The Best SECRET Cherry Blossom Spots In Tokyo!
Cherry blossoms and crowds go together like long bathroom lines and hanami parties, but at these secret Tokyo spots, you can enjoy the pinkness without getting trampled, even at peak season! Here are my favorite places:
New for 2019!
The Ark Hills development in Roppongi is nothing to write home about…until you see the cherry trees in full bloom on the streets running through it
They’re lovely during the day, but turn into a truly spectacular tunnel o’ pinkness when they’re lit up at night
Best time to go: It’s pretty uncrowded all the time but it’s best when the lanterns are lit at twilight (from 17:00)
Cherry trees bloom like crazy along this little-known canal near Monzen-Nakacho Station. You can get amazing pictures from the bridges that criss-cross the water at easily-walkable intervals!
You can walk all along the water on this lovely (and deserted!) path, lined with paper lanterns.
From 18:00 on, the lanterns are lit, and this becomes the most romantic twilight stroll in town.
The lights stay on until 21:00, so you can enjoy the reflections on the water.
Best time to go: It’s uncrowded all the time (weekend days are busiest), but I like it best when the lanterns are lit at twilight.
ASAKUSA CHERRY TREE PROMENADE
If you’re really lucky, this lovely promenade will have water cascading down the center, but even when it’s dry, it’s a wonderful place to walk and eat your bento.
Look the other way (toward the river) and see Skytree framed by blooming cherry branches.
Best time to go: It’s always uncrowded, but because there are so few nice places to bring a lunch and eat outside in Tokyo, I like to buy take-out somewhere in Asakusa and bring my lunch here to eat it.
This secret garden is hidden right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Senso-ji temple and it’s only open around cherry blossom season, so most people don’t even know it’s there.
You enter the garden by buying a ticket to the museum of giant prayer plaques (also interesting and seldom open). When you emerge out the back, a path leads to this beautiful pond.
There are two famous cherry trees in this garden – you can’t miss them, and they do not disappoint!
If you go early in the morning (it opens at 9:00) you might catch some reflections in the pond before the breeze kicks up.
Best time to go: Early morning is the most uncrowded and serene time to see this garden. If you can get there at 9:00, it will just be you and the most fanatical of cameramen.
SUMIDA RIVER PARK
Hordes of people crowd the walkways along the Sumida River, but they often miss this park when they turn inland on their way to Skytree.
From inside the Mimeguri Shrine, the cherry-shaded walkways beckon.
And, of course, if you want cherry blossom-encrusted shots of the big Skytree thing, this is the place to whip out your camera.
Best time to go: Nice any time of day, less crowded in the mornings. People bring picnic lunches here to eat.
SHINGASHI RIVER in Kawagoe
This town is just a twenty minute express train ride from Shinjuku Station, but the trees lining its little river are really worth seeing, plus it’s got a charming shopping street filled with traditional buildings that sell nice stuff.
And even on the weekends, it’s not crowded
You can even take a little boat ride
And now they’ve started lighting it up at night!
Magical, don’t you think?
If you don’t mind sharing the pink fluffiness with lots of other flower aficionados, there are plenty more spectacular places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo. Here are the best cherry blossom spots in Tokyo.
Who knew the Imperial Palace moat could put on such a jaw-dropping display?
Of course, true cherry blossom warriors know that viewing doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Here are the best places to see cherry blossoms lit up at night.
You can see why the Meguro River is no longer an undiscovered jewel of cherry blossom season, but braving the crowds is worth it when they’re lit up at night!
And here’s where to find the cherry trees in each garden and map links to all the locations
And if you’d like something delectable to read under the cherry blossoms, how about a novel set in Tokyo?
“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.” –Raven Crime Reads
For nine years, Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura thought his mother’s death was an accident. Then he gets a call, and his life begins to unravel. Because if it wasn’t an accident…what was it? Read more