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Visiting Tokyo in February-March? Enjoy Early Cherry Blossom Viewing!

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Certain types of cherry blossoms go into bloom as early as mid-February! We introduce three places in Tokyo where you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing in February-March 2024.

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cherry blossoms in February-March

It may go without saying, but the centerpiece of sightseeing in Japan in the spring is getting to view the cherry blossoms, or sakura. This is Japan’s most beautiful time of the year, when everything seems to be dyed pink by the cherry blossoms.

Depending on the type of cherry tree, there are cherry blossoms that bloom earlier than what’s considered to be the cherry blossom season. We’d like to share with you the types of cherry blossoms that bloom earlier, as well as three places around Tokyo where you can enjoy these blooms from mid-February to around mid-March.

Early Cherry Blossom Viewing in Tokyo

Cherry Blossoms That Bloom in February and March
Top 3 Early Cherry Blossoms Spots in Tokyo
1. Kawazu-Zakura along Kyunaka River
2. Happoen Garden
3. Kiba Park

Cherry Blossoms That Bloom in February and March

Visiting Tokyo In February-March? Enjoy Early Cherry Blossom Viewing!

As you may already know, there are various types of cherry blossoms. The ones that bloom during the regular ‘cherry blossom season’ are the Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms.

There are, however, cherry blossoms that also bloom from February to March. Among them, the kawazu-zakura are the most popular.

The kawazu-zakura were given their name after being discovered in the city of Kawazu in Shizuoka Prefecture. The southern area of Izu is also famous for its kawazu-zakura. From the beginning of February to the beginning of March, there’s even an early sakura festival that takes place in this region.

There are also places in Tokyo where you can view the kawazu-zakura. Of course, it depends on the location and weather, but these flowers bloom a little bit later than they do in the city of Kawazu and southern Izu. You can enjoy these cherry blossoms in Tokyo for about one month, from about mid-February until about halfway through March.

1. Cherry Blossoms and TOKYO SKYTREE! Kawazu-Zakura along Kyunaka River

cherry blossoms in February-March

The area along Kyunaka River in eastern Tokyo is where you can enjoy viewing early cherry blossoms with TOKYO SKYTREE in the background.

There are about 30 trees growing along the promenade of Kyunaka River. They bear kawazu-zakura and okan-zakura. There aren’t too many cherry trees in this area, but the good part is that anyone can enjoy the sakura at leisure while walking along the river. This is also a great spot for train lovers as trains pass by upon the iron bridge over the river.

The closest stations to this river are Hirai Station on the JR Sobu line and Kameido-Suijin Station on the Tobu Kameido line. From both stations it’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the promenade.

It takes about 20 minutes to get to Hirai Station from Tokyo Station with one transfer. From Shinjuku Station, you can get there in about 30 minutes without having to transfer trains.

The place might be a little bit difficult to find. Search for the Fureaibashi Bridge that goes over Kyunaka River on Google Maps and you shouldn’t have trouble getting to this area.

2. Happoen Garden: Enjoy Early Cherry Blossoms in a Japanese Garden!

Happoen Garden is a place that could be called an oasis in the city. This Japanese garden boasts a history of over 400 years. It has various charming features such as ponds and Japanese architecture such as restaurants and a tea room!

In Happoen, you can find Kawazu cherry blossoms near the entrance to the garden and around the teahouse Kochuan, which bloom beautifully around February.

Additionally, there are over 80 cherry blossom trees including Somei Yoshino cherry trees, double-flowered cherry trees, and weeping cherry trees, which can be enjoyed until early April. Light-up events are also held from the latter half of March.

Please note that while Happoen is used as a wedding venue, event space, and restaurant spot, the garden itself can be visited for free.

Happoen can be reached in about 5 minutes on foot from JR Meguro Station and Gotanda Station.

