Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) are forecast to bloom in Tokyo beginning March 26. Get your camera, tarps, food and drinks prepared for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties under the cherry trees. We`ve listed the top cherry blossom spots for picnicking, strolls and boat rides.
BEST CHERRY BLOSSOM PICNIC PARKS
1. Shinjuku Gyoen (新宿御苑) is one of Tokyo`s most popular parks and features more than a dozen varieties of cherry trees including early and late blooming trees. The park holds more than a thousand cherry trees across a spacious lawn making it a tranquil and pleasant spot to view the sakura.
Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo (東京都新宿区内藤町11)
Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 Daily during Cherry Blossom Season (usually closed on Monday or Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday)
Fee: 200 yen
Access: A 10-min walk from Shinjuku Station
2. Ueno Park (上野公園) – Ueno Park is another one of Tokyo’s most popular and lively cherry blossom viewing locations with more than 1000 cherry trees lining its central pathway leading towards the National Museum and around Shinobazu Pond. It`s also home to Ueno Zoo, the National Science Museum and the Tokyo National Museum.
Address: 4 Ueno Park, Taito, Tokyo (東京都体得上野公園４)
Hours: 5:00 – 23:00 daily
Access: Outside Ueno Station
3. Yoyogi Park
Located near Meiji Jingu Shrine and the NHK Studio Park, Yoyogi park is a great spot to enjoy hanami. They have over 600 cherry trees planted around the spacious area, a number of walkways, bicycle paths, performers, dog runs and fountains within the park making it a perfect spot for a picnic. A few food stalls, cultural events and flea markets are usually held near the Shibuya entrance by the NHK Studio.
Address: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo（渋谷区代々木神園町2-1)
Hours: Open daily
Access: A 5-min walk from Harajuku Station
BEST CHERRY BLOSSOM STROLLS DAY & NIGHT
4. Meguro River
It`s a great place to take a stroll day or night to view the near 800 cherry trees that line the Meguro River. If you plan on dining at one of the restaurants along the Meguro River with views of the cherry blossoms I highly recommend booking in advance. Seats go fast. If you`re unable to secure a reservation, restaurant food and wine vendors are set up all along the river in Nakameguro day and night. Laterns are lit in the evening from sunset to about 21:00. Note it gets crowded. Best to keep little ones in a stroller or carrier.
Address: 1-21 Kamimeguro, Meguro, Tokyo (東京都目黒区上目黒１丁目２１)
Lanter Hours: Sunset till ~21:00
Access: A 1-min walk from Nakameguro Station
5. Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ)- Keyakizaka Street along Roppongi Hills is lined with 75 Sakura trees that are beautifully lit up in the evening. A magnificent date spot to take a stroll both day and night. There are also Sakura that are illuminated at the Mohri Garden.
Address: 6 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo (東京都港区六本木6)
Hours: Lights from 17:30 ~ 22:30
Access: A 3-min walk from Roppongi Station
6. Tokyo Midtown (東京ミッドタウン) has about 150 cherry trees of eight different varieties many of which are lit up in the evening. A hundred line Sakura dori and the rest are planted in the adjacent Hinokicho Park. During the Sakura Season Midtown holds an array of programs and a wide range of events that promote sakura from food, sweets and crafts. A great date spot day or night.
Address: 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo (東京都港区赤坂9-7-1)
Hours: Lights from 17:00 ~ 23:00
Access: Roppongi Station (Oedo line), exit 8; (Hibiya line), exit 8 via underground passageway near exit 4a; Nogizaka Station (Chiyoda line), exit 3
BEST CHERRY BLOSSOM BOAT VIEWS
7. Chidorigafuchi (千鳥ケ淵) is a moat located northwest of the Imperial Palace that is decorated with hundreds of cherry trees. The trees are lit up at night with the most amazing views. Food stands can be found at the nearby Yasukuni Shrine, where another thousand cherry trees are planted.
Address: 2 Sanbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (東京都千代田区三番町２)
Boating Hours: 9:30 to 20:00 (Last ticket sale 19:30). Closed on Monday.
Fee: Free to enter the park. Boat Fee: 800 yen per 30 min ride
Access: A 5-min walk from the Tokyo Metro Kudanshita Station or Hanzomon Station
8. Inokashira Park (井の頭公園) There are hundreds of cherry trees in this spacious park which features a central pond. You can rent rowboats, paddleboats and swan boat to view the sakura from the water as well as picnic in the park. Boats can be rented from April this year to view the cherry blossoms from the lake. Note there is a small petting zoo within the park. The Ghibli Museum located at the southwest end of the park.
Address: 1-17-6 Gotenyama, Musashino-shi, Tokyo (武蔵野市御殿山1-18-31)
Sakura Boating Hours: April ~ July 10:00 – 17:50
Fees: FREE to enter. Boat Fees: Row Boat (3 adults max): 60 min 700 yen. Each additional 30 min 300 yen; Cycle Boat (2 kids per adult max): 600 yen per 30 min; Swan Boat (2 adults and 2 kids max): 700 yen per 30 min
Access: A 10 min walk from Kichijoji Station.
9. Sumida Park (Sky Tree)
Sumida Park holds around 300 cherry tress along the Sumida river. A great place for a leisurely stroll or to take a boat ride along the Sumida River. Tokyo Cruise has a 40-min boat ride that goes from Asakusa to the Hinode Pier with view of the blossoms along the Sumida River – another popular spot for cherry blossom viewing. While you`re there visit the Tokyo Sky Tree and the Sumida Aquarium.
Address: 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo (東京都墨田区向島1～向島5)
Boating Hours: Please contact Tokyo Cruise as boating hours vary by location +81 120-977311
Fee: One way 780 yen (60 min) Round Trip 1410 yen (120 min) Price is subject to change during cherry blossom season
Boat Boarding Access: 1-1-1 Hanakawado, Taito, Tokyo (東京都台東区花川戸1-1-1)
Top Tokyo Cherry Blossom Locations for 2016
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