Cherry blossom spots in Tokyo


cherry blossom spots in tokyo
Image adapted from: Fezbot2000

Sakura, as cherry blossoms are called in Japan, are one of the most hyped-about things during spring. It’s not an exaggeration to say that almost all Japanese people will partake in hanami, or cherry blossom viewing.

But cherry blossom viewing isn’t easy – you’ll find hordes of locals and tourists alike heading to public parks and having picnics under the cherry trees. Even if you do find a spot, it’s hard to have a serene and relaxing time, and your photos will likely be full of strangers – not great for the ‘gram.

Fret not if you’re scratching your head because we’ve sussed out some of the best cherry blossom spots in Tokyo that only locals visit to help you beat the crowd and save you some time.


1. Toneri Park (舎人公園)


toneri park cherry blossoms
Image credits: @reina.prom

Toneri Park is a huge public park in Adachi City, northeast Tokyo. At about 61.2 hectares, it’s spacious and not crowded; you can easily find a little corner of your own.

toneri park cherry blossom
Image credits: @emmasa5

Apart from the rows of blossoming cherry trees, the park has plenty of fields, plazas, ponds, and sports facilities to check out. Locals like coming to Toneri Park for picnics and barbecues, while others just enjoy strolling around.

toneri park cherry blossom
Image credits: @setoerica.1984

Kids aged between 3 and 12 years old can sledge down a 20-degree slope at the park. If your child is between the age of 3 to 6, you should sledge together with them – for safety purposes, of course. Ahem.

toneri park cherry blossom
Image credits: @abeke_ikujidiary

The slope is open from 10AM to 4PM daily.

Keep an eye out for the ‘Reagan Sakura’, a cherry tree gifted by Mrs Nancy Reagan to the park during her visit to Japan. Fun fact: the sapling was taken from the sakura trees along the Potomac River in Washington, which were given to the US by Japan in 1905.

toneri park
Image credits: @anz.mira.choco

Note: Due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the park has announced that the annual cherry blossom festival will be cancelled. Also, the reservation of barbecue pits and the sale of barbecue-related items will be postponed until April 2020.

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 1-1 Tonerikoen, Adachi City, Tokyo 121-0837, Japan
Nearest station: Toneri-Koen Station
Website


2. Komaba Campus, University of Tokyo (東京大学駒場キャンパス)


komaba university cherry blossom
Image credits: @michelle.in.tokyo

Located at the edge of Meguro Ward, The University of Tokyo’s Komaba Campus is both an unlikely and unknown spot for viewing cherry blossoms. It’s near popular hanami spots in Yoyogi Park and along the Meguro River, but is much less crowded.

komaba campus cherry blossom
Image credits: @sunshine_929

The picturesque Komaba Campus is just 3 minutes away by train from the neighbourhood of Shimokitazawa – known for its hip old-school cafes and vintage thrift shops – and a 6-minute train ride from Shibuya.

komaba campus cherry blossom
Image credits: @froschmann_

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 3 Chome-8-1 Komaba, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0041, Japan
Nearest station: Komaba-Todaimae Station


3. Yomiuri Land (よみうりランド)


yomiuri land cherry blossom
Image credits: @yomiuriland

Yomiuri Land is the biggest amusement park in Tokyo, but most tourists don’t know that the amusement park has over 1,000 cherry trees.

The Sky Shuttle connecting Yomiuri Land Station to Yomiuri Land brings you above the treeline – it’s as if you are walking over the flowers. It costs ¥500 (~USD4.70) for a round trip.

yomiuri land sky shuttle
Image credits: @yomiuriland

The Ferris wheel at Yomiuri Land brings you up to 60 metres high, giving you a birds-eye view of the park and the cherry blossoms.

Yomiuri Land also boasts the fastest hanami experience with its rollercoaster, Bandit, which speeds through the cherry trees at speeds of up to 110km/h.

yomiuri land cherry blossom
Image credits: @yomiuriland

As part of the park’s ‘Jewellumination’ display, cherry trees are illuminated at night in the latter part of March, when the trees are in full bloom.

yomiuri land cherry blossoms at night
Image credits: @yomiuriland

Note: Yomiuri Land is closed until 22 March 2020.

Day pass tickets: Adults (age 18-64): ¥5,500 (~USD51.60) | Middle and high school students (age 12-17): ¥4,400 (~USD41.30) | Children (age 6-11) and seniors (age 65): ¥3,900 (~USD36.70) | Preschoolers (Age 3-5): ¥3,400 (~USD31.90)
Opening hours: 9AM-8PM, Daily
Address: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo 206-8725, Japan
Nearest station: Keio Yomiuri Station
Website


4. Shiori Park (汐入公園)


shiori park cherry blossom spot
Image credits: @teddymomo12

Along the banks of the Sumida River, you’ll find Shiori Park. The park is a popular spot to view the annual Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival, but not particularly well-known as a cherry blossom spot.

shiori park cherry blossom
Image credits: @clear.water1

Another reason why Shiori Park is so well-visited is because of its proximity to the Tokyo Skytree in Oshiage – you can spot the structure when looking into the horizon.

