Best Sakura (Cherry blossom) spots in Tokyo recommended by guides and travelers

by GoWithGuide travel specialist

If it’s spring season in Japan, you know what it means! It’s the cherry blossom season!

Cherry blossoms are very popular among tourists, and it continues to attract people from all over the world. People would want to visit Japan to see and experience the blooming trees themselves.

 

But, where are the best cherry blossom spots in Tokyo? It can sometimes be difficult to find as usually during the spring season, some spots are packed with people that you can barely see and do anything. But, don’t worry I’ve got you covered.

 

In this article, I am going to share with you some of the best sakura or cherry blossom spots in Tokyo recommended by guides and travelers, ways to make cherry blossom viewing be even more interesting, and more recommendations.


Cherry Blossom Spotting

Japan is very popular for its unofficial flower, the cherry blossom, or Sakura. Thousands of people across the globe visit Japan during the spring season just to see and experience the beauty of the cherry blossom trees. Japan takes pride in this particular flower because they are not just pretty pink flowers, they are the floral embodiment that portrays Japan’s culture and the philosophical beliefs.

 

The popular tradition in Japan is hanami (flower viewing), a custom where people enjoy the transient beauty of the cherry blossom trees. People gather with friends and families, filling the parks to eat and celebrate under the flowering trees, usually done like how people do picnics.

 

Cherry blossom season in Tokyo varies, it usually starts around March and ends around May. But, if you want to view the cherry blossom, it’s better to go during full bloom as they are the prettiest during that time. For full 2018 Cherry Blossom forecast in Japan, click this link. 

 

So where are the best places to see Sakura in Tokyo?

As recommended by guides and travelers, here are some of the best sakura spots in Tokyo:

Ueno Park

This park is one of the most famous and crowded spots for cherry blossom viewing in Japan. But don’t let that stop you from coming to this park. The crowd and its fame show that this is one of the best sakura spots in Tokyo. Thanks to its breathtaking view, thousands of heavily bloomed trees along the street, and many sakura-themed festivals and parties, this continues to be one of the best sakura spots.

Address:

〒110-0007 Tokyo, Taitō, Uenokoen, 5−20(map)

Phone:

03-3828-5644

Business hours:

Everyday ( 05:00 AM - 11:00 PM )

Website:

http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index038.html 

 

Chidorigafuchi

Despite its hard name to pronounce, this is one of Tokyo’s best spot to view the cherry blossoms. Hundreds of beautiful cherry blossoms surround the moat, making the view incredible. Boats are available for rent and you can row around the Edo-era moat, but keep in mind that picnics are not allowed. Every year, there’s also a cherry blossom festival that goes on until nighttime. 

Address:

〒102-0083 Tokyo, 千代田区 九段南2丁目から三番町先 (map)

Phone:

03-3556-0391 (Chiyoda City Tourism Association)

Business hours:

24 hours

Website:

http://www.env.go.jp/garden/kokyogaien/english/point06.html 

 

Shinjuku Gyoen

This park is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular park as well. This is one of Tokyo’s best sakura spot as it features more than 1000 various sakura trees, with some early and late-blooming trees. This is a great hanami destination thanks to its spacious lawn areas and calm and peaceful atmosphere. But, keep in mind that alcoholic drinks are prohibited.

Address:

Shinjuku Gyoen, 11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (map)

Phone:

03-3350-0151

Business hours:

 

 

Price:

Tuesday-Sunday (9:00 am- 4:30 pm) *closed on Mondays

Last entry 4:00 PM

Open on National Holidays, but closed the next weekday
29th Dec. - 3rd Jan.

Adult: 200 JPY
Elementary and Junior high school student: 50 JPY
Infant: Free

Website:

https://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/2_guide/guide.html 

 



Slightly off-the-beaten-path for sakura spotting

For those of you looking for a slightly less crowded park for cherry blossom viewing, here’s where you should go:

Showa Kinen Park

This park is located outside central Tokyo, and is one of Tokyo’s largest public parks. There are about 1500 cherry trees, which usually bloom a few days later than those around central Tokyo, so it’s perfect if you missed the full bloom sakura in central Tokyo. You might even see some tulips, daffodils, and lavender too. You can also rent bicycles for around 400 yen/3 hours to circle around the huge park while enjoying the cherry blossom.

Address:

3173 Midoricho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-0014 (map) 

Phone:

042-528-1751

Business hours:

Price:

March 1 to Oct. 31 (9:30 am to 5:00 pm)
Nov. 1 to the end of Feb. (9:30 am to 4:30 pm) 
Apr. 1 to Sept. 30 on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays (9:30 am to 6:00 pm)

Adult (over 15): 410 yen

Preschool: free

Elementary and junior high student: 80 yen

Adult (over 65): 210 yen

Website:

http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/guide-english/schedule-english/ 

 

Koganei Park

This is another large public park in the western suburbs of Tokyo. Here, not only you can find more than a thousand cherry trees, there is also an Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum. This is a good spot for hanami picnic, enjoying the cherry blossoms and eating with family or friends. The cherry trees typically bloom a few days later than those around central Tokyo, so it’s perfect if you missed the full bloom sakura in central Tokyo.

Address: 〒184-0001 Tokyo, Koganei, 関野町1−13−1 (map)
Phone: 042-385-5611
Website: http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_02.html#koganei 

 

How to make your sakura spotting experience more interesting?

If you are looking for an enhanced and more interesting way of sakura spotting, one way is to hire a private guide or join private tours.

 

Guides are experienced and knowledgeable about Japan and cherry blossom spots. They can take you to see Sakura from another angle, which its beauty can surprise you. They can bring you to off-the-beaten-path spots which are equally as beautiful for sakura spotting.

 

Still not convinced? 

They can teach you the real tradition of hanami and a better understanding of Sakura rather than just seeing and taking pictures. Not only you can get a better experience of sakura spotting, it’s more convenient as well. Your guide will be able to find great places for you and take you to them, you don’t have to figure out the directions, transport and other details. Just enjoy the cherry blossoms!

 

Your guides can even bring you to places where there are unique and unusual cherry blossom-flavored food or snacks you can try!

Recommended guides

Look:

There are many places on the web where you can hire guides, but you never know whether they are a good and trustworthy website or not. That is why I’m recommending you TripleLights. The website offers many local tour guides options in Tokyo from which you can choose according to your needs and preferences.

The guides are qualified and experienced. Through the website, you can watch the guides’ personalized videos, read the reviews of each guide, check their availability and service cost to help you find the right guide.

Where to hire a guide and what are the recommended private tours?

Here is a list of great tour guides in Tokyo, if you are looking for guides to make your cherry blossom viewing trip more interesting. Here is also a list of Kyoto tour guides, and guides in other areas of Japan.

Here are some recommended cherry blossoms private tours you can join for an enhanced cherry blossom spotting experience.

 

I hope this article provides useful information of the best sakura spots in Tokyo, slightly off-the-beaten-path spots, other ways to make sakura spotting more interesting, and where to hire a guide and join private tours. I hope you have a great time sakura spotting! 

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