Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo: When & Where to See Sakura This Spring

As one of the most beautiful times of the year, the cherry blossom season in Tokyo is a sight to behold. Every spring, the skies over Japan’s bustling capital are filled with clouds of pastel colors as millions of sakura flowers bloom simultaneously. For only a couple of weeks in March, locals and tourists alike stop to admire the ephemeral beauty of cherry blossoms in Tokyo. From Ueno Park to Meguro Canal, catch the sakura at its best and hanami like a pro with this complete guide!

When is cherry blossom season in Tokyo in 2024?

Cherry blossom season in Tokyo generally begins in mid- to late March, with full bloom hitting about 7-10 days later. In 2023, Tokyo’s cherry blossoms flowered on March 14th and hit full bloom (mankai) on March 21st. This was very early compared to normal predictions.

For the exact dates of Tokyo’s prime cherry blossom season in 2024, you can check out the official Japanese cherry blossom forecast. The forecast is usually released in late January every year.

QUICK TIP: If you’ve only got a few days to spare, the best time to go to Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing is usually the last week of March. This is when the flowers tend to be in full bloom (mankai). Visit a week later, and the flowers may be gone!

Where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo: The top sakura viewing spots

Ueno Park

As the most popular destination in Tokyo during this season, Ueno Park should be the first stop on your cherry blossom tour—even if you can only carve out one day in Tokyo. Ueno Park is also known for its wild blossom-viewing parties that can put Mardi Gras in New Orleans to shame.

Cherry Blossom in Ueno Park

If you want to avoid the public drunkenness and crowded streets, get to Ueno Park earlier in the day. Or, if you want to unwind at the end of your cherry blossom tour, you can always make this your final stop on your Tokyo itinerary.

Kitanomaru Park

Kitanomaru Park includes hundreds of cherry trees that surround the moats of the former Edo Castle. It’s just north of the Tokyo Imperial Palace, one of the top things to see in Tokyo at any time of the year.

For a truly magical time during the sakura season, visit the Imperial Palace in the evening. They illuminate the cherry trees, creating an ethereal experience.

Cherry Trees Chidori-ga Fuchi Tokyo

Two gates near the entrance remain from the Edo Castle. The gardens, however, are the main attraction. You can stroll through a forest of trees, including hundreds of blossoming cherry trees, maple trees, and humongous gingko trees.

Sumida Park

Like the cherry trees northwest of the Imperial Palace, the trees along the Sumida River are illuminated in the evenings to create an out-of-this-world sight. Both banks of the river are lined with cherry trees. Adjacent to the river is the lovely Sumida Park.

Sakura Sumida Park

You can stroll through the park while walking underneath a canopy of cherry blossom flowers. There are also plenty of food stands, so you can grab a bite of local street food before continuing your cherry blossom tour.

While Sumida Park gets a lot of foot traffic, it’s much less rambunctious than Ueno Park.

Aoyama Cemetery

Admission to the Aoyama Cemetery is free, and it’s just a short walk from Nogizaka Station. While the cherry trees are lovely, the cemetery isn’t the best spot for a wild hanami party. Be respectful as you walk the straight, paved road that cuts through the cemetery.

Aoyama Cemetery

Each side of the road is lined with hundreds of cherry trees. When in full bloom, they almost create a canopy over the road. It’s a great spot if you want to quietly reflect on the beauty of the mostly-white flowers.

Koishikawa Botanical Garden

The Koishikawa Botanical Garden is a large park with a wide variety of plants, including many varieties of cherry trees, plum trees, and an intricate Japanese garden. Just remember that the garden is closed on Mondays if you’re planning on starting your tour at the beginning of the week.

Plum Tree at Koishikawa Botanical Garden

This botanical garden is another wonderful choice if you want some peace and quiet. It’s owned and managed by Tokyo University and provides a place of study for agricultural students. Due to the admission fee and the connection to the university, Koishikawa Botanical Garden doesn’t get quite the same crowd as some of the other popular destinations for cherry blossom viewing.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of the largest parks in Tokyo and one of the best places to see blossoming cherry trees. The spacious lawns and winding pathways are surrounded by cherry trees and other plants. Along with cherry trees, the park houses a Japanese garden, an English garden, and a French garden.

Sakura Shinjuku Gyoen Garden

The popularity of Shinjuku Gyoen Park means that it gets extremely busy during peak cherry blossom time. The long, meandering walkways, however, help make the park appear less crowded.

Meguro Canal

The Meguro Canal cuts through Tokyo and offers numerous spots for gazing at cherry trees. Most areas of the river include banks of concrete and riverside paths for pedestrians. The banks are also lined with cherry trees, food stands, and benches, and provide convenient access to nearby shops and restaurants.

Sakura Meguro Canal

The Meguro Canal is also one of the most popular areas for local sakura viewers and tourists. If you go in the evening, it’s going to be packed with people wanting to see the flowers. If possible, get off the Nakameguro Station just after 8 am and follow the stream of people to the river.

Yoyogi Park

You may also want to add Yoyogi Park to your itinerary if you prefer a leisurely stroll through a park full of cherry blossoms. Located in the heart of Shibuya, Yoyogi Park is a large city park with wide lawns and a variety of ponds. While it doesn’t have the most cherry trees, it does offer something special.

Hanami Yoyogi Park

With fewer cherry trees, Yoyogi Park isn’t a tourist trap during cherry blossom season but is a popular spot for locals. You can enjoy a relaxing walk through the park and take your time looking at the beautiful trees that blossom for just one to two weeks per year.

Ryan O'Rourke

Ryan O'Rourke is a Canadian traveller, food & drink aficionado, and the founder & editor of Treksplorer. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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