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Meguro River Sakura

Spring In Tokyo: Where To See Sakura In The City

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Tokyo’s weather has been extremely unpredictable lately. 

It’s still winter, but the city has already seen cherry blossoms blooming as early as the second half of 

February, treating wintertime tourists to a glimpse of sakura season. Some even enjoyed the sight of both sakura and snow after last Friday’s unexpected snowfall—it rarely ever snows here. 

That being said, the scenery in the Japanese capital is only going to get a lot pinker in the coming weeks, so if you’re planning a trip to Tokyo anytime soon, here are the best sakura spots you gotta check out in the city this spring:


Chidorigafuchi Park and Moat

Offering one of the most romantic cherry blossom sights in all of Tokyo, Chidorigafuchi is best known for its cherry tree-lined Edo-era moat that is now part of the Imperial Palace grounds. Perhaps, the best way to see the cherry blossoms in this area is by renting a boat and rowing down the lazy waters. Alternatively, you can take a leisurely stroll along the 700-meter-long footpath, where, when fully bloomed, cherry trees form a beautiful pink tunnel. 


Address: 2, Kudanminami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0083

How to get there: Take the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line to Hanzomon Station. From the exit, Chidorigafuchi is approximately a five-minute walk away.

Tickets: You can visit Chidorigafuchi Park for free, but if you’d like to experience boating around the moat, the rental fee is around 800 JPY for 30 minutes during cherry blossom season.

Operating hours: The park is open 24/7 daily, while the moat is open from 9 AM to 4 PM.


Meguro River

The Meguro district proves that cherry blossom viewing can be enjoyed at nighttime, too! The nearly 4-kilometer path of the Meguro River is lined with an estimated 800 cherry trees that form a magnificent pink arch over the river. In the evening, these trees are illuminated by traditional lanterns, adding a dreamy atmosphere to the place. Since the riverside is quite narrow, picnics are not so common in this area; however, there are food stalls all around that sell springtime fare for hanami visitors to enjoy. 


Address: Meguro-ku, Tokyo Setagaya-ku, Shinagawa-ku, 153-0043

How to get there: Alight at Meguro Station on the JR Yamanote/Tokyo Metro Namboku/Toei Mita/Tokyu Meguro Line. The river park is about five minutes away on foot. Alternatively, you can get off at Ikejiri-Ōhashi Station or Naka-Meguro Station. These stops are located in different sections of the river. Decide on what you’d like as your starting point. 

Tickets: Flowing across a neighborhood, Meguro River doesn’t require any admission fees. 

Operating hours: You can witness the beauty of fully bloomed sakura along Meguro River at any time of the day. 


Ueno Park

Don’t mind the crowds? Then Ueno Park is a definite must-visit! This 54-hectare green space sees around 800 sakura trees bloom every spring, attracting throngs and throngs of visitors. The highest concentration of cherry trees in the park is found along the central path, where, on both sides, people save their spots with picnic mats as early as possible. You can also try your luck at boating around the picturesque pond, too!


Address: Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007

How to get there: On the Tokyo Subway or JR Line, make your way to Ueno Station. The park is about five minutes away on foot. 

Tickets: Admission to Ueno Park is free. However, there are some attractions within the area, like Ueno Zoo, that require a minimal entrance fee. 

Operating hours: Open daily from 5 AM to 11 PM


Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

If you’re looking for a place in Tokyo where you are sure to see cherry blossoms from late February to April, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden won’t disappoint. This expansive 58.3-hectare park is home to over a thousand flowering cherry trees across many varieties with different blooming schedules. Just when one type of sakura reaches its peak, another starts to bud! This cycle allows the park to have a longer cherry blossom viewing season than any other place in the city. 


Address: 11 Naito-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0014

How to get there: Take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line to Shinjuku-Gyeommae Station. From the exit, the park is about 5 minutes away on foot. 

Tickets: Admission to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is free. 

Operating hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9 AM to 4 PM. 


Sumida Park

Sumida Park along the Sumida River has been among the favorite cherry blossom viewing spots of the Japanese for many centuries now. At present, over a thousand sakura trees line the river, creating a visual extravaganza that’s perfect for clicks and picnics. A quintessential “souvenir photo” you can take of this place during spring is that of the famous Tokyo Skytree framed with sakura buds and blossoms. If you can’t get enough of Sumida River’s springtime beauty, purchase a ticket to ride a pleasure boat or yakatabune, which cruises down the river.  


Address: Sumida-ku, Tokyo, 131-0033

How to get there: Make your way to Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Gina/Toei Asakusa/Tobu Isesaki Line or on the Tsukuba Express Train. From the station, Sumida Park is a five-minute walk away. 

Tickets: You can visit Sumida Park free of charge, but riding a yakatabune can set you back to 10,000 to 30,000 JPY per ride. 

Operating hours: Sumida Park is open 24/7. 


Yoyogi Park

When it comes to sakura viewing and partying, Tokyo’s third-largest park might just take the top spot! Yoyogi Park, located near the popular fashion district of Harajuku, has more than 700 cherry trees that are well-spaced, allowing for bigger groups to enjoy their hanami parties without the crowd congestion seen in other parks.


Address: 2-1, Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-0052

How to get there: Take the train on the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station. From there, Yoyogi Park is about a three-minute walk away. 

Tickets: You can enter Yoyogi Park for free. 

Operating hours: Open daily; facilities are operational from 9 AM to 5 PM. 


Inokashira Park

Tucked away in Kichijoji, a suburban Tokyo neighborhood west of Shinjuku, Inokashira Park is among the city’s not-so best-kept secrets. This quaint park has about 500 cherry trees that form a marvelous canopy over a large pond, where visitors can paddle a swan-shaped boat. After the blooming season reaches its peak, sakura petals rain down on the pond, creating a delicate pink blanket over the calm water. 


Address: 1, Gotenyama, Musashino-shi, Tokyo, 180-0005

How to get there: Take a train on the JR Chuo Main Line or the Keio Inokashira Line to Kichijoji Station. The park is five minutes away on foot. 

Tickets: You can visit Inokashira Park for free, but swan boat rental starts at 700 JPY.  

Operating hours: Open Thursdays to Tuesdays, from 10 AM to 5:50 PM


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***Featured image by Sora Sagano on Unsplash