Must-see places to view Japan’s most famous flowers
Each spring at the end of March Japan turns pink; the country’s famous Sakura flowers start blossoming at this time in many areas around the country including Tokyo. If you happen to be in Japan at this time, make sure not to miss these spots in the capital:
1. Chidorigafuchi greenery road
One of the most famous Sakura Spots in Tokyo for a reason: countless beautiful Sakura trees dot the area around the Tokyo Imperial Palace Moat. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon walking around and taking in the beautiful sights or take to the sea (or lake): boat rentals during Sakura season provide an interesting alternative to explore the moat and take in the cherry blossoms from the water. Ideally, you should not visit on a weekend as the crowds can be overwhelming.
2. Meguro River Promenade
Another must-see Sakura spot in Tokyo. This one is located in the heart of Tokyo’s Meguro district and features many Sakura trees next to the elevated Meguro River. A special feature is the light-up once it turns dark, giving this Sakura Spot a magical atmosphere.
3. Inokashira Park
This park in Western Tokyo features many Sakura trees but the main feature is certainly the big lake in the middle. Many people will rent boats and make rounds around the water, marveling at all the beautiful Sakura around me.
4. Shinjuku Gyoen
One of Tokyo’s finest gardens right in the heart of Shinjuku is worth a visit any time of the year, but especially during Sakura season, it is a sight to behold. Many elements of a typical Japanese garden can be found here such as ponds, houses in traditional architecture and of course, many kinds of Sakura. The entrance fee is 200 Yen, but it is definitely worth it!
5. Mount Takao
Mt. Takao is Tokyo’s most famous mountain, with many people enjoying a visit to this natural retreat during weekends. It is also a prime Sakura viewing spot with many beautiful cherry blossoms providing a marvelous reward once you reach the top. I would recommend not going on a weekend however as the crowds, especially during Sakura season, can get overwhelming.
6. Aoyama Cemetery
Perhaps it may seem a bit weird to some people to go sightseeing in a cemetery, but this Sakura spot in the heart of the fancy Aoyama district nevertheless attracts many crowds in Spring. The beautiful pink flowers turn this otherwise sinister spot into a popular sight to behold in the heart of Tokyo.
7. Kawazu Sakura
For the last one, we are actually leaving Tokyo for a day trip. Deep in Shizuoka prefecture in a city called Kawazu, we can find Japan’s earliest blooming Sakura, named after this city where it was first discovered: Kawazu Sakura. These bright, vibrant pink trees bloom as early as the beginning of February and a festival is held during their peak every year. During this time also, the JR Odoriko train provides a comfortable and direct connection between Kawazu and Tokyo, making this an easy and enjoyable day trip out of the city.
While these were some of my personal favorite spots in Tokyo, there are many many more inside the city that is waiting to be discovered. So go out there and find them this spring; they are waiting for you!