As winter turns into Spring, Japan undergoes a breathtaking transformation to a sea of delicate pink petals lining the streets and dotting the parks. The annual spectacle of cherry blossoms, or “sakura,” in Tokyo Japan is a cultural phenomenon that draws visitors from around the world and has been on my bucketlist for a VERY long time.
It is hard to nail down the best places to see the cherry blossom trees in Tokyo, so I have compiled them all for you in this post, with most of them being completely free!
In this post, I’m going to show you the 12 best locations to see the Cherry Blossom Trees in Tokyo Japan, including which spots are completely free and logistical information to get there!
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The Best Spots around Tokyo Japan to see the Sakura in Spring
1. Ueno Park
Ueno Park is a very popular spot for cherry blossom viewing, with over a thousand cherry trees lining its central pathway. Since this park is free to visit, be sure to arrive early during cherry blossom season for the most peaceful experience.
The park also features museums and a zoo which would be perfect if you are coming with kids, or on a rainy day.
Located on the Yamanote Line, Ueno Park is easily accessible from just about anywhere in Tokyo. Ueno Station is four stops from Tokyo Station. Once you arrive at Ueno station, look for the Park Exit. This exit takes you directly to the side entrance of Ueno Park.
Located near the Imperial Palace, Chidorigafuchi is known for its picturesque moat lined with centuries old cherry blossom trees.
You can view the moat and the cherry blossom trees from the elevated paved-pathway above.
But what really draws people here are the boat rides that are available during the sakura season. One of the most iconic things to do in Japan during the cherry blossom season.
You can rent either row boats (canoes) or pedal boats (swan-shaped!), for 30 min or 1 hours increments. Make sure to arrive here as early as possible. We came around 11am, and waiting about an hour in line for a boat, which wasn’t all that bad in my opinion considering it was peak Sakura season.
Be aware that boats can get cancelled due to bad weather, which happens rather often during the spring season in Japan. So if this is really high on your list during your visit to Tokyo during cherry blossom season, plan a few days in your itinerary for boating at Chidorigafuchi.
Cost: Visiting is free, but to rent a boat it will cost 800 Yen per boat (per 30 minutes)
3. Shinjuku Gyoen
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a spacious park with a diverse collection of cherry trees. This garden is a peaceful and beautiful setting for taking part in hanami, the Japanese word for picnicking under cherry blossom trees.
This is not a free park, since it is a National Garden, however I think that Sinjuku Gyoen is one of the most beautiful and diverse places that you can visit to see the Cherry Blossom trees in spring. So well worth the fee in my opinion.
There is so much space to really explore and get away from the crowds. The deeper into the garden you venture, the less people you will see.
We arrived here a few minutes after opening, via the Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station, and there was already a substantial line waiting to buy tickets. The line went quickly because of the number of ticket booths available. However its worth noting that it already felt “crowded” when we arrived at opening.
Since the garden doesn’t open until 10am, I would suggest getting here 15 – 30 minutes before opening and queue for a ticket.
Cost: 500 Yen per adult
4. Sumida Park and Sensō-ji Temple (Weeping Cherry Tree)
Situated along the Sumida River, the Sumida Park offers a scenic row of cherry blossom trees with a backdrop of the Tokyo Skytree.
It was a rather gloomy day when we visited, like many days in spring in Tokyo, but the rain subsided and we were able to enjoy the park for about 30 minutes. The park is rather small, so you don’t need a lot of time here.
However, within walking distance of Sumida Park, you can also visit the Sensō-ji Temple in Asakusa which is lined with sakura trees along the Nakamise-dori Street, or shopping street, leading up to the temple in the spring.
I actually found this spot more beautiful than Sumida Park, even in the rain. So if you are short on time, I would visit the Sensō-ji Temple only.
While the temple is scattered with beautiful cherry blossom trees, the notable weeping willow cherry blossom tree at Sensō-ji Temple, located near the Hōzōmon Gate, is the main attraction. These days the weeping willow is getting so fragile that there are many stilts helping to keep the branches from falling.
Nevertheless, a weeping willow cherry blossom tree is very unique, to see, especially in bloom. The only other one we saw in Japan was at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden!
Make sure to visit early in the morning, before 8am, for the most peaceful experience here.
5. Meguro River
The Meguro River is lined with hundreds of cherry blossom trees, creating a captivating tunnel of blossoms.
The whole sakura-lined stretch is about 5 km-long, from Gotanda to Meguro Sky Garden, almost to Ikejiri-Ohashi Station. You can actually walk it in an hour, however if you just want the highlights, start at Meguro Station and walk to Nakameguro.
Every year (except for 2019 – 2022) the Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival is held at the Meguro river is one of the best festival for cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Japan.
To top it off, entry is free! The dates have not yet been released for this season, but to help with planning, the festival was last held from March 18 to April 8.
During the morning, you can visit and admire the blossoms casually. However, by the late morning to afternoon crowds will start to set in and walking at any fast pace may be complicated. So if you’re looking for a peaceful stroll, arrive here before 8am (like most of the other spots on the list) and you’ll only encounter a few riverside joggers.
For a totally different experience, visit the river after dark.
Aside from the crowds (and there will be crowds), the bright pink lanterns strung from the trees are illuminated at night and reflect on the surface of the water below.
The cherry blossom trees along the Meguro River catch the light in a way that’s genuinely hard to describe.
