Cherry Blossom Festivals Tokyo 2017

First Sakura or cherry blossom unfolded its bud and came into blossom on 21 March in Tokyo this year 2017.
It became full bloom on around 5 April.
I visited most popular Saura viewing spots and Sakura festivals in Tokyo between 2 April and 5 April.
It was still not like in full bloom but was very beautiful.
I’ll introduce each spots with pictures I took.

Asakusa and Sumida River

Sumida River in Asakusa is a famous cherry blossom spot.
You can see cherry blossoms along the Sumida River.

Cherry Blossom of Asakusa and Sumida River

Weeping cherry is beautiful.

Weeping Cherry Tree of Asakusa and Sumida River

If you are tired, you can take a rest here in Tully’s Coffee.
Although the cafe was full of people inside in this season.

Tully's Coffee with Cherry Blossom

Here is next to Senso-ji Temple.
It is about a 5 minutes’ walk from Sumida River.

Cherry Blossom in Senso-ji Temple

It was not that crowded in Senso-ji Temple as today was weekday.

Senso-ji Temple

Here you can see Sky Tree, too!

Cherry Blossom with Sky Tree in the background

I bought Deep-fried manju.
Manju is a traditional Japanese sweet.
It is a bun stuffed with adzuki-bean paste.
I bought Matcha (Green Tea) flavor.
Tastes good, it is recommended sweet here!

Deep-fried Manju

Sumida River (Sumida Park)
Address : 1-2-5 Mukoujima, Sumida, Tokyo
Station : Asakusa
Period of Festival : March 19 – April 8 (2017)
Website : http://visit-sumida.jp/english/

Ueno Park

Ueno Park is one of the most popular spots for cherry blossom.
About 800 cherry trees welcome you there.
I heard the popularity of cherry blossom in Ueno Park for tourists from overseas has been increasing year by year.
And it was true as there were many people from overseas as well as Japanese people.
But I thought why.
And I understood the reason as here in Ueno Park, what you can enjoy is not only Sakura but other things, too.
There are Hanazono Inari Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, Kannei-ji Temple, Five-Story Pagoda, pond, etc.
There are also traditional Japanese food stalls that sell Yakisoba (Japanese Fried Noodle), Okonomiyaki (Japanese Style Pancake), Takoyaki (Octopus Balls), etc in this season.
You can enjoy not only Cherry blossom but also Japanese culture here.

Ueno Park

What you mainly see for cherry tree in Japan is Somei Yoshino.
That’s the most famous and standard type of cherry tree with a pale pinkish color.
But this cherry blossom is not a pale pink but dark pink.
Looks like another type!

Cherry Blossom in Ueno Park

Weeping cherry tree in front of temple.
This was still in bud or just started to bloom but very beautiful.

Weeping Cherry Tree

Good weather!!

Cherry Blossom in Ueno PArk

This is another temple.
Pine tree, Sakura tree in front of temple.

Temple with Cherry Blossom

This is Torii Shrine Gate of Hanazono Inari Shrine.

Torii Shrine Gate in Ueno Park

After walking past under these shrine gates, you can see lines of Japanese food stalls along the path.
Many people were enjoying alcoholic drink and food on the table in front of food stalls.

Fodd Stalls in Ueno Park

If you look up, you can see Five-Story Pagoda in Kanei-ji Temple.

Five-Story Pagoda in Kanei-ji Temple

Five-Story Pagoda in Kanei-ji Temple

There are restaurants where you can enjoy Japanese cuisine.
But actually it is expensive still you can enjoy great dish here.

Restaurant with Cherry Blossom

Weeping cherry tree in front of restaurant is beautiful.

Weeping Sakura Tree in front of Restaurant

I recommend you to hang around inside park as well as just sitting or standing on a certain spot as there are a lot of things to see.

Ueno Park
Address : 5-20 Uenokouen, Taito, Tokyo
Station : Ueno
Period of Festival : March 18 – April 9 (2017)
Website (Japanese) : http://www.ueno.or.jp/

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

This is one of my favorite parks and I like it very much as it entertains me in various colors in each seasons.
Especially it is beautiful in Autumn and Spring with its flowers and leaves.
But I was surprised at the long line of people for buying ticket.
This is National Garden that you have to pay about 2 dollars.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Anyway once you go inside, it is really big park that you can relax.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

There are ponds inside.
Beautiful scenery with cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blossom with a Pond

Cherry Blossom with a Pond

Green is also beautiful!

Green in Shinjuku Gyoen

Another pond!

Cherry Blossom with a Pond

Do you know anime movie “The Garden of Words”?
It is an anime movie of Makoto Shinkai who made a big hit anime movie “Your Name” in 2016.
And the set of “The Garden of Words” is this park Shinjuku Gyoen.
You understand this pond if you watched it as it often appears in the movie as a main scene.

Pond of The Garden of Words

There are restaurants, shop, etc that you can have lunch if you are hungry or want to take a rest.

Restaurant and Shop

It is really big park and many people were relaxing on the ground.
I also recommend you to come here in Autumn as it is beautiful with different face.

Shinjuku Gyoen
Address : 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Station : Shinjuku, Shinjuku Sancyoume
Period of Festival : No festival held but you can enjoy cherry blossom in Sakura season here
Website (Japanese) : http://fng.or.jp/shinjuku/

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park is close to Harajuku station.
It is about a 5 minutes’ walk from the station.
It is a big park like Shinjuku Gyoen and you can go inside for free.
I myself often held cherry blossom viewing party here in the past.
I especially saw many young people here.

