree itself measures at a whopping 15-metres high and 20-metres wide, and at night when it is illuminated, it presents one of the most unique sights you’ll ever see.
- Address: 6 Chome-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0021, Japan
- Access: Take the train to Komagome Station, and it is a 5-10-minute walk from there.
- Hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm
- Price: 300 yen
9. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (day-trip)
Want an off-the-beaten path choice of cherry blossom viewing? Why not consider a short day-trip a bit outside of Tokyo? Located in Kamakura, only just over an hour away from Tokyo, Tsurugaoka-hachimangu Shrine is the perfect spot to view sakura blossoms if you’re after the full-fledged traditional experience.
Here, you can view the cherry blossoms in all their glory alongside gorgeous landmarks and structures, like the popular Genpei Pond (probably the most popular spot to view the cherry blossoms), and at Dankazura before entering the shrine. There are plenty of traditional restaurants and souvenir shops peppered around the surrounding streets to make your time here enjoyable. As with most other sakura blossom viewing spots, during the peak of the season, these cherry blossoms light up into the night.
- Address: 2 Chome-1-31 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-8588, Japan
- Access: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura Station. This will take just under an hour and cost 920 yen. You can walk to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in 10-15 minutes.
- Hours: 5:00am – 9:00pm
10. Showa Memorial Park
Now, we might be cheating by adding the popular Showa Memorial Park to the list, seeing as how it’s actually the largest flower park in all of Tokyo, however, it deserves a special mention because of just how versatile and abundant the views here are. Located in Tachikawa City, it measures at more than 1.6 million sqm, and showcases everything from sprawling lawns, expansive flower fields, flower museums, and even its own Japanese garden! If you’re a fan of beautiful flora, you will have a ball here. There are also plenty of activities to do here, including taking the kids to the playground, enjoying the swimming pool, hiring bikes to cycle around the park, shopping, and so much more.
If you’re looking for a crowd-free alternative to viewing cherry blossoms, this may be in! (It may still draw crowds, but given the ample space of the park, you can find your own corner very easily).
- Address: Midoricho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-0014, Japan
- Access: Take the train to Nishi-Tachikawa Station, it is a 2-minute walk away. You can also take the train to Tachikawa Station, and it is a 7-minute walk to the Akebono Gate of the park (north gate).
- Hours: 9:30 – 5:00pm
- Price: 450 yen
We hope you’ve found your ideal spot to view the cherry blossoms in Tokyo from this list. All offer fantastic views of the cherry blossoms, all offer unique ways in which you can experience the festivities of the season, and all are easily reachable, meaning whichever you decide to go with, it’ll be a cinch to get to and an incredibly memorable experience!
To continue your spring trip in Japan, feel free to read our 10 best Sakura spots in Kyoto and our 10 favorite cherry blossom places in Osaka. And if you are visiting Tokyo during Autumn, then make sure to also check out our selection of the best autumn leaves spots in Tokyo.