Things to do in Tokyo during cherry blossom season

We’re approaching spring szn, finally. While there’s always the option to enjoy spring in Europe, perhaps the most iconic springtime activity would be sakura-chasing in Japan. 

If you’re a fellow flower fiend, we’ve curated a list of things to do in Tokyo during the cherry blossom season so you can make the most out of your trip. Think picnicking in a field of cherry trees, going on a romantic boat ride, and hiking up a beautiful mountain. 

When is cherry blossom season in Japan in 2024?

Cherry blossom season in Japan typically happens in March. For 2024, it’s been predicted that Tokyo will experience the sakura season first, starting mid-March.  

What are the different types of cherry blossom trees in Japan?

Japan is home to various types of cherry blossom trees. The most common ones include the Somei yoshino (Yoshino cherry), Yama zakura (mountain cherry), Yaezakura (double cherry blossoms), and Shidare zakura (weeping cherry). 

What are the different colours of sakura?

Different varieties of cherry blossoms product different colours, but the main colour scheme is pink and white. The cherry blossoms in Tokyo are usually light pink, dark pink, and white. 

1. View sakuras at night & try sakura-themed snacks

Meguro River
Image credit: bwilliamp via Flickr

Fancy a romantic stroll under the moonlight with bae? Meguro River is a gorgeous spot to view the famed cherry blossoms at night. There are over 800 sakura trees here, and lanterns are draped along the railings that’ll light up from 5pm onwards. We recommend starting your journey at Meguro Station, then walk towards Nakameguro for the best views. 

Nakameguro Sakura Festival
Image credit: @dd.didistory via Instagram

The Nakameguro Sakura Festival also takes place at the river. There’ll be rows and rows of F&B booths with sakura-themed snacks to try. We’ve heard that the sakura-flavoured churros and sakura champagne are crowd favourites. 

Address: 3 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

2. Uncover a hidden “Netherlands” in Ukima Park

Ukima Park
Image adapted from: @anneoentoro & @hisham7276 via Instagram

Those looking to build an aesthetically pleasing IG feed can head to Ukima Park, a ginormous flower field in Tokyo. This park is known for its Dutch-inspired windmill, as you might’ve seen on Pinterest.

The Ukima Park Tulip Illumination event also happens here every spring, where over 20,000 tulips and sakuras will light up at night. While the exact dates of the event has yet to be confirmed, you can stay updated via the Tokyo parks website.

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 2 Chome-14 Funado, Itabashi City, Tokyo 174-0041, Japan

3. Have a sakura-filled picnic at Ueno Park

ueno park
Image credit: KLM 

You can’t visit Tokyo without dropping by Ueno Park. This park has proven to be a popular sakura viewing spot, and for good reason. There are over 800 sakura trees, and their flowers tend to bloom earlier during the season so impatient folks need not wait. 

Bring along a picnic mat too, as there are plenty of grass patches to chill on. You can dabao food from Ameya Yokocho, a food street next to Ueno Station, or grab snacks like takoyakis and donburis from the street food stalls at the park. There are a number of cafes situated in the park itself too, including EVERYONEs Cafe and even a unique Starbucks

Opening hours: 5am-11pm, Daily
Address: Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan

4. Go on a boat ride around the Chidorigafuchi moat

Chidorigafuchi moat
Image adapted from: @sr_no_0ki21ri_ & @clrwaldorf via Instagram

The Chiyoda Sakura Festival takes place every end-March, and one of the main highlights include the boat rides around the Chidorigafuchi moat. 

The boat rides go at 800¥/30 mins (~S$7.16) and you can choose to row solo or with a pal. There’s no need to scramble and find the best photo-taking spot as every angle is photogenic thanks to the numerous cherry trees planted along the shores. So just keep rowing, and enjoy the view. 

Opening hours: 9am-4pm, Daily
Address: Sanbancho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-0091, Japan

5. Snap pics with the illuminated sakura trees at Rikugien Gardens

Rikugien Gardens
Image credit: sapphire_rouge via Flickr

The Rikugien Gardens is where you can go to admire the impressive weeping sakura trees. This unique species of sakuras are known for their exaggerated arches, and seeing the cherry blossoms in full bloom will leave your jaw hanging – in a good way. In spring, these weeping sakura trees will also be illuminated daily from 6.30pm-9pm so get your cameras ready. 

Fukiagejaya Tea House
Image adapted from: @vanzakh via Instagram, Kouzi Kasai

While you’re there, drop by Fukiagejaya Tea House, a traditional tea house, for some delicious matcha treats. Entry to the tea house go at 300¥/pax (~S$2.68) and you’ll get a beautiful overview of the garden too.

Entry fee for the Rikugien Gardens: ¥1,100/ticket (~S$9.82/ticket)
Opening hours: 9am-5pm, Daily
Address: 6 Chome-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0021, Japan

6. Get a bird’s eye view of sakura trees at Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills
Image credit: St K via Flickr

We mentioned that Japan is home to a slew of cherry blossom species. Well, you can find several different types of sakuras at Roppongi Hills, including the Somei yoshino, Yama zakura and Yaezakura cherry trees. 

There are 2 main spots you can go to view the trees: Mori Garden and Roppongi Sakura-zaka. These locations provide a panoramic sight of the sakura trees, and you can even catch a glimpse of the Tokyo Tower in the background. 

Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: 6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-6108, Japan

7. Visit the Edo Castle at the Imperial Palace East Garden

Imperial Palace East Garden
Image credit: KCP International 

Here’s a little history lesson for you: the Edo Castle was built in the 17th Century by the Tokugawa royal family. To date, only a fraction of the grand castle remains but it’s still a sight to behold at the Imperial Palace

Aside from the Edo Castle, the palace is also a great place to go cherry blossom watching as there are tonnes grown around the gardens. Curious souls can sign up for the guided tours – they’re available in Mandarin, English, Japanese, and French. 

Admission: Free
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 9am-4pm (Closed on Mondays)
Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-8111, Japan

8. Hike up Mt. Takao in Hanno

Mt. Takao
Image adapted from: Takashima, Kouhei Akiyama via Google Maps

Put on your comfy walking shoes, it’s time to go hiking. Mt. Takao is a 1-hour train ride from central Tokyo, and a charming place to bring the whole family as there are beginner-friendly trails like the Omotesando Trail to take. 

You’ll meander past the rustic Yakuoin Temple, and of course, lots of cherry blossom trees along the way. Once you’ve reached the top, don’t stop there. Continue hiking ~30 minutes past the peak to the Takaosan Senbonzakura area, and you’ll arrive at one of the best sakura viewing spots here – plus a clear shot of Mt. Fuji. 

Admission: Free
Address: Takaomachi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 193-0844

Bookmark these things to do in Tokyo during cherry blossom season

We can’t deny the allure of these kawaii sakuras. If you’ve yet to see them IRL, do yourself a favour and plan a trip over to Tokyo this cherry blossom season. There’s a slew of fun things to do, and you can include the whole fam too. 

More things to do in Japan:

Cover image adapted from: @okayu629 & @dd.didistory via Instagram

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