With spring arrives the cherry blossom (or Sakura) season.
There are many places where you can see Sakura In Tokyo.
So many that you can’t visit them all. So we did the necessary research for the best Sakura spots in Tokyo beforehand and were able to visit quite a few places.
During the sakura season, Japan goes crazy. Everywhere people go out to picnic under the cherry blossoms and take selfies between the cherry blossoms.
It is the busiest time of the year in the parks.
In some parks, you cannot even find a blade of grass in between the picnic blankets and several pop-up markets appear across the parks to celebrate this special occasion.
But despite the crowd, if you can, the cherry blossom season is the best period for your visit to Tokyo. It is a special experience to shove along, shoulder to shoulder, over the markets, to take selfies together with the cherry blossoms and share in the sakura madness with the locals.
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Our 5 best Sakura spots in Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen Park
This was the first place we visited, and we found it to be one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo.
There are 65 different species of cherry trees in the park and in total more than 1000 cherry trees.
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We were not the only ones that came to see the cherry blossoms but it was not very busy, certainly not compared to other places we visited later on, which we liked. It’s not allowed to bring alcohol in the park and therefore a lot of Japanese choose other locations for their picnics.
If you prefer a quiet place to enjoy the sakura spots in Tokyo, then this park is definitely recommended. In our opinion the best cherry blossom spot in Tokyo.
Read also: The best places to visit in Tokyo
Entrance fee 200 yen (2018)
Shinjukugyoenmae Station (or Sendagaya Station) is only a few minute’s walk from the park.
This location was recommended to us to do in the evening when it is dark ( Japanese refer to this as Yozakura) and the trees are beautifully lit with lanterns.
There are 800 cherry trees along the river, spread over 4 km.
Unfortunately, the lanterns were not lit when we were there.
We’re not sure why. Maybe because the Sakura season started slightly earlier than expected? Sadly, as a result, part of the effect was lost.
It was still a very nice location. And above all, peaceful and quiet. Ideal for a romantic evening stroll.
In our opinion, the most beautiful part of the walk can be found close to the round bridge, not far from Nakameguro park where some of the trees are also lit with lights.
The closest subway station is Nakameguro station. This stop is 2 stops from Shibuya station on the Tokyo Toyoko line.
There are about 800 cherry trees in Ueno Park.
We had heard that this was one of the busiest parks in Toyko to see the cherry blossoms and we can confirm that this is absolutely true.
It was very crowded and everywhere in between the trees were groups of Japanese picnicking and having fun together with family or friends. It was extremely busy and you just move along with the masses. Not ideal, if you are not a fan of crowds.
On the other hand, it was a special experience to see how all these Japanese get so excited about the Sakura and how they also make pictures like crazy of the cherry blossoms.
The most beautiful spot in the park is the path that runs right through the lake (Shinobazunoike). It’s more crowded but different from Shinjuku Gyoen and definitely one of the best places to see cherry blossom in Tokyo.
They light the lanterns at night to make everything more beautiful.
Ueno station is right next to the park. Upon exiting the station just follow the crowds. 🙂
The East garden of the Imperial Palace
The Imperial Gardens are only open to the public during special occasions and, as you probably already guessed, the cherry blossom season is such an occasion.
It is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo as it is a unique opportunity to squeak behind the immense castle walls.
You can visit the gardens for free.
The queue was gigantic but in the end, it took us only about 30 mins before we entered the castle’s gates.
It’s a unique experience to visit the Imperial Garden. The garden is only open to visitors during the day and picnics are probably not allowed as we didn’t see any. Once you arrive at the East garden the crowd scatters and this is a perfect place for a nice and quiet walk.
You can choose from several nearby stations. It’s a 5-minute walk from Otemachi station (exit 1A). From Takebashi station it would be a 10-minute walk (exit 6). You could as well use Tokyo station or Nijubashimae station (Marunouchi North Exit)
This cemetery is not far from the busy Ueno park and can easily be combined. We visited the cemetery after sunset.
This may sound a bit scary but you don’t need to enter the cemetery itself to see the cherry trees.
The cherry trees are along a road that runs right through the cemetery and the streetlights provide a special atmosphere in the evening.
We were not alone but it certainly was not too busy. There are about 100 trees, mostly old trees because this place survived the bombs from World War 2. Definitely worth a visit.
From Nippori station (Stop 7 at the Yamanote line) it’s about a 10-minute walk to the cemetery.
If you want to discover this historic neighborhood with a guide, a walking tour might be something for you. You will start your day by visiting the Yanaka cemetery.
From here you will walk to the Nezu shrine, the oldest shrine in Tokyo.
Not only will you learn more about this neighborhood, but you will also have the chance to taste authentic Japanese food.
This is a great way to see a different side of Tokyo.
And this concludes our tips on the best sakura spots in Tokyo.
The sakura season is the busiest season in Japan. So we recommend you to book all your hotels in advance.
Read also: What to pack for Japan
Here we will share the best Tokyo accommodation.
Tokyo is spread out far and wide and the whole city is completely littered with hotels. The oversupply of hotels can make it a daunting task to pick a hotel if this is your first time in the city.
For your first time, a hotel like the Centurion Classic is a good choice because of its strategic central location.
The Ritz-Carlton hotel is not far away and offers a beautiful view from the highest building in the city.
Of the three hotels the Hilton Hotel is closest to Shinjuku Station, the busiest station in the world, and a good base to all the sights in Tokyo and far beyond in the rest of Japan.
If you prefer staying in an Airbnb while you are in Tokyo, click here for an overview of the best Airbnb’s in Tokyo.
Ritz-Carlton Tokyo (Roppongi, Minato)
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is an amazing hotel in a great location amongst lots of shopping, musea, and restaurants. Roppongi also has a popular nightlife scene with locals as well as foreigners. The hotel is situated in the tallest skyscraper in Tokyo. It offers
spacious and well-appointed rooms with great views of Tokyo. On clear days you will even be able to view Mt. Fuji. What sets this hotel really apart is the exceptional service from the staff. Everyone is very friendly and willing to go out of their way to assist you.
Highly recommended if you want to spoil yourself in this fantastic city.
Premium Comfortable hotel
Hilton Tokyo (Shinjuku)
The Hilton Tokyo lies in the bustling Shinjuku district, with several train and metro stations within a short walking distance. The hotel also offers a free shuttle bus service to Shinjuku station and limousine service to the airport for a fee. Most of the staff speak very good English. The rooms are large, modern, and comfortable. You will be able to relax in the indoor pool or the sauna after a busy day in Tokyo. The breakfast is outstanding with a wide variety.
Highly recommended for first-timers in Tokyo.
The Centurion Hotel Classic (Akasaka, Minato)
The Centurion Hotel Classic is a small, boutique hotel. It’s located in the Akasaka district, a residential district with a quiet some commercial activity. You will find lots of restaurants and several convenience stores nearby. It is right off the Ginza line, very convenient to take you to most of the popular sights in Tokyo. The rooms are very big by Tokyo standards. Professional and courteous staff.
Highly recommended if you are looking for a comfortable family hotel.
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