Translated by MATCHA_En
Tokyo's Cherry Blossoms: 20 Spots To See In 2020
Written by MATCHA
The cherry blossoms in Tokyo start blooming around the end of March, coming into full bloom near the beginning of April. We introduce twenty great spots all around Tokyo where you can enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms in 2020.
Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo for 2020
In 2020, the cherry blossoms in Tokyo start blooming around the end of March and come into full bloom at the beginning of April.
When one thinks of Tokyo, the image of rows upon rows of tall buildings may come to mind, but there are plenty of places where you can set down a tarp and a picnic under the pink cherry blossoms. Continue reading to learn the top-recommended 20 spots in the city to see these gorgeous blooms.
1. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Picture courtesy of Ministry of Environment, Shinjuku Gyoen Management Office
Located in the heart of the city, Shinjuku Gyoen is a large park where one can relax and take in the sights of the beautiful cherry blossoms. The park prides itself on having over 65 types and over 1,100 different cherry trees. The closest stations to this park are Shinjuku Station and Yoyogi Hachiman Station. The park is also quite beautiful in the fall when the leaves change color, making Shinjuku Gyoen an oasis for weary Tokyoites year-round.
Entrance Fee: Regular 500 yen; Junior High and Elementary School Students 250 yen; Infants free
Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Naitomachi 11
Website: Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Japanese)
2. Yoyogi Park
Photo by Pixta
Thousands of visitors come every year to enjoy hanami at Yoyogi Park. With around 500 trees, primarily of the Somei Yoshino variety, visitors can come and purchase snacks like yakisoba at stalls or catering carts set up throughout the park and many people also bring their own food and alcohol to enjoy in the shade of the trees.
During the cherry season, the lines for the public bathrooms become quite long, so either make sure you find a toilet near the park that you can scurry off to or keep the libation imbibing to a minimum.
The closest stations for Yoyogi Park are JR Harajuku Station, Yoyogi Koen Station on the Chiyoda Metro Line, and the Meiji Jingumae (Harajuku) Station on the Chiyoda Metro and Fukutoshin Lines.
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Yoyogikamizonocho 2-1
Website: Yoyogi Park
3. Meguro River
Shibuya and Meguro are also home to beautiful cherry trees. That said, finding a spot to set up a picnic can be a little difficult, so be careful if you’re going to be having your hanami party here.
Meguro River is flanked by around 800 cherry trees on both sides, stretching for about 3.8 km. At night, lanterns are lit, making for a very atmospheric hanami experience.
Like in Shinjuku Gyoen and Yoyogi Park, it’s a little difficult to find a nice plot to set your tarp down, but the blossoms are just as beautiful if you want to simply take a stroll down by the river. The closest stations for Meguro River are JR Meguro Station or Nakameguro Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line.
4. Asakusa Hanayashiki
Picture courtesy of Asakusa Hanayashiki
Built in 1853, Hanayashiki, located next to Sensoji Temple, is the oldest theme park in Japan. In the spring, parkgoers can take in views of the beautiful cherry blossoms while they enjoy fun attractions like roller coasters, haunted houses, and other rides. During the sakura season, there are evening light-ups of the flowers.
5. Aoyama Cemetery
Aoyama Cemetery located in Tokyo’s Minato Ward is a great place to take a walk while viewing the gorgeous cherry blossoms. However, unlike other hanami spots, visitors are not permitted to lay down tarps and imbibe alcohol in the cemetery. Also, the cemetery is closed at night, so if you plan on visiting, make sure to come during the day.
Address: Tokyo, Minato, Minami-Aoyama 2-32-2
Website: Aoyama Cemetery (Japanese)
6. Imperial Palace Area - Chidorigafuchi
Chidorigafuchi, a road which runs along the west side of the Imperial Palace, is home to an assortment of cherry trees that truly speak to the Japanese spirit, with the trees accented by the freshly sprung greenery and the palace’s moat. Though there are a number of skyscrapers located in the distance, these shouldn’t detract from the cherry blossom viewing experience. The area is also lit up at night, transforming the area’s beauty.
Address: 5-minute walk from Exit 5 at Hanzomon Subway Station or Exit 2 at Kudanshita Subway Station
Website: Chidorigafuchi (Japanese)
For more information, see our article: Experience The Stunning Sakura At Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo
7. East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Located close to Tokyo Station, the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Kokyo Higashi Gyoen) are home to 200 cherry trees. With historical ruins and a free museum displaying precious works of art, this is a great place for visitors interested in Japanese history and culture to check out after a walk under the blooming cherry blossoms.
Address: Chiyoda ward, Tokyo
Website: East Gardens of the Imperial Palace (Japanese)
8. Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
Photo by Pixta
Built at the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1868), Koishikawa Korakuen Garden is one of Tokyo's two large Japanese gardens, along with Rikugien Garden. As visitors are not allowed to put down tarps or host picnics, viewing cherry trees here is limited to a walking tour.
