The beautiful cherry blossom season is approaching in Japan (see the latest update on our sakura forecast 2023). We’re sure many of you are excited to see the stunning pink flowers and do hanami (cherry blossom viewing party) under the beautiful cherry blossom trees in full bloom. It’s better to avoid the crowded popular spots in Tokyo, and is always more peaceful enjoying the blossoms in quieter less crowded places. But not to worry, there are some hidden places where you can enjoy viewing cherry blossoms peacefully without worrying about big crowds. In this article, we will cover the hidden and secret less crowded cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo!
- 1. Kinuta Park
- 2. Musashiseki Park
- 3. Zenpukuji River
- 4. Oyoko River
- 5. Kanda River (Omokage Bridge)
- 6. Asukayama
- 7. Nogawa River
- 8. Kinshi Park
- 9. Kunitachi Station (Daigaku Dori & Sakura Dori)
- 10. Korakuji
- 11. Yanaka Cemetary
- 12. Tama River
- Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo
- Other spring articles
1. Kinuta Park
Kinuta Park is a huge former golf course that dates back to 1957, and is located in Setagaya Ward. Because it is a 20-minute walk from Yoga Station and fairly off the beaten path, the park is typically only popular among the people living in the neighborhood, making it a great spot to enjoy cherry blossoms. Another reason is that there are several types of sakura trees located at the park ensuring a longer sakura viewing period. The park has enough space for visitors to lay down a tarp on the ground and have a small picnic. There are two small bakery shops and one of them sells the local specialty called Kinuta Yaki; 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 Naïve Art including work by Henri Rousseau as well as Japanese local artists. After enjoying some cherry blossom viewing, why not check out the art museum surrounded by beautiful nature as well.
Location: Kinuta Park
2. Musashiseki Park
A short train ride away from Nakano, the forest surrounding Musashiseki Park has a big pond shaped like a gourd, which allows you to admire the cherry blossom trees from a boat (¥200/30 min). The 100-year-old park is a 10-minute walk from Higashi-Fushimi Station. The serene park houses a playground and is a good place for running since there are not so many people around.
Location: Musashiseki Park
3. Zenpukuji River
During spring, about 400 stunning cherry blossom trees are blooming alongside the Zenpukuji River. You can walk from Minami Asagaya Station for about 10 minutes or get off the bus at Zenpukujigawa Ryokuchi Koen Mae Stop. (Kanto Bus runs between JR Nakano Station and Kichijoji Station).
Location: Zenpukuji River
4. Oyoko River
Hop on the train to Monzen-Nakacho Station, where you will find Oyoko River, a cherry-blossom tree-lined river that flows from Sumida Ward to Koto Ward. Only during the springtime, traditional boats run on the river which will take you back in time to the Edo period! Usually, paper lanterns are displayed alongside the river as well, illuminating the area in the evening. You can see the early-blooming cherry blossoms such as Kawazu-sakura along the river with the view of the Tokyo Skytree from the end of January to the end of February.
Location: Oyoko River
5. Kanda River (Omokage Bridge)
In spring a long Sakura tunnel will appear along the Kanda River, a long river that stretches about 25 km from Inokashira Park to Sumida River. The recommended walking route to enjoy cherry blossom viewing starts from Edogawabashi Station and continues on towards Omokage Bridge. This area used to be home to many dyeing manufacturers and developed a dyeing industry thanks to the clean water supply from the Kanda River. Tokyo Some Monogatari Museum offers a dyeing experience and the opportunity to learn about the kimono culture as well as traditional dyeing techniques. The modern-styled dyeing items will be available at the museum shop.
Location: Kanda River
Located near Oji Station in the north end of Tokyo, Asukayama Park has about 600 cherry blossom trees on site. A ropeway runs from the bottom of the park to the top of the hill (free of charge). This park has been loved by locals for centuries, ever since the 8th Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune planted sakura trees here and made the park accessible to the public for cherry blossom viewing during the Edo period. Paper lanterns are hung on the trees, illuminating the blossoming sakura which allows visitors to enjoy cherry blossoms at night as well.
7. Nogawa River
Close to Shibasaki and Tsutsujigaoka Station, Nogawa River runs through a quiet neighborhood of Chofu City. In spring, people enjoy walking alongside the river with a view of the beautiful cherry blossom tunnels and pretty canola flowers which create a pleasing yellow carpet. Even though it’s only 30 minutes away from the bustling Shinjuku, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature while listening to the soothing sound of the flowing river at this peaceful place.
Location: Nogawa River
8. Kinshi Park
Near Kinshicho Station, Kinshi Park is a small park located in the center of the city. You can take some good pictures with cherry blossom trees and the Tokyo Skytree in the background. It has been a hidden spot only known to the locals for quite some time now, but lately, it’s gaining more attention and many people visit the park after shopping in the area near Kinshicho Station.
Location: Kinshi Park
9. Kunitachi Station (Daigaku Dori & Sakura Dori)
There are two great cherry blossom viewing spots located close to Kunitachi Station. One of them 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 back in 1934. A little further up the road is Sakura Dori (Sakura Street), where 209 cherry blossom trees were planted in 1967 for locals and visitors alike to view.
Location: Kunitachi Station
Korakuji is a temple that was built in 1533 in Hachioji City. On the temple grounds, you can see a 200-year-old weeping cherry blossom tree! It typically blooms from the end of March until the end of April. It’s called the Sakura Princess because its lovely appearance is said to look like a princess wearing a Japanese woven hat when it is in full bloom. It’s a 15-minute walk from Takao Station.
11. Yanaka Cemetary
Yanaka is located in Taito City of Tokyo and is well known for Yanaka Ginza and it’s popular shopping street with lots of different street food. However, not too many people know about the cemetary in the area that prospers with beautiful cherry blossoms come spring. It is a very peaceful and quiet spot where you can appreciate the blossoms without having to worry about the massive crowds of people. It can be fun to make a day out of your trip to this area and admire the pink blossoms and then head over to get some delicious street food.
Location: Yanaka Cemetary
12. Tama River
Tama River is a river that runs through Yamanashi, Kanagawa, and Tokyo. Although it is a bit out of the way and in the outskirts of Tokyo, it’s a wonderful place to see cherry blossoms without the hustle and bustle. There is a 2-3km stretch of the river in Fussa that boasts over 500 trees that you can walk under. It makes for a beautiful and calm atmosphere with the river running and the pink blossoms blowing in the wind.
Location: Tama River Fussa
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We hope you are able to check out some of these hidden and less crowded cherry blossom viewing spots in the Tokyo area this year!
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