shiori park cherry blossom tokyo skytree
Image credits: @bakelin_mama

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 8 Chome-13-1 Minamisenju, Arakawa City, Tokyo 116-0003, Japan
Nearest station: Minamisenju Station


5. Sotobori Park (外濠公園)


sotobori park cherry blossom spot
Image credits: @tatsuohase

Found along the JR Chuo East line tracks, the serenity of Sotobori Park is only punctuated by the occasional train passing. Around 240 cherry trees line the 2 kilometre-long promenade, which lines the old outer moat of the Edo Castle.

sotobori park cherry blossom
Image credits: @41n

Students from the nearby Hosei University have hanami parties here, so it may get crowded. However, it’s also a good opportunity to soak in that youthful atmosphere.

sotobori park cherry blossom
Image credits: @jonaoo

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: Gobancho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-0076, Japan
Nearest stations: Ichigaya Station, Yotsuya Station


6. Showa Kinen Park (昭和記念公園)


showa kinen park cherry blossoms
Image credits: @esperbymitsume

On the west of Tokyo lies Showa Kinen Park, a huge national park opened to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Emperor Showa’s reign. It’s one of the most popular cherry blossom spots in Tokyo amongst Tokyoites who want to have a picnic.

showa kinen park picnic
Image credits: @anat.feldman

Besides cherry blossoms, you’ll also find many other seasonal flowers as well. In spring, you’ll spot tulips, nemophila, and poppies.

showa kinen park tulips
Image credits: @miqqka97

Visitors can rent bicycles to get around the park on the 14km-long cycling route. Prices begin from ¥420 (~USD3.90) for adults and ¥260 (~USD2.40) for children.

Admission: Adults (age 15 and above): ¥450 (~USD4.20) | Seniors (age 65 and above): ¥210 (~USD2) | Children: Free
Opening hours: 9.30AM-5PM, Daily
Address: 3173 Midoricho, 立川市 Tokyo 190-0014, Japan
Nearest stations: Tachikawa Station, Nishi-Tachikawa Station


7. Nogawa Park (野川公園)


nogawa park cherry blossom spot
Image credits: @akko.kornblume

Nogawa Park is a large residential park that spans the wards of Chofu, Koganei, and Musashino. It’s a hot spot amongst locals for barbecuing and camping in the woods.

nogawa park cherry blossom
Image credits: @gijinkun

The park is also popular amongst skaters as there’s a skate park and long stretches of pavements.

nogawa park cherry blossom
Image credits: @shichan_photo

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 6 Chome-4-1 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-0015, Japan
Nearest stations: Tama Station, Shin-Koganei Station


8. Kasai Rinkai Park (葛西臨海公園)


kasai rinkai park cherry blossom spot
Image credits: @rokka_kawabata

Kasai Rinkai Park is a spacious garden by the sea, located across Edogawa River and adjacent to Tokyo Disney Resort. It’s a popular dating spot that’s also close to Odaiba, which is well-visited by couples too.

Built on reclaimed land, the park has a Ferris wheel, sea life aquarium, a bird-watching centre, and even a hotel. The 117-metre tall Ferris wheel is reportedly the second tallest in Japan. From the Ferris wheel, you can have a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay and Tokyo Disneyland. On a very clear day, you may be lucky enough to spot the elusive Mt. Fuji. Entrance costs ¥700 (~USD6.55).

Kasai rinkai park cherry blossom
Image credits: @jun_rayra

At the centre of the park, you’ll find the Tokyo Sea Life Park. Entrance costs ¥700 (~USD6.55).

kasai rinkai park cherry blossom
Image credits: @ariderella

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 6 Chome-2 Rinkaicho, 江戸川区 Tokyo 134-0086, Japan
Nearest station: Kasai-Rinkai-Koen Station


9. Chidorigafuchi (千鳥ヶ淵)


chidorigafuchi cherry blossom spot
Image credits: @fellldown

Like Sotobori Park, Chidorigafuchi Park is situated along the moat of the old Edo Castle. It’s a 700m-long walk, lined with 200 cherry trees.

chidorigafuchi cherry blossom spot
Image credits: @trico303

The trees are illuminated at night, imbuing the park with a different vibe.

chidorigafuchi cherry blossom
Image credits: @moto_motoin

For the best cherry blossom viewing experience with your S/O, rent a boat and paddle down the moat under the trees. It costs ¥800 (~USD7.70) for a 30-minutes ride during the peak hanami season. In the later part of April, the surface of the moat will be entirely covered with pink flower petals – a breathtaking sight to behold.

chidorigafuchi cherry blossoms
Image credits: @m4288

Chidorigafuchi is located in Chiyoda ward, near the Imperial Palace.

chidorigafuchi cherry blossom
Image credits: @i_yoccco

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 1 Chome-2 Kōjimachi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-0082, Japan
Nearest stations: Kudanshita Station, Hanzomon Station


Undiscovered cherry blossom spots in Tokyo


Hanami is a beautiful experience that you must try at least once in your lifetime, but the heavy foot traffic may leave you feeling suffocated. Beat the crowds and spare yourself some time by heading to these lesser-known but equally beautiful cherry blossom spots in Tokyo that only discerning Tokyoites know of.

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