After seeing the blossoms, check out Tokyo Dome, located right next door. The major stadium and performance venue holds regular events, and numerous restaurants, shopping, and a small amusement park are close by. The nearest station to the garden is Iidabashi Station on the Oedo Line to the gardens.
Entrance Fee: Adults 300 yen; Children free
Address: Tokyo, Bunkyo, Koraku 1-6-6
Website: Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
9. Hamarikyu Gardens
Photo by Pixta
Also built during the Edo period, the Hamarikyu Gardens have been designated a special historic and aesthetic landmark. If you find yourself in the Shimbashi or Ginza area and want to check out the cherry blossoms, we recommend hitting Hamarikyu Gardens, a vast garden with around 100 cherry trees where one can forget all the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Entrance Fee: Regular 300 yen; Seniors (65 and older) 150 yen; Elementary School Students free; Junior High School Age Tokyo Residents free; Groups of 20 or more 240 yen per person; Groups of 20 or more (seniors citizens) 120 yen per person
Address: Tokyo, Chuo, Hamarikyuteien 1-1
Website: Hamarikyu Gardens
10. Shiba Park
Shiba Park, located at the foot of Tokyo Tower, has around 200 cherry trees and is a great place to engage in hanami with the bright orange symbol of Tokyo jutting up in the background. Areas around the Maruyama Fountain and Benten Pond, located within the park, are especially popular sites for hanami.
Address: Tokyo, Minato ward, Shibakoen
11. Ueno Park
Photo by Pixta
No article on cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo would be complete without Ueno Park. During the hanami season, the park is visited by thousands of families, company workers, and students all looking to take in the beautiful pink blossoms. Since the park can get crowded during this time of year, we recommend meeting up with your party at Ueno Station rather than in the park itself.
For more information on Ueno Park, see our article: Ueno Park Guide: Ueno Zoo, Museums, Temples and Other Highlights!
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Ueno Park/Tokyo, Taito, Ikenohata 3
Website: Ueno Park
12. Sumida Park
Located a short walk away from Asakusa Station is Sumida Park along the Sumida River, renowned as an excellent cherry blossom viewing spot.
Though strolling along the river, viewing the gorgeous cherry trees as their blossoms scatter into the Sumida River is a sight to behold in its own right, we also recommend chartering a pleasure boat where you can view the trees from the river itself. Tokyo Skytree is also close by, affording a view of both the old and the new.
Address: Tokyo, Sumida ward, Mukojima 1-2-5
13. Hibiya Park
Picture courtesy of Chiyoda Ward Tourism Group
Hibiya Park is a spot in central Tokyo surrounded by skyscrapers, where you can enjoy beautiful cherry blossoms. Around 40 cherry trees are planted and bloom here during the sakura season.
The park is known as the first contemporary park to be established in Japan and is over 100 years old. You will notice a large fountain in the middle of the pond, which is rare in Japanese parks. Typically frequented by office employees taking breaks from work, a visit here will also give you a glimpse of daily life in Tokyo.
14. Rikugien Garden
Rikugien Garden is one of the big two Japanese-style gardens that can be enjoyed in Tokyo (the other is Koishikawa Korakuen). The gardens are beautiful year-round, but especially striking in the springtime when the drooping cherry trees come into bloom. With the garden bathed in pink throughout the day, once the sun sets they are lit up, bringing about a whole new beauty to the blossoming buds.
Address: Tokyo, Bunkyo, Hon-Komagome 6
Entrance Fee: Regular 300 yen; Seniors (65 and older) 150 yen; Elementary School Students free; Junior High School Age Tokyo Residents free
Also located in the northern part of Tokyo, Asukayama Park in Oji, Kita Ward, is a place famous for its cherry blossoms, having captivated the Japanese people for the past 300 years. Visiting the park when all 650 of the park’s gorgeous cherry trees are in bloom is a sight to behold.
15. Inokashira Park
At Inokashira Park, located a short walk from Kichijoji Station, visitors can enjoy the cherry blossoms from the park or from a paddle boat in the park’s lake.
The park’s 500 cherry trees in bloom is simply amazing, drawing in tons of families and couples from around the city. The park’s pond is especially beautiful as it reflects the ocean of pink surrounding it.
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Gotenyama 1-18-31
Website: Inokashira Park
16. Koganei Park
Koganei Park is home to the largest number of cherry trees in the city, coming in at around 1,700 with over 50 different varieties. At the festival held on the first Saturday and Sunday in April, visitors can enjoy events featuring traditional performing arts, Japanese dancing, ikebana, and tea houses.
Address: Tokyo, Koganei, Sekinocho 1-13-1
17. Asukayama Park
Asukayama Park is holds around 300 years of history as a favorite sakura viewing spot for locals in Tokyo's Kita ward. Approximately 600 cherry trees bloom in spring at this expansive park. It is an ideal place to enjoy a day full of flowers and hanami picnics.
Parkgoers can enjoy viewing antique steam engine trains that were used in Tokyo, too, making it a great spot for families and those traveling with children.
