When To Visit Tokyo For Cherry Blossom Season
With Japan’s world-famous cherry blossom season fast approaching, Japan’s Meteorological Corporation has released – as they do every year – the first national cherry blossom forecast. Yes, that’s a thing. A forecast that predicts when the first cherry blossom buds will begin to open across the country. It may seem strange to you and I, but cherry blossom season is kind of a big deal in the east. More tourists visit Japan during this time than any other time of year, so now is the time to make those all-important travel plans, as the best hotels in Tokyo start to fill up. If you’re Tokyo-bound for a glimpse of blossoming beauty this year, here’s how to make the most of your trip.
According to the Japan’s Meteorological Corporation, the first buds are due to open in Tokyo on March the 22nd and will be at their peak on March the 30th, four days earlier than last year. To play it safe, visit as close to the peak as possible, but be aware that this golden period is likely to result in many more tourists in tow. If you’re unfortunate enough to miss the bloom, head to the likes of Osaka, Fukuoka or Nagoya where the first blossom is scheduled for slightly later.
Even though Tokyo is a bustling metropolis, there are plenty of places to catch a glimpse of the sakura tree in beautiful natural surroundings. Here are a few of the best spots:
Tokyo is brimming with rural refuges. Spanning 133 acres, Ueno Park boasts a party-like vibe and is home to over 1,000 sakura trees. One of the busiest sakura viewing spots, what it lacks in breathing space it more than makes up for in photogenic qualities. For less shoulder barging and a more relaxed vibe, head to the lesser known Koishikawa Korakuen Garden. Founded in 1629, this is one of Tokyo’s oldest traditional gardens. The entrance fee and limited opening hours naturally keep crowds under control.
#2 Historic Sites
When the sakura is in full bloom, it’s easy to see why Chidorigafuchi Moat is perhaps the most famous spot in all of Tokyo from which to witness the joys of cherry blossom season. Hundreds of trees envelope the moat, where loved up couples can hire boats and cruise the waters to take in the sites. Expect to wait for hours to board your watery chariot.
Naturally, cherry blossom trees were planted along riverbanks hundreds of years ago, the spectacular results of which can be enjoyed today by the thousands of tourists who make the journey east. Take an evening stroll along Meguro River, clad with vibrant pink from the 800 or so sakura trees that line it.
It’s tradition for Japanese families to set up camp for the day and hold a hanami party underneath a cherry blossom tree. Whilst in town, get involved. Head to a supermarket en route and pick up a special hanami bento box to fit right in with the locals.
Where To Stay
Accommodation during this period is likely to be snapped up quickly, so be prepared to book early and if not, pay bumped up prices. For an experience like no other, book into Palace Hotel Tokyo, where the Imperial Palace Gardens can be viewed from a handful of rooms.
Have you visited Tokyo? Have you seen the Cherry Blossom of Japan? We would love to hear your suggestions on the best place to see this wonder.
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