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The Best Place in Tokyo to See Cherry Blossoms Sakura

Want to know the very best place to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo? Read on to find out…

Sakura (cherry blossom) season is nearly upon us and if you are planning a trip to Japan for this bucket list experience, then you are in for a treat!

Toby and I were lucky enough to be in Tokyo just after peak Sakura in 2023 and it was definitely its own unique vibe – a really great one. I don’t think any culture in the world is as into cherry blossoms as the Japanese are so during the short 2-3 week cherry blossom season it seems like everyone is outside enjoying them.

The deep-rooted culture of cherry blossom viewing in Japan goes back centuries and is known as Hanami – translated as flower viewing.  There are street festivals at all the great cherry blossom spots, special foods that you can only get during this magical season, and they even have printed guides with where to view the Tokyo Sakura.

Meguro River sakura at night

During our three nights in Tokyo, we visited three Sakura spots and they were all amazing, but for us, there was one that stood out above the rest: The Meguro River.

The Best Place in Tokyo To See Cherry Blossoms

The Meguro River is 8km/5 miles long and is located in Tokyo’s southeast. The trees were planted in 1927 and it is one of the most popular and beloved spots to see Sakura in Tokyo, and for a very good reason.

There are over 800 Sakura trees planted along the river and it is an incredible experience to see them all in bloom. We arrived at Meguro Station in the early evening so we could see the Sakura in the daylight.

Unfortunately, it was overcast that day but it was still beautiful and there weren’t a lot of other people around during our walk between Meguro Station and Naka-meguro Station. 

The best place to see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo is the Meguro River

As much as we enjoyed our afternoon Sakura river stroll, the real magic happens once the sun goes down.

The section of the river from Naka-meguro Station heading northeast to Ikejiri-ōhashi Station is beautifully lit up at night with lanterns and colorful lights, and it really accentuates the beauty of the cherry blossoms.

There were lots of food and Sakura merch stalls set up along that stretch of the river too, as well as outdoor bars. Once the sun went down it was busy but I enjoyed the festive atmosphere.

The Meguro River is the best place to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo

I highly recommend wearing some good walking shoes and walking the 3km along the river from Meguro Station to Ikejiri-ōhashi Station starting before it gets dark and staying to enjoy the Sakura festival stalls and lights in the evening. There are also some great restaurants along the river you could grab dinner or drinks at.

We actually walked 6km there and back and it is a flat and easy walk. You definitely won’t get bored!

Make sure to try some of the street food – I love the steamed Japanese sweet potatoes, the strawberry and custard mochi, and the candied fruits on a stick – especially the strawberries. 

Hanami in Ueno Park

The Runner-Up Best Place To See Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

The runner-up best place to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo is Chidori-ga-fuchi Moat, part of the Imperial Palace. The best way to experience Sakura here is to walk the 700-meter-long walkway along the moat which has excellent views over the water and you will be surrounded by cherry blossoms.

Tokyo sakura

You can also hire a row boat to view the cherry blossoms from the water but expect a long wait in line. There were a few street food and gift stalls along the moat walking path to get treats and souvenirs.

We visited in the day and it was absolutely gorgeous but you can also visit at night when the trees are lit up.   

One more bonus best place in Tokyo to see cherry blossoms is Ueno Park. This was the most crowded of the three Sakura spots and the most past peak when I went to but it is beautiful, and they have a big range of street food stalls. 

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo

You will also see Sakura dotted around the city which was always a nice surprise. I hope you have an incredible time seeing the cherry blossoms in Tokyo – I know it is something I will always remember.

When To See Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo in 2024

The expected Sakura flowering date in Tokyo for 2