18. Showa Memorial Park
Located in Tachikawa, the Showa Memorial Park is roughly 40 times the size of Tokyo Dome! With 1,500 cherry trees, this is an excellent spot for hanami, especially the Sakura no Sono area of the park. Bring your tarp, some food and drinks, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon under the blossoms.
For more information on Showa Memorial Park, see our article: The Allure of Seasonal Flowers! Showa Memorial Park is a Spot for All Ages! (Japanese only).
Entrance: Adults 410 yen; Children 80 yen; Seniors (65 and older) 210 yen
Address: Tokyo, Tachikawa, Midoricho 3173
Website: Showa Memorial Park
Toshimaen is a famous amusement and leisure park located in the Nerima ward of Tokyo, about 15-20 minutes from Shinjuku and Ikebukuro stations. Around 500 cherry trees bloom in spring; visitors can enjoy the flowers at the cherry blossom festival, Toshimaen Sakura Matsuri, during this time. You can enjoy the blooms from the park's attractions, like the Mini Cyclone, a roller coaster.
There is also a light-up of the flowers in the evening to see. Bring a tarp to enjoy snacks and drinks while gazing at the blooms.
General Admission: 1,000 yen for adults, 500 yen for children (age 3 - elementary school)
Address: Tokyo, Nerima, Nerima 4-25
20. Mt. Takao
The rustic Mt. Takao is another famous spot for cherry blossoms in spring. This Tokyo peak is the ideal option for those looking to enjoy a more rural scene while still being close to the city. Cherry trees line the hiking paths, and there is are mountain temple buildings scattered around the mountainside. From the top, you can get a view of more sakura and, on a clear day, Mt. Fuji. For those who want to go straight to the top, there is a cable car and ropeway that will bring you to the peak.
Please note that Mt. Takao is a popular destination on the weekends. If you visit during the cherry blossom season, try to go on a weekday to avoid crowds.
Access: Take the express train from Keio Shinjuku Station to Takaosanguchi Station
Weather and Appropriate Clothing during Cherry Blossom Season
From the end of March to the beginning of April, it gets to be around 10℃ in Tokyo, a little chilly to say the least.
While you don’t need a thick winter coat, you’ll definitely need a jacket. Still, once the sun goes down the temperature drops considerably, so be sure to pack accordingly if you plan to be out late.
Manners during Cherry Blossom Viewing Parties
Picture from Hanami - How To Enjoy Cherry Blossom Viewing
A lot of people come out to view the cherry blossoms every year, so it’s important to mind your manners when picking out a spot for your picnic and when throwing away your garbage so that everyone can enjoy their time outside together!
Manners When Picking Out a Spot
The typical way that people set their spot for hanami is to lay out a tarp. However, one thing to keep in mind when doing this is don’t take any more space than you’ll need. If you end up taking too much space, then other people won’t be able to enjoy the flowers!
Also, somebody needs to stay behind after you set down your tarp. If not, security guards may come by and throw away your stuff, so make sure to leave someone behind to hold your spot.
Also, even if you get your spot, the wind can easily blow your tarp away, so use some nearby stones to keep the tarp from being blown away. Please don’t stick pegs into the ground or into tree roots!
Though this differs by location and day, there are people who may get there first thing in the morning or even the night before to claim their spot for their picnic. Though this may be difficult for guests visiting from out of town, it’s usually a good idea to try and get your spot as early as possible.
Sorting Trash and Throwing it Away
Areas of the city with cherry trees are usually located in parks or along rivers, meaning that the majority of them are located in public spaces. Still, local municipalities are typically conscious of hanami season and set up places for people to throw away their trash, so don’t be a litterbug!
Just like with convenience stores and regular trash pickups, these trash boxes will be separated into different types of garbage for recycling, so make sure to abide by the signs and put trash in its proper place. The picture here shows the trash can area at Ueno Park during the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival). Typically, trash is separated into the following categories: combustible, non-combustible, glass bottles and metal cans.
Please make sure to put trash in its proper place.
For more information, see our articles: 15 Items To Make Your Hanami Great!, Clean Up The Right Way: Dealing With Trash After A Hanami, and Finding The Perfect Spot: Saving A Hanami Site
Early and Late Cherry Blossom Types
Depending on the type of sakura tree, you may be able to see cherry blossoms that bloom earlier or later than the beginning of April.
For example, Kawazu-zakura is a type of cherry blossom that can be viewed as early as mid-February until around mid-March. This type of cherry blossom is native to Kawazu, an area in Shizuoka prefecture.
On the other hand, if you visit Japan later than the beginning of April, you may be able to catch the Yae-zakura, a layered type of cherry blossom that blooms a week or two after the regular sakura.
Tips for Enjoying a Spring Trip in Tokyo
In Japan, the cherry blossom season is a great occasion for people to gather and have fun eating and drinking at a picnic under the cherry trees. If you visit Japan at this time of the year, join the party!
Please keep in mind the manners mentioned above, look for a great place to see the cherry blossoms and enjoy your time.
Find other tips and information to help you enjoy your trip to Japan below.