Sunday, February 9, 2014

5 Favorite Places for Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

Spring is coming again! (You wouldn't know it with the freezing weather and SNOW we've been getting recently in Tokyo!) While February is still one of the coldest times of the year, cherry blossom season is just around the corner. Today, I would like to continue with my photography location recommendation series and share with you a few of my favorite places for viewing cherry blossoms in Tokyo. All photos below are taken by me from cherry blossom season in previous years.

1. Koishikawa Korakuen

Start off the blossom season early at this beautiful traditional Japanese-style park near Iidabashi station, where plum blossoms (in the photo I took above) begin to bloom as early as late February/early March. Cherry blossoms start to appear later in March, and are just as beautiful there. The park is a quieter alternative to some of the other major spots in Tokyo.

2. Chidorigafuchi

Near Kudanshita station, this gorgeous hilly area is covered with cherry blossom trees, and you can even rent a small boat to row amongst them. (Be careful during the peak blossom season, as the waiting line can be 1-2 hours long.) At night, this area is lit up beautifully and usually a festival is going on, with plenty of food stands and delicious smells to enjoy while admiring the blossoms.

3. Ueno Park

One of the most popular destinations in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing, you can find many people picnicking under the trees in this park during peak season. There is also a lively festival with many food stands, and beautiful traditional views such as in the photo I took above. For those who enjoy the energy and crowds, Ueno Park is a great place to visit.

4. Hama-Rikyu Gardens

Near Shimbashi and Shiodome stations, Hama-Rikyu provides another more peaceful alternative to the crowded parks. There is a variety of landscapes to admire as you stroll through the spacious gardens, with wide-open grassy fields and forested areas as well.

5. Shinjuku Gyoen

I've probably been to this park this most for cherry blossom season, but I never get tired of it. The views of blossoms are spectacular, with some of the largest and densely packed trees in Tokyo. Highly recommended for those who are visiting Tokyo for the first time!

This has been just a brief overview of some of my favorite cherry blossom viewing locations in Tokyo, but if you'd like to know more details or are planning a visit, don't hesitate to contact me :)