0 In Asia/ Japan/ Travel Inspiration

Nature’s annual travelling show, cherry blossoms!

Tokyo Sakura

Starting in the warmer south, sakura (cherry blossoms) spread in a wave across Japan, blooming and wilting in just a week. You have to be in the right place at just the right time to see them!

Sometime after winter, usually around March and April, frozen hills thaw and the countryside starts blooming colour as the warmth of spring ripples through the islands of Japan. It’s around this time that the people of Japan, and visitors from all over the world, start anticipating nature’s incredible annual travelling show; cherry blossoms.

We were lucky enough to see sakura in a few places on our two week journey through Japan, including in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto.

Kyoto Pontocho cherry blossoms Jacqui

Celebrating sakura with hanami

As the spectacle invades the urban landscape, even city dwellers connect with nature for a moment to celebrate the cherry blossom, known as sakura. Cities and parks are suddenly full of lively parties dedicated to their national flower that symbolises both good fortune and the fragility of life.

Hanami literally translates to “flower viewing” and it is the centuries old Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers. In modern-day Japan, hanami consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura during daytime or when they are illuminated by lanterns at night.

Surprisingly, there are plenty of opportunities to spot the colourful blooms in Tokyo and we were able to experience the beauty of the cherry blossoms up close!

Tokyo Sakura parties March 2016

Where to see sakura (cherry blossoms) in Tokyo

It’s quite easy to find sakura in Tokyo since almost every park or green space will have them. And almost anywhere you go, there will be thousands of others there, also trying to take that perfect selfie!

Tokyo Map of Tokyo

According to the locals, the best spots in Tokyo for sakura (cherry blossom) sightings are:

  • Yoyogi Park is a favourite destination for sakura sightings and can become quite busy with tourists during the sakura season.
  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Admission: ¥200 / £1.25)
  • Ueno Park towards the National Museum and around Shinobazu Pond. It can also get very busy here. The trees are illuminated for two weeks from late March to early April between 17:00 and 20:00.
  • Chidorigafuchi in Kitanomaru Park near Kudanshita Station. You can also go rowing in the moat under the blooming trees! The trees are illuminated for one week from late March to early April between 18:30 and 22:00.

Tokyo Sakura and many row boats

  • Inokashira Park (currently under construction). On the other side of the park is Kichijoji, a bustling little hub with plenty of stuff to explore.
  • The Meguro River in the Meguro area is lined with sakura trees. The area is also full of little cafes and hand-made craft shops. It is close to Yoyogi Park and can get very busy with tourists during sakura season.
  • Zempukuji River

Tokyo Sakura and Jacqui 2

Read more recommendations and tips from our Journey through Japan

In March 2016, we went on an epic journey through Japan with thirteen of our friends. We experienced the amazing culture, ate some of the most incredible food and truly experience the best Japan has to offer. Here are all of my helpful tips to help you plan the perfect holiday in Japan:

Our two week itinerary (with tips and what we’d change)

25 photos that will inspire you to visit Japan

Culture Shock: reflections on my first day in Japan

Three days in Tokyo: a tantalising taste of Japan

The top ten things to do in Tokyo, Japan

Food in Japan: the best izakaya (Japanese pub) to drink and eat at in Tokyo

Food in Japan: where, what and how to eat in Japan

Journey through Japan: The Year of the (Japanese Snow) Monkey

How to onsen (enjoy hot springs) in Japan like a local

Journey through Japan: Snowboarding in the Japanese Alps (video)

Nature’s annual travelling show, cherry blossoms!

Journey through Japan: Two days in Kyoto

Journey through Japan: A day in Hiroshima

Follow @jacquitravels on Twitter and Instagram, and Never Ending Honeymoon on Facebook for live travel updates and photos.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply