Sakura or cherry blossom season is here and Tokyoites are out on the streets and parks to meet friends, eat and drink under the cherry blossom trees. And why not? Sakura season is festive, beautiful and the perfect excuse for a party. Everyone wants to be outside, under the trees when this magical season arrives. Hanami season starts in the later part of March and lasts about a week or two – depending on the weather of course!

Tokyo has many options to offer when it comes to cherry blossom viewing and picnicking. We have numerous parks, gardens, temples, river sides with cherry blossoms. Read more about five of Tokyo’s most popular cherry blossom viewing and hanami spots where you get ample space to spread your blue tarp and catch a nap or two also!

Yoyogi Park 代々木公園

Yoyogi Park 代々木公園 is the third largest of the most popular parks in Tokyo and many events are held there through the year. It’s also extremely popular for cherry blossom viewing and picnics during the season. It has around 750 cherry trees of the Somei Yoshino variety and visitors can enjoy cherry blossom viewing with picnic during the season. It is spacious but visit early to reserve your picnic spot under a cherry tree. You can view cherry blossoms while sitting on the grass in the middle of the square while enjoying bento, or just buy something from one the few food stalls.

Access:

JR Harajuku Station, Yoyogi Koen Station on the Chiyoda Metro Line, and the Meiji Jingumae (Harajuku) Station on the Chiyoda Metro and Fukutoshin Lines.

Admission:

Free

Timings:

5:00 am-8:00 pm

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Shinjuku Gyoen 新宿御苑

Shinjuku Gyoen 新宿御苑 is a national garden located in the center of Shinjuku. This park is huge with 58.3 hectares and almost 1,500 cherry trees. It is home to a large number of cherry trees of about 65 different varieties. This park has more than 400 somei yoshino trees around the English garden. In addition, the park has numerous early and late-blooming cherry trees such as Kanzan Sakura which provide an extended cherry blossom viewing season. This park is huge, so you can either relax with your family or find a quiet spot for yourself. The atmosphere is calm and peaceful. Shinjuku Gyoen is a good hanami destination for those who miss the main season by a week or two. Alcoholic drinks are prohibited, and they are strict about checking your bags. This leads to huge lines of people waiting to get in the park. Oh well! Good things come to those who wait!

Access:

Ten minute walk east from the New South Exit of JR Shinjuku Station or a five-minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line or a five-minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo/Sobu Line

Admission:

500 yen

Timings:

9:00 to 18:00 (until 16:30 before March 15)

Ueno Park 上野公園

Ueno Park 上野公園 is the most crowded, lively and popular spot for cherry blossom parties. This park has a total area of 538,000 square meters with more than 1000 trees along the street leading towards the National Museum and around Shinobazu Pond. Ueno Park’s blossoms typically open a couple of days ahead of the blossoms in many other spots in the city. During the hanami season, the park is visited by thousands of families, office colleagues, and students all looking to take in the beautiful pink blossoms and the lively atmosphere. Try to get there early, especially if you have a big group for picnics! Lanterns are strung up in the evening, so you can party on till you freeze. It’s usually crowded and a little on the wild side. There many food stalls, in the area, so you won’t feel left out or hungry if you don’t carry enough food with you.

Access:

1 minute walk from Ueno station on the Japan Rail Yamanote Line, 5 minute walk from Ueno station on the Ginza subway line, 1 minute walk from Keisei Ueno station on the Keisei Honsen line or 1 minute walk from Uguisudani station on the JR Yamanote line, behind the Tokyo National Museum.

Admission:

Free

Timings:

5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Illumination 2019: 3/21 to 4/7, 17:00 to 20:00

Aoyama Cemetery 青山霊園

Aoyama Cemetery 青山霊園 is one of Japan’s oldest public cemeteries and one of the most popular places for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. The promenades at the cemetery are lined by numerous cherry trees, more than 70 years old and displays wonderful spring scenery during the season. As it is a cemetery, no festivals or stalls are available at the cemetery, and visitors are not permitted to lay down tarp or drink alcohol. That is why, it is the perfect spot to take a walk and enjoy the pleasant view of cherry blossoms quietly and peacefully.

Access:

10 mins walk from Nogizaka Station

Admission Fee:

Free

Timings:

24 hours

Tokyo Midtown 東京ミッドタウン

Tokyo Midtown 東京ミッドタウン in Roppongi is a large complex site including shopping centre, offices, hotel, restaurants and residence. Tokyo Midtown is highly recommended to visit for cherry blossom viewing in spring time. The 200m-long avenue of 150 cherry trees offer a spectacular view of the cherry blossom avenue with the backdrop of modern city skyscrapers. During the season, a light-up of cherry blossoms is held and illuminated cherry blossom street is one of best cherry blossom views at night in Tokyo. You can enjoy a glass of rosé and dine while watching the cherry blossoms in the Chandon Blossom Lounge by The Ritz-Carlton. If you reserve the outdoor dome seat “CHANDON Suite”, you can be cosy and warm even on a chilly day. But unfortunately they are sold out days in advance!

Access:

Roppongi Station

Admission:

Free 

Evening light-up:

17:00~23:00

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