Favorite Sakura Viewing Places Around Tokyo

Cherry blossoms are deeply ingrained in the history and culture of Japan. The delicate flowers are full of symbolism, such as their state of impermanence (since blooms only last up to a week or two) which resonates with the samurai culture and the Japanese aesthetics of wabi-sabi. These gorgeous blossoms play a role in numerous Japanese artworks, in the ancient and the modern eras.

Sakura. | Yu Morita

The Japan Weather Association released their average schedule for cherry blossoms viewing in the Tokyo area for 2018. Cherry blossoms are predicted to open on March 24 and should last until April 8. Some of the favorite viewing spots in and around the city are:

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – this spacious metro park features wide lawns, ponds, and trees. Shinjuku Gyoen is a unique blend of three garden styles namely English Landscape, French Formal, and Japanese Traditional.

Meguro-gawa – the canal is along the Ikejiri-Ohashi area to Kamenokobashi under the Tokyu Meguro Line. About 800 trees line the 3.8 kilometer stretch.

Meguro-gawa. | dat tanuki

You can enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms while relaxing and having a meal in one of the many restaurants and cafes in the area.

Chidorigafuchi – Chidorigafuchi moat, on the northwest side of the Imperial Palace, is another popular viewing spot. About a thousand sakura trees grow in this area. The serenity and history of the surroundings combined with the backdrop of the cherry blossom trees make for a memorable experience.

Sumida Park – The Sumida River was the original route of the trade and commerce industry and it played a major part in the success of Tokyo.

Sumida Park. | Guilhem Vellut

Sumida Park is host to one of Japan’s most anticipated fireworks displays and is also one of Tokyo’s favorite spots for viewing cherry blossoms.

Ueno Park – this public park features a statue of Saigo Takamori and his dog. Takamori is known as one of the most influential Japanese samurai in history. Ueno Park was built through a land grant by Emperor Taisho in Tokyo. At the southern end lies the Shinobazu Pond, which serves as a reminder of Kan’ei-ji temple’s former grandeur.

Yoyogi Park – Yoyogi Park boasts of nice lawns, ponds, and lush, forested areas. Although the area has fewer cherry blossom trees compared to other parks in the city, Yoyogi Koen is famous for the ginko tree forest, which transforms intensely golden during autumn.