The Nakameguro neighborhood is located along the banks of the Meguro River. Each year, the area hosts its annual Sakura Festival and illuminates the cherry blossoms at night. Around 800 cherry blossom (sakura) trees line the river. Unlike the city’s parks, there isn’t much space along the river to lay a blanket down for a hanami picnic, but it’s a lovely place for a walk or a cup of coffee in one of the district’s many cute cafés.
Inokashira Park in Kichijoji is home to an impressive 1,000 sakura trees. This makes it an ideal place to take in the cherry blossoms, especially since the park has plenty of public benches, a few snacks stands, restaurants and other places to sit.
A favorite among Tokyo’s youth because of its proximity to Harajuku and Shibuya, Yoyogi Park is always busy. It becomes even more so during the spring hanami, in large part because it’s so spacious. The enormous trees in the park block the sunlight and prevent much grass from growing, so a waterproof blanket or small tarp for hanami picnics is recommended.
Yoyogi Park, 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 3469 6081
The Chidorigafuchi Moat surrounds the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. During the hanami season, the wait in line to rent the small canoes for paddling the water can be hours long. The picturesque environment combined with the romantic sight of sakura petals falling make this one of the city’s most famous hanami spots.
Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo, Kudanminami, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 5211 4243
This nearly 200-acre park homes 1,700 sakura trees. The spacious grounds and wide variety of sakura attract large crowds eager to enjoy the short-lived pink blooms. The fact that it’s located along the Tama doesn’t hurt its popularity either.
Roppongi Sakurazaka is a small street situated behind Roppongi Hills. It’s best enjoyed at night when the cherry trees are illuminated. Sakurazaka is popular with couples and small groups for a short stroll, but it isn’t suitable for a picnic or hanami party.
During the hanami season, Aoyama Cemetery is the perfect place for a somber stroll. This is because there are hundreds of sakura trees which bloom on either side of a large, cobbled path which winds through the sacred grounds. This well-kept secret is popular with locals who work in the area, who will come here on their lunch break.
Aoyama Cemetery, Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 3401 3652
Ueno Park has some of the largest and loudest hanami parties each year. The park, which was originally part of the Kan’ei-ji Temple, is home to nearly 1,000 sakura trees, including varieties that are among the first to bloom in Tokyo. The trees surround the Shinobazu Pond and the nearby walkway.
Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 3828 5644
Rikugien is a traditional Japanese garden, preserved almost perfectly since the Edo period. During the hanami season, Rikugien stays open late and hosts gorgeous sakura illuminations to enjoy on your walk. They charge a small entrance fee of ¥300 per person.
Rikugien Garden, 6 Chome Honkomagome, Bunkyō-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 3941 2222
Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden
Another garden preserved from the Edo period, Koishikawa is known for its weeping cherry trees and early-blooming varieties. They dot the path, along with water features, bridges and mossy boulders. The garden charges a fee of ¥300 and extends its evening hours past the usual 5PM.
Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden, 1-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 3811 3015