Cherry blossom season is getting closer in Japan (See the latest update on our sakura forecast 2021). Many of you are excited to see them and looking forward to having Hanami (cherry blossom viewing party) under the beautiful cherry blossom trees, but this year, again, might be a different situation. It’s better to avoid the crowded popular spots in Tokyo, and probably having a big Hanami party is not a good idea at all. But don’t worry, there are some hidden places where you can enjoy cherry blossoms peacefully without worrying about social distancing. In this article, we cover the hidden and secret cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo.
The former golf park became this huge park in 1957, which is located in Setagaya Ward. 20 minutes walk from Yoga Station, it’s only popular among neighbors and that makes it the best spot to enjoy cherry blossom trees! There are enough spaces to lay down a tarp on the ground and have a small picnic for visitors. There are two small bakery shops and one of them sells the local specialty called Kinuta Yaki, which is a Japanese pancake filled with sweet red beans/custard cream with a cute Tanuki raccoon stamp on top.
In addition, Setagaya Art Museum is located at the park, their permanent collections feature some Naive Art including Henri Rousseau as well as Japanese local artists. After enjoying cherry blossom viewing, visit the art museum surrounded by beautiful nature.
There is a big pond shaped like a gourd at the park, which allows you to watch cherry blossom trees on the boat! (200 yen/30 minutes) It’s 10 minutes walk from Higashi-Fushimi Station. It’s also a good place for running since there are not so many people around.
Zenpukujigawa Park is a quiet park along the Zenpukuji River. During spring, about 400 cherry blossoms are blooming stunningly alongside the river. You can walk from Minami Asagaya Station for 10 minutes or get off the bus at Zenpukujigawa Ryokuchi Koen Mae Stop. (Kanto Bus runs between JR Nakano Station and Kichijoji Station)
Get off a train at Monzen-Nakacho Station, Oyoko River is a river that flows through Sumida Ward to Koto Ward. Only in spring, traditional boats are running on the river which will take you back in time to the Edo period! Usually paper lanterns will be displayed alongside the river and will be illuminated in the evening. You can also see early-blooming cherry blossoms such as Kozu-zakura along the river with the sight of Tokyo Skytree in the end of January to the end of February.
5.Kanda River (Omokage Bridge)
A long Sakura tunnel will appear along Kanda River, which is the long river which stretches about 25 km from Inokashira Park to Sumida River. Recommended walking route to enjoy cherry blossom viewing is starting from Edogawabashi Station and walking toward Omokage Bridge. This area used to be home to many dyeing manufactures and developed a dyeing industry thanks to clean water from the Kanda River. Tokyo Some Monogatari Museum offers a dyeing experience and opportunities to learn kimono culture and traditional dyeing techniques. The modern styled dyeing items will be available at the museum shop.
Located near Oji Station, Asukayama Park has about 600 cherry blossom trees at the site. Ropeway is running between the short distance from the bottom of the park to the top of the hill (free of charge). It’s been loved by locals since when the 8th Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune planted sakura trees and opened to the public for cherry blossom viewing during the Edo period. Paper lanterns are hanging among the trees which allows visitors to enjoy cherry blossoms at night.
Close to Shibasaki and Tsutsujigaoka Station, Nogawa runs through a quiet neighborhood of Chofu City. In spring, people enjoy walking alongside the river with a view of the beautiful cherry blossom tunnel and pretty canola flowers which create a pleasing yellow carpet. Even though it’s only 30 minutes away from Shinjuku, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while listening to the soothing sound of the flowing river.
Near Kinshicho Station, Kinshi Park is a small park located in the center of the city. You can take a picture with cherry blossom trees and Tokyo Skytree together. It’s been a hidden spot where only locals know, but lately it’s a little bit getting popular and many people visit the park after shopping around Kinshicho Station.
9.Kunitachi Station (Daigaku Dori & Sakura Dori)
Two cherry blossom viewing spots are located near Kunitachi Station, one is Daigakudori (University Street) which stretches south from the South Exit of the station. Local people planted about 340 cherry blossom trees alongside the road in 1934. And a little further up the road is Sakura Dori (Sakura Street), where 209 cherry blossom trees were planted in 1967.
Korakuji is a temple built in 1533 in Hachioji City, you can see a 200 years old weeping cherry blossom tree. It blooms in the end of March to the end of April. It’s called Sakura Princess because its lovely appearance looks like a princess wearing a Japanese woven hat when it fully blooms. You can walk there from Takao Station.
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