Experiencing Hanami in Tokyo: A Guide for Visitors 2024

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Hanami, the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing, is an enchanting experience that heralds the arrival of spring.

As the cherry blossoms, or “sakura,” begin to bloom, Tokyo transforms into a picturesque canvas of pink and white.

This guide offers insights into the best spots for Hanami, tips for enjoying the season, and the delightful cuisine that complements this cultural event.

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Top Hanami Spots in Tokyo


Chidorigafuchi is a renowned cherry blossom viewing spot located in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo, near the northwest side of the Imperial Palace.

It’s especially famous during the spring sakura season when the cherry blossoms beautifully reflect on the water surface, attracting tourists and locals alike.

Features of Chidorigafuchi

  • Cherry Blossom Tunnel: Around 260 cherry trees are planted around Chidorigafuchi, creating a stunning tunnel of blossoms when in full bloom. The evening illumination adds a magical touch, captivating all who visit.
  • Historical Surroundings: Nearby historical landmarks, including the British Embassy and Yasukuni Shrine, provide an opportunity to combine cherry blossom viewing with a deeper exploration of Japan’s history and culture.

Other Places for Ohanami

  1. Ueno Onshi Park: One of Tokyo’s most iconic Hanami locations, Ueno Park boasts around 1,000 cherry trees. The park is lively both day and night, with some trees beautifully illuminated after sunset.
  2. Sumida Park: Situated along the Sumida River, this park offers a spectacular “tunnel” of cherry blossoms. The evening illumination here creates a magical atmosphere, perfect for photography enthusiasts.
  3. Shinjuku Gyoen: Known for its wide variety of cherry trees, Shinjuku Gyoen allows visitors to enjoy blossoms from early to late spring. The expansive grounds make it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll amidst the blooms.
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Tips for Enjoying Hanami

  • Check the Bloom Schedule: Cherry blossom peak bloom varies each year, typically occurring from late March to early April in Tokyo. Keep an eye on current bloom forecasts to plan your visit.
  • Secure Your Spot Early: Popular spots can get crowded, especially on weekends. Arrive early to claim a good viewing spot, particularly if you’re planning a picnic.
  • Be Mindful of Etiquette: Respect park rules, clean up after yourself, and be considerate of noise levels to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone.
  • What to Bring: A picnic sheet, food, and beverages are essentials. Note that some parks may have restrictions on alcohol consumption, so it’s wise to verify beforehand.
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Culinary Delights for Hanami

Hanami is as much about the food as it is about the cherry blossoms. Here are some popular choices for a Hanami picnic:

  • Bento Boxes: Colorful and varied, bento boxes are a staple of Hanami picnics. Sakura-themed dishes, like Sakura rice and dishes adorned with cherry blossom petals, add a festive touch.
  • Onigiri: Cherry blossom onigiri, seasoned with pickled sakura leaves or flowers, is a simple yet symbolic treat for the occasion.
  • Traditional Japanese Snacks: Takoyaki, yakitori, and seasonal vegetable dishes are perfect for sharing and enjoying under the cherry blossoms.
  • Sushi: Sushi rolls featuring spring-themed ingredients make for a visually appealing and delicious picnic addition.
  • Japanese Sweets: Sakura mochi and other wagashi (Japanese sweets) flavored with cherry blossoms encapsulate the spirit of the season.
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Hanami in Tokyo is an experience that combines natural beauty, cultural practices, and culinary delights.

By visiting the recommended spots and following these tips, you can immerse yourself in this captivating Japanese tradition.

Embrace the season by indulging in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Hanami, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


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