Happoen Garden
Location: Tokyo, Minato ward, Shirokanedai 1-1-1
Official website: (Japanese)

3. Kawazu-Zakura in Kiba Park - Easy Access from Tokyo Station

cherry blossoms in February-March

To those searching for a spot to view the cherry blossoms near Tokyo Station, we recommend Kiba Park along Oyoko River. This is another quiet area with a promenade along the riverside with a row of trees bearing kawazu-zakura. The area is quiet, so if you’re lucky you may be able to see mejiro (*1) birds among the blossoms too.

The closest station to Kiba Park is Kiba Station, which can be reached by riding the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line from Otemachi Station. Otemachi is near the north exit of JR Tokyo Station. It takes about 7 minutes and you don’t need to transfer trains.

Near Kiba Park is the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as Monzen-Nakacho, an area where you can feel the old town culture of Tokyo. There are several sightseeing spots here such as Kiyosumi-Shirawaka, which is an area with a large number of cafes, so you can add this to your list of places to visit when coming to view the cherry blossoms.

*1 Mejiro: a type of bird smaller than a tree sparrow that has green wings. This bird lives in areas from East Asia to South-East Asia.

If you’d like to view the cherry blossoms earlier than usual, use this article as a guide and visit the areas listed above.


Where can I see early cherry blossoms in Tokyo?

In Tokyo, several locations offer early glimpses of cherry blossoms before the full bloom season, ideal for visitors seeking an early sakura experience. Sumida Park along the Sumida River in Asakusa and Ueno Park, known for its abundance of cherry trees, typically showcase early blooming varieties from late March to early April. Shinjuku Gyoen provides a tranquil setting with various cherry tree types, including some early bloomers, while the scenic Chidorigafuchi area near the Imperial Palace offers a picturesque row of cherry blossoms along the moat during the same period. Yasukuni Shrine and Inokashira Park are also notable spots to enjoy early cherry blossoms, adding to Tokyo's charm with their stunning displays before the peak of sakura season.

How early do cherry blossoms bloom in Japan?

Cherry blossoms, known as sakura in Japan, typically bloom in different regions of the country at varying times. The most popular type of sakura in Japan is the Somei Yoshino variety, which generally starts to bloom in late March to early April. The blooming period can vary each year depending on factors like weather conditions, including temperature and rainfall.

Are the cherry blossoms in Japan in early May?

In Japan, cherry blossoms typically bloom earlier in the spring season, generally from late March to early April, varying depending on the region and specific local climate conditions. By early May, the cherry blossoms have usually reached their peak bloom or have already shed their petals, especially in regions where they bloom earlier in the season.
In northern regions like Hokkaido, where the climate is cooler, cherry blossoms may bloom later, into early May. However, in most central and southern parts of Japan, including popular destinations like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, the cherry blossoms are usually past their peak bloom by early May.

Where are the earliest cherry blossoms in Japan?

The earliest cherry blossoms in Japan can be found in regions like Okinawa, typically blooming from late January. Most of the cherry trees in Okinawa are of the Hikanzakura variety, which blooms earlier than other varieties. The most popular cherry blossom trees in Japan, however, are the Somei Yoshino variety, which typically starts blooming in March. The first Shomei Yoshino cherry blossoms appear in Kyushu, Shikoku, and southern Honshu around mid-March.

Can you still see cherry blossoms in mid-April?

Yes, in the Tohoku region of Japan, including areas like Aomori, Akita, and Fukushima, cherry blossoms can still be seen in mid-April, extending the viewing season for visitors to enjoy the beauty of sakura during that time.

Why are Japan's cherry blossoms blooming earlier?

Japan's cherry blossoms are blooming earlier due to various factors, prominently influenced by climate change resulting in warmer temperatures. The urban heat island effect in cities like Tokyo and Osaka accelerates this process, alongside altered weather patterns and irregularities such as warmer winters and premature spring warmth. These fluctuations and the overall impact of global warming play a significant role in disrupting the natural cycles of cherry blossoms, leading to the observed trend of earlier blooming across Japan. This shift underscores the larger implications of environmental changes on seasonal events and natural phenomena worldwide.

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