So I missed it by a day, but that does not mean that I completely failed my mission of chasing down the sakura and doing some cherry blossom watching. I located the best places to admire the splendour of the hundreds and thousands of cherry trees in full bloom. If you ever get to Tokyo during that time, make sure you visit these and leave out the others if you’re pressed for time.
Here, the cherry blossoms (Japanese sakura) were one of the first to explode along the park walks and made for a magical scene, tinting everything pink. It surely helped with the atmosphere that the park’s Starbucks covered everything in flower stickers and fake sakuras and Japanese sakura lanterns illuminated the canopies at night. Therefore, even if you missed the sunny afternoon bento picnic, you can still enjoy a nightly walk with the blue night dotted pink and have some grand cherry blossom watching.
Asakusa River Walk
Just a little off of Ueno, Asakusa has not only the world’s highest tower on offer but a river promenade that makes every spring lover’s heart rejoice and your cherry blossom watching afternoon perfect. Flower beds are radiating the brightest colours while the cherry blossoms seem to tint everything pink. And glimpsing the Skytree tower between the dancing branches makes for the perfect photographic souvenirs.
Imperial Palace, North
I went to the Imperial Palace, thinking it would boast a range of spectacular cherry blossoms within its mighty walls. There were some but posed not a very impressive sight. Faintly remembering an online recommendation I walked towards the Northern parts and found both a beautiful temple with a city-appropriate cherry forest but the moats covered in low hanging trees, full of eager buds of pink. Make sure you come here when they are fully open and you will even see a spectacle of boats bouncing on the tranquil waters in the waters.
Roppongi Hills Streets
This one does not refer to the shopping centre. There were only spring flowers, but walking from it to the subway station showed me streets lined with pink trees and made for some convenient cherry blossom watching. Also, you can do some shopping or dining out while you are parading underneath the epic canopies. It is not the best place to view the blossoms but one of the best with typical city setting. Especially if you’re a “Gossip Girl”-style fashionista because Roppongi Hills has a lot of designer and high class restaurants.
Places not really worth Checking out for Cherry Blossom Watching
- Shinjuku Parks
On my tourist map that specifically marked blooming cherry trees these two districts failed to impress. I Just a handful of trees could be spotted and I hope that was just because they were late bloomers. Come here for shopping and bustling city and night life instead. Nature you will find somewhere else.
Places I missed but were highly recommended
- Tokihira daira
I haven’t been here but from the tales I’ve heard and the pictures I’ve seen these must be stunning, too. Plus, they are not too well known with tourists and a little outside of Tokyo and there should still be space for a blanket or two for the ultimate sakura picnic for your cherry blossom watching.
The next time you happen to be in Tokyo during cherry blossom season, which is around the last week of March and the first of April, you know where to go and where to skip out on when it comes to sakura.
Do you maybe have other places? Or different experiences? Don’t keep quiet, tell me below.
This article has also appeared on Kiss from the World.