Visit Japan in springtime and you’ll realized it is the busiest travel season. It is the time of cherry trees opening their blossoms symbolizing the transient nature of life in Japanese culture. Family and friends gather for Hanami picnics in parks in the midst of cherry trees to enjoy the view.
All over Japan, there are hundreds of spots to seek and enjoy the spectacular view of cherry blossoms. From a distance, the white pinkish bloom resembles clouds of cotton candy while looking at the intrinsic flower pattern of each sakura reveals the freshness and nature beauty. Here are few guides through the finest offerings of Hanami (literally means flower watching) in Tokyo.
Shinjuku Gyoen (nearest station Shinjuku Station)
Formerly served as the Imperial garden, Shinjuku Gyoen is one of Tokyo’s largest park featuring three gardens; English landscape garden, French garden and traditional Japanese garden. It is home to over a thousand cherry trees of more than a dozen species.
Inokashira Park (nearest station Kichijoji Station)
With over 250 cherry trees on the bank of Inokashira Pond, visitors could enjoy a stunning view of cherry blossoms reflection and watch the flutter flowers fall gently on the pond. Take a stroll or rent a boat to relax in nature calling.
Yoyogi Koen (nearest station Harajuku Station)
Being one of Tokyo’s largest city parks, Yoyogi Koen features wide lawns suitable for picnicking and outdoor activities. The park was formally the site of 1964 Tokyo Olympics village. Yoyogi Koen park is situated in the middle of Tokyo shopping district and nightlife. Although there are relatively fewer cherry trees here, large crowd still gather here for Hanami. Watch street performances and get a taste of Tokyo street food here.
Koishikawa Botanical Garden (nearest station Hakusan or Myogadani Station)
Located in the proximity of Tokyo University, this park features over a four thousand plant species preserved from the Edo period. Covering an area over 16 hectares, it is usually less crowded here compared to any other gardens in the city. Besides a variety of cherry blossom species, it also features other academic attractions including ginko trees that led to the discovery of sperm.
Photo credit: pats0n / danielshi1130 / nigalraymond / kawasaky55 / -nico-