If you want to start your April Travel by experiencing an unforgettable natural event that has been celebrated and admired for centuries, while being surrounded by a unique and lively city, start planning a trip to Tokyo! Where the spring showers have brought lots of cherry blossoms!
As the largest city in Japan, Tokyo has an amazing amount of sights and attractions, delicious and healthy local food, unique city life, and most importantly in April, some of the most beautiful areas of the country where cherry trees will be in bloom. The blooming of pink cherry blossoms in Japan, an event called Hanami, has been a natural phenomenon people travel from the all ends of the world to see every year. As an April traveler in Tokyo, you’ll have one of the best viewing spots to see the amazing Hanami!
A small bridge surrounded by blooming cherry trees
So, what is Hanami?
Hanami is a Japanese festival tradition that has been around for hundreds of years. The stunning pictures of endless pink cherry blossoms it’s easy to understand why. The festival, also known as ‘Sakura’ which translates literally to “cherry blossoms”, is celebrated all over Japan at various time of spring. In early April, Tokyo is often in bloom and as you wander through the various parks and orchards of cherry trees. To celebrate like a local would, pack a picnic and settle under the trees. Eat, drink, and enjoy the beautiful sights! The lively celebrations typical of Tokyo will keep you entertained long after the sun goes down. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see the traditional paper lanterns that are hung up during the festival at night!
Sakura at night over the Meguro River
To make sure you don’t miss the right time of year, it’s important to keep track of the cherry blossom forecast. You’ll be able to find the forecast through various websites. Although accuracy can never be guaranteed very far in advance. It’s safe to assume that there will be some blossoms at the time of your visit if you plan well. Even if forecasts do end up a bit off during your trip, you’ll be at a huge advantage due to your location in Tokyo. Just keep your April Travel plan flexable.
However, there are many different species of cherry trees within Tokyo! All with slightly different blooming times, ensuring the blossoms are present for quite a bit of spring. Secondly, with accessible trains that leave Tokyo and cover the entire country, it will be amazingly simple for you to just book a train to a nearby city that is in full bloom at the time of your visit! With a tree’s blossoms lasting for up to two weeks, you’ll have plenty of time to experience Hanami in Tokyo.
Sakura along a river in Tokyo, Kitanomaru Park at Chiyoda-ku
Photo by Yoshikazu TAKADA | CC BY 2.0
Hanami in Tokyo
Spending some of April in Tokyo and witnessing firsthand the wonders of Hanami will be an experience you’ll never forget. Tokyo has multiple areas filled with hundreds or even thousands of cherry trees. All easily accessible from public transportation within the city. Uenoonshi Park, fondly known as Ueno Park and home to many of Tokyo’s museums, is one of the most popular viewing spots in the heart of the city.
At Ueno Park, you’ll be immersed in the city’s celebration and swept up in crowds of party goers all gathering for one of Tokyo’s best Hanami views. With the grand number of paths and sights within the park you’ll be able to do things like walking along the tree-lined banks of Shinobazuno pond. Make a stop at the beautiful Ueno Toshogu Shrine, before heading back into the park towards the many museums such as the National Museum of Tokyo and the Metropolitan Art Museum. While you plan out your park and museum extravaganza, keep in mind that many of the museums close on Mondays!
Sakura at Ueno Park
A calmer place to see the bright cherry blossom is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. After you hop off the train and stroll over to the garden, you’ll be immersed in stunning views of everything. From traditional Japanese landscapes and gardens, to grand sprawling fields of blooming cherry blossoms. Similar to Ueno park, the Shinjuku Gyoen Garden is home to over 1000 cherry trees of many varieties. Including late blooming trees that will ensure you get a taste of Hanami and Sakura through your entire April visit!
Strolling through Shinjuku park
Seeing sakura and the sights
As such a grand city with nature havens all over the metropolis. Tokyo has countless places for you to see blooming cherry trees. If you time your visit well, it’ll be difficult to walk into any park or garden without seeing some of the beautiful pink blossoms! Sumida Park and Chidorigafuchi Park are two more popular public spaces. People gather to see the cherry blossoms along with some of the most famous attractions in Japan. At Chidorigafuchi Park, you’ll be able to take a boat tour to see the blossoms from the water. A must before strolling back inside the park that is also home to the Imperial Palace! Although you probably won’t run into Akihito, the Emperor of Japan, you’ll still be able to tour the grounds of his main residence.
At Sumida Park, you’ll find yourself along the banks Sumida river. This is close to places like the Asakusa and Mimeguri Shrines. After exploring the shrines and the park, you can head over to the world-famous Tokyo Skytree building. Here you can climb to the top of the skyscraper for an absolutely unforgettable view of Tokyo. Imagine yourself on top of the world’s highest freestanding broadcasting building, while gazing out over Japan’s largest city that’s full of blooming cherry trees!
Women in traditional dress in from of a blooming cherry tree
Head on over to Japan!
With endless opportunities for exploring in Capital of Japan, and an amazing selection of beautiful viewing locations to see the best of Hanami, what are you waiting for! Start planning to fly out to the small island during April,. keep an eye on those cherry blossom forecasts. Then prepare to have the time of your life!
If Japan does not work in to your April Travel plans, check out my other great suggestions.
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