Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo

Nakameguro hanami
Nakameguro hanami night Early April is when Tokyo turns into a fury of pink! You can google 桜見頃 / 開花状況 to check the current stage of the blossoms. Here are some of my favs, in order!

Meguro River 目黒川, as incredibly crowded as it is amazingly beautiful! Think inching from the station with people pressed up against you like on a rush hour train. Lots of food and drink stalls. Hands-down, the best of the best hanami. It's lit up at night although I think it's actually nicer during the day. It blew my mind the first time I saw it. 4 km of 800 cherry blossom trees, but who's counting!

Shinjuku Gyoen hanami
Shinjuku Gyoen sakura Although Shinjuku Gyoen 新宿御苑 costs 200 yen to get in and there might be a bit of a line for security to check your bags for alcoholic drinks, it is ginormous!! Unlike what you might have seen in Kimi no Na wa 君の名は's creator Makoto Shinkai's the Garden of Words 言の葉の庭, you can't actually drink here - there's actually a disclaimer at the end of that movie. Even though lots of people come here, it's so huge that they are kind of spread out. Unlike at Meguro River, there are lots of different varieties of cherry blossom trees so you get more than one shade of pink, against different backdrops. Some spots inside are like a total dreamland! Bring a picnic mat and some food for a chillaxing afternoon under the pale pink glory of 1100 cherry blossom trees.

Ueno Park cherry blossom
Ueno Park cherry blossom night Day or night, Ueno Park 上野公園's 1200 cherry blossom trees all over the park should put a smile on your face! Crowded? Yes, but not as bad as Meguro River. I'm not quite sure how people secure spots here but there are blue tarps everywhere with people partying it up. There are also plenty of street vendors here selling delicious things.

Chidorigafuchi cherry blossom
Chidorigafuchi 千鳥ヶ淵 has 170 trees lining the moat of the Imeperial Palace, with people rowing cute little boats. You can walk to Yasukuni Shrine 靖國神社 which has 500 cherry blossom tress plus loads of food stalls with tables and chairs. Although I felt weird coming here since it seems to be such a controversial place in the news, I think for most Japanese people, this is just a nice place for hanami. Chidorigafuchi hanami

Roppongi cherry blossom
In Roppongi, you can see cherry blossom trees in Mori Garden as well as behind Tokyo Midtown 東京ミッドタウン. Definitely not as impressive as the others, but still nice in the middle of the city. There are restaurants at Tokyo Midtown 東京ミッドタウン where you can sit outside with a good view of the cherry blossom trees. Mori Garden cherry blossom
Mori Garden
Tokyo Midtown cherry blossom
behind Tokyo Midtown

Skytree sakura
For a shot of Skytree plus sakura, go to Sumida Park in Asakusa where many tourists rent yukatas for around 3000-yen and ride jinrikisha while enjoying the spring scenery!
sumida park sakura kimono rental Sumida Park sakura

Shinagawa Prince Hotel cherry blossom Shinagawa Prince Hotel hanami Shinagawa Prince Hotel has a really nice garden that's pretty during the day and beautiful at night.

Jiyugaoka 自由が丘 also has a few trees lining the streets and restaurants along the road. Neither are considered popular cherry blossom viewing spots so they are both not too crowded.
On the other hand, I thought Koishikawa Korakuen 小石川後楽園 by Tokyo Dome didn't have quite as many cherry blossom trees as I expected. It’s a nice enough garden with quite a few different areas, but with just 30 something cherry blossom trees, I wouldn’t say it’s the prime spot for cherry blossom viewing. On the plus side, it is considerably less crowded than other hanami spots.

I was also a little disappointed by another famous spot, Rikugien 六義園. I read somewhere that this garden is ranked 5th in Japan and 3rd in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing popularity. We went around 6 and it was quite crowded but not too bad.
Jiyugaoka cherry blossom
Rikugien lightup

Most of the garden was pretty dark, except for some dim lights. Even though the Internet says it has about 40 cherry blossom trees, only the 2 main ones were lit up (1 of them is what you see in all the posters/online photos). They are very big as they’re quite old and just spectacular! You can’t quite see the other cherry blossom trees though because they're not lit up. The garden is nice enough, but part of it was blocked off. Overall, the 2 giant weeping cherry blossom trees were obviously the highlight and totally worth seeing, but other than that, just a pleasant garden, beautiful but nothing overly special.

Showa Memorial Park sakura A bit farther away, Showa Memorial Park 昭和記念公園 is a short walk from Tachikawa Station 立川駅, 410 yen to enter. It's a huge space with ponds, grassy lawns, 1500 sakura trees, and plenty of other flowers like a large variety of tulips and rapeseed flowers that also bloom around the same time around mid April.

                minato mirai hanami
                         To avoid crowds, why not try Yokohama!