Yoyogi Park

This is a big park that if you want to enjoy in a quiet situation I recommend you to go further like this place.

Cherry Blossom in Yoyogi Park

If you come to the central, there is a big space.
People were enjoying sports such as throwing a Frisbee.

Center of Yoyogi Park

Canola flower is also in season.

Canola flower

There is a fountain in pond, too.

Fountain in the Pond

Fountain in the Pond

How about visiting the Meiji Shrine with Sakura as it is inside Yoyogi Park.
Takeshita Street near Harajuku station is also recommended if you want to know the subculture.

Yoyogi Park
Address : 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Station : Harajuku, Meijijingu-Mae
Period of Festival : No Sakura festival held but you can enjoy cherry blossom in Sakura season here
Website (Japanese) : https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index039.html

Chidorigafuchi

This is really recommended spot if you watch cherry blossom in Tokyo and I was attracted to the beauty of it when I first visited here for Sakura last year.
You can walk around the Imperial Palace moats and enjoy beautiful cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blosssom in Chidorigafuchi

Cherry Blosssom in Chidorigafuchi

Entrance Gate.

Entrance Gate

You can go boating on the river.

Boating on the River

Boating on the River

There was a temporary shop along the street that sell Sakura food and goods.
I wanted to try Sakura Dorayaki.
Dorayaki is the favorite of Doraemon.

Temporary shop along the street

Surprising!
Touken Ranbu!
Looks like you can get original pin of Touken Ranbu if you could get more than 3 stamps at some shrines around here such as Yasukuni Shrine, Hie Shrine, Kanda Shrine, etc.

Touken Ranbu

I visited Yasukuni Shrine after here and came back again to see the night view.
This is most crowded but recommended spot if you come here.
You can see beautiful cherry blossoms at both sides of the river with Tokyo Tower in the background.

cherry blossoms at both sides of the river with Tokyo Tower in the background

cherry blossoms at both sides of the river with Tokyo Tower in the background

If you go straight along the street you can see the cherry‐tree‐lined path on your left.
This place is also very crowded but you can enjoy fantastic view of Sakura when you look up.

Cherry Blossom in Chidorigafuchi

Cherry Blossom in Chidorigafuchi

Chidorigafuchi
Address : Kudanminami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Station : Kudanshita, Hanzomon
Period of Festival : March 28 – April 9 (2017)
Website (Japanese) : http://www.kanko-chiyoda.jp/tabid/1116/default.aspx

Yasukuni Shrine

Here you can enjoy 500 of cherry blossom trees.
Every hear traditional clasical stage art Noh is held in this season.
The dance Yozakura Noh is worth watching but you need to buy the ticket in advance.
Hounou Zumo or dedicatory wrestling matches is also held by 200 Sumo wrestlers in total in around middle of April.
You can watch it for free.

Yasukuni Shrine

There is a place to enjoy food at good price.
Here Yasukuni Shrine, many businessman come together and enjoy alcoholic drinks with cherry blossoms.

Yasukuni Shrine

There were Japanese lanterns that say Sakura festival at the entrance.

Japanese Lanterns at the entrance of Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine
Address : 3 Chome-1-1 Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Station : Kudanshita, Ichigaya, Iidabashi
Period of Festival : March 28 – April 9 (2017)
Website (Japanese) : http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/news_detail.php?article_id=0099

Meguro River

Meguro River has 800 cherry blossom trees along the river.
The trees stretch about 8 km and the scene is like a tunnel of cherry blossoms when they are in full bloom.
Japanese lanterns are also beautiful, aren’t they.

Cherry Blossoms along the Meguro River

Cherry Blossoms along the Meguro River

Cherry Blossoms along the Meguro River

What I took was just a part as they were still not in full bloom when I visited.
Still I could enjoy the atmosphere.

Meguro River
Address : 3 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Station : Ikejiriohashi, Nakameguro, Meguro
Period of Festival : April 1 – April 2 (2017)
Website (Japanese) : https://meguro-kanko.or.jp/

Rikugien

This Rikugien is famous for its weeping cherry tree.
The size of it is really big.
The height is 17 meters and the width is 13 meters.
It’s so beautiful when it is illuminated at night.

Cherry Blossom in Rikugien

Cherry Blossom in Rikugien

Cherry Blossom in Rikugien

Japanese garden at night is also great view.

Japanese Garden in Cherry Blossom in Rikugien

Japanese Garden in Cherry Blossom in Rikugien

There is another weeping cherry tree if you go father.
This cherry tree is also very beautiful.

Weeping Cherry Tree in Rikugien

Weeping Cherry Tree in Rikugien

There is a small shop where you can buy goods or have food.

Small Shop in Rikugien

If you like weeping cherry tree, this is must-spot to visit and I myself really like this weeping cherry tree!

Rikugien
Address : 6 Chome-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo, Tokyo
Station : Komagome
Period of Festival :No festival held but illumination period of Sakura at night is between 16 March and 6 April in 2017
Website : http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/rikugien/index.html

Summary

Actually I think the time I visited was just before full bloom.
Still I could feel beauty just before in full bloom or after in full bloom as well as in condition of full bloom.
I might say it is a beauty of imperfection before it becomes in full bloom and a beauty of transience when it finishes its short period of full bloom.
Although I always concentrated on talk, drink and food when I came together with friends, haha.
Enjoying Sakura itself as much as you can might be a privilege when one is solo!




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