6. Yasukuni Shrine
The Yasukuni Shrine has over over 600 sakura trees on the property to enjoy and photograph. However, what makes the cherry blossom trees here really special is that the official blossom date for the region is announced only when a special variety, the “someiyoshino” at the Yasukuni Shrine starts to bloom.
To make things even more interesting, the shrine holds a yearly sakura festival where most professional sumo wrestlers are invited for a one-of-a-kind event. If you can get your hands on the date of this festival, that would be a really unique thing to experience while in Tokyo!
Also in the main alley, you will find dozens of food stalls. so if you come during lunch time, come hungry!
7. Inokashira Park
Located in Kichijoji, slightly outside of the city of Tokyo, Inokashira Park is a park usually visited by locals, especially in the springtime for its cherry trees around the pond, providing a charming setting for hanami and boat rides.
The closest train station to Inokashira Park is JR Kichijoji Station, 30 minutes away from central Tokyo.
From Shinjuku Station take the JR Chuo Line and get off at Kichijoji. You can also take the Keio Line at Shibuya Station and get off at Inokashira-koen Station.
If you are planning to visit with children, the park also has a duck pond, a zoo, and an aquarium to entertain the little and the adults.
Cost: Free, boat rides will be an additional fee
8. Asukayama Park
Asukayama Park is a public green space located near Oji station, in Kita ward in the north of Tokyo. Here you will find a rolling landscape filled with about 600 Japanese cherry blossom trees.
Tourists usually will visit either Ueno or Yoyogi Park for cherry blossoms in Tokyo as they are closer to town and more well-known. However, venturing out to Asukayama is a good alternative to enjoy the local atmosphere during the season of cherry blossoms in the beginning of spring.
9. Rikugien Gardens
Known for its stunning autumn foliage, Rikugien Gardens also features cherry blossoms in spring, creating a picturesque landscape all times of year.
You also have the chance to relax in one of the three tea houses with views of the central pond, and forget for a moment that you are in a big city like Tokyo.
Rikugien is a 10-minute walk from Komagome Station on the JR Yamanote Line and the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line.
Cost: 300 Yen per adult
10. Yoyogi Park
Yoyogi Park is another popular spot for various outdoor activities, and during cherry blossom season, it attracts many visitors for hanami.
The park is free to visit and is located in Shibuya City, right near the Meiji Jingu temple (also free to visit) and within a short walk of the Harajuku. We actually utilized the Harajuku train station to get to Yoyogi Park.
When we visited it was around 8am in the morning and we saw a couple runners and another guy taking photos of his dog with the sakura trees. Other than that it was completely empty!
It was raining when we showed up which probably kept most people away this morning. So i imagine on a sunny morning, there will be a lot more people here, especially since it is a free park.
11. Sakura street (Shibuya)
Located very close to the Shibuya Scramble Crossing is the Insta-famous Sakura Street. The real street name is 16-12 Sakuragaokacho, but you can easily find it in google maps as Sakura Street (Shibuya).
We did not make an attempt to arrive here early in the morning, and it was busy, but as you can see from the photos, not terrible.
You will need to watch for cars on this street, however it is a one way street coming down the hill, so it is manageable. We saw cars coming by every once and a while and they were also aware that they were driving down the Sakura Street during Sakura season!
Here is your reward for making it to the end of my list, I have saved the least known spot for last.
Aoyama Cemetery might not be your first choice to view the cherry blossoms in Tokyo, but let me tell you this is one of Tokyo’s best cherry blossom spots!
It’s relatively quiet because of how unknown it is. We were here around 10 or 11am and barely saw another person for 30 minutes.
The cemetery area is actually rather large. You can find the main street that cuts through the cemetery at 2 Chome-32 Minamiaoyama. This is actually a one-way street with cars passing occasionally and morning joggers or dog walkers occupying the sidewalks. You won’t actually encounter any graves if you stick to this street.
There are also cherry blossom tree lining the the off-streets, where cars do not drive, as they are the pathways to the grave sites.
It is completely fine to visit this area and enjoy the cherry blossom trees, and actually quite enjoyable and peaceful. However please be quiet (as is the Japanese-way) and peaceful as well when you visit in order to show your respect.
Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo Japan FAQs
Here are the quick tips for see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo Japan.
How crowded does it get during cherry blossom season in Tokyo Japan?
Cherry blossom season is one of the busiest times in Tokyo, attracting large crowds. Popular spots like Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen can get especially crowded during peak bloom.
It’s advisable to go early in the morning or on weekdays to avoid the crowds.
Is there an entrance fee to view cherry blossoms in these locations?
Most public parks like Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen have a small entrance fee. However, some locations, like Meguro River and Yasukuni Shrine, are usually free to enter.
Can I have a picnic under the cherry blossoms in Tokyo Japan?
Yes! Many people enjoy having hanami (flower viewing) picnics under the cherry blossoms. It’s a common practice, and you’ll find locals and tourists alike sitting on picnic blankets, enjoying food and drinks.
Can I see cherry blossoms in Tokyo at night?
Some locations, like Meguro River and Chidorigafuchi, offer nighttime illuminations of the cherry blossoms. It’s a different and enchanting experience to see the blossoms under the lights.
I hope that you now have all the tools you need to find the best spots to see the cherry blossom (Sakura) trees in Tokyo. If you are currently planning a trip to Japan and have any questions, drop them in the comments below. For more travel inspiration and tips, follow me on Instagram for current updates.
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