Cherry Blossoms 2024: Top 10 Places to See Sakura in Tokyo
Arts & Culture
Imagine walking through Tokyo as spring unfurls its magic, transforming this bustling metropolis into a dreamy canvas painted with pink cherry blossoms. It's not just a pretty sight, it's an experience. Every year, there's a countdown on tv of when they predict the first blossom and everyone is so excited. 'Hanami' in Japanese, it's not just flower watching but a time where people take off their winter coats and a grab picnic blanket and plenty of food and drinks to share with family and friends. Get ready to explore this spectacular season as we dive into the top Sakura spots in Tokyo for 2024!
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Things to do in Tokyo
The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo, Japanese Garden Takanawa
The Japanese garden in Takanawa makes you forget you are in the city center of Tokyo. Spanning an area of about 20,000 square meters, the garden's flora represents the changing of the seasons. Starting in February, the Kawazu cherry trees begin to bloom, followed by the Kanhi cherry, Somei-Yoshino and weeping cherry trees, which continue to flower until early April. The sight of cherry blossoms flourishing against the backdrop of the vibrant red Kannon Hall and the pond, both designated as Tangible Cultural Properties by Minato City, is exceptionally impressive.
Tip: From March 8th to April 14th 2024 during the Takanawa Sakura Festival 2024, the Japanese garden will be illuminated from 17:30. It's a different look from the daytime and another way to enjoy the sakura.
The peak viewing period for the cherry blossom-lined Meguro River typically spans from late March to early April. The area along the cherry tree-lined banks stretches from Nakameguro Station at its midpoint to Ikejiri-Ohashi Station (western endpoint) and Fudomae Station (eastern endpoint). Here, the Somei-Yoshino cherry trees bloom, even more breathtaking the pictures you've probably seen. The annual "Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival" coincides with the peak bloom, offering a chance to enjoy dance and music amidst the sakura. During the height of the cherry blossom season, the area is also illuminated, making it a recommended spot for a magical nighttime cherry blossom viewing experience.
Tip: During Sakura season, there's a matsuri (Japanese festival) where you can see traditional dancing and music.
Shinjuku Gyoen is an urban oasis and home to about 1,000 cherry trees of 65 varieties. You can enjoy the early-blooming sakura from mid-February, while the late-blooming varieties continue to captivate until late April, offering an extended cherry blossom experience in the heart of the city.
Tip: Reservations are required during Sakura season and closed on Mondays.
Rikugien is known as the birthplace of the Somei-Yoshino cherry tree. A highlight of Rikugien Garden is the majestic weeping cherry tree, standing 15 meters tall and 20 meters wide. Although the tree itself is fenced off preventing direct access underneath, the light-up display of the tree is particularly spectacular.
Tip: During the "Weeping Cherry and Daimyo Garden Light-Up" event, the garden extends its opening hours, and the usually closed Somei gate, just a two-minute walk from Komagome Station, is opened.
Chidorigafuchi Park & Greenway
Ever thought of viewing cherry blossoms from a boat? Chidorigafuchi is a moat located on the western side of the Imperial Palace. There's 330 cherry trees blooming on the side of Kitanomaru Park and 260 on the Chidorigafuchi Greenway side.
Tip: Each year, the "Chiyoda Sakura Festival" is held in accordance with the cherry blossom bloom. The cherry blossom light-up during the festival is a must-see. Nearby Yasukuni Shrine also hosts food stalls during this time so make sure to leave room for some snacks.
With a history of 600 years, there's three prominent weeping cherry trees at Zojoji. Passing through the temple's main gate, you can admire the splendid weeping cherry trees in the expansive temple grounds.
Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
The garden boasts seven weeping cherry trees and numerous Somei-Yoshino cherry trees and typically bloom about a week earlier than the Somei-Yoshino, extending the prime viewing period where at least one of the sakura trees is in full bloom.
With cherry blossoms all around and the iconic Tokyo Skytree looming in the background, it's the picture-perfect spot.
As one of the Tokyo's largest parks, it has over a thousand cherry trees and turns into a pink paradise during Sakura season. Plus, it's home to some of the city's most famous museums and a zoo.
The 600-meter stretch of riverside adorned with cherry trees, from Kurofunebashi Bridge to Tōtomi Bridge, is breathtaking! At night, the illuminated cherry blossoms create a magical atmosphere. During the sakura matsuri (festival), traditional Japanese boats and motorboats are available for you to enjoy the cherry blossoms from the water.
Places to eat & drink in Tokyo
Places to Eat With a View of Sakura Trees
Lounge Koumyou: The limited-edition Spring Bento Box is a must try filled with elaborate dishes.
Craftale: With a view of the Meguro River, the restaurant is is rated Michelin one star and their dinner course has a lovely wine pairing.
Q.E.D.CLUB: Despite it's name, it's not a club but a restaurant in the middle of a Japanese Garden. In walking distance to Meguro River, take a stroll after enjoying your lunch or dinner.
Canal Cafe: Great for coffee or lunch, their outdoor dining option is perfect to enjoy the spring weather. Plus, it's dog friendly so you'll be able to meet cute dogs if you're lucky.
Thrush Cafe: Open for lunch and dinner with a kids menu, it's a kid-friendly option. They also do tea time with delicious cake options, the apple tart with vanilla ice cream is my favorite.
Restaurant Sakura: The name really says it all! It's the perfect date night spot with romantic views of the garden.
Funasei: What's better than a two-hour dinner on a boat with views of the sakura? Tempura that's fried on the boat, be sure to not burn your tongue like me.
SubLime: The food and drinks from this izakaya is sublime. Try to get a seat on the second floor for even better views.
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