Cherry blossoms in Tokyo start blooming at the end of March. In Japan, each prefecture has its “sample tree” and when five flowers bloom, the Meteorological Agency officially announce the flowering of the cherry blossoms. This is because the timing of the flowering of cherry blossoms is very important for Japanese people. After they start blooming, we go out admiring flowers and enjoy picnic under the trees.
Usually cherry blossoms become full bloom in ten days and flowers may fall in two weeks. But this year, the flowers in Tokyo which “officially” start blooming on 20 March still remain. It is quite extraordinary that you can enjoy cherry blossoms as long as almost three weeks. This is because although the flowering started five days earlier than the average, the temperature suddenly went down afterwards. The last weekend in March was like winter in Tokyo. And that helped cherry blossoms.
Here are some of the cherry blossoms spots in Tokyo I visited this year.
Tokyo Midtown is a shopping complex in Roppongi Area. There is a garden outside the building and you can enjoy cherry blossoms here. At this time of the year, Moët et Chandon holds a special event where you can taste champagne under the cherry trees.
Address: 7-1 Akasaka 9-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Access: directly connected to Exit No. 8 of Roppongi Station of Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
This garden has a famous weeping cherry tree which is about 60 years old. It is quite old for a cherry tree but every year it shows beautiful flowers. The Japanese garden as a whole is stunningly beautiful.
Address: 16-3 Honkomagome 6-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 9 am – 5 pm (closed between 29 Dec. – 1 Jan.)
A promenade along the Megurogawa River is also a famous flower viewing spot in Tokyo. The branches of cherry trees spread over the river and the flowers cover the space above the river. The area becomes extremely crowded at the time of Cherry Blossom Festival. There is a unique garden nearby – a garden over the traffic junction called Ohashi Junction. Go up the building over the junction and you will be in Meguro Sky Garden. In this garden, you can see the contrast of cherry trees and high-rise buildings.
Access to Megurogawa River Cherry Blossoms Promenade: a few minutes from Nakameguro Station of Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
Higo Hosokawa Gardens and the Kandagawa River
Like the Megurogawa River, the Kandagawa River also has cherry-tree-lined roads. This river is wider than Megurogawa River but none the less, the cherry blossoms are gorgeous. A feudal lord family Hosokawa had a residence along the Kandagawa River during the 19th Century which is now Higo Hosokawa Gardens. Surprisingly, there is no charge to enter the gardens.
Address: 1-22 Mejirodai 1-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 9 am – 5 pm (during November – January until 4:30 pm)
Access: 15 min from Edogawabashi Station of Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line
Famous architecture looks even better with cherry blossoms. The example is a school called Myonichikan in Ikebukuro designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
This architecture is often used for weddings on weekends but if you are lucky, you can go in.
Address: 31-3 Nishiikebukuro 2-chome, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10 am – 4pm (closed on Mondays) May be closed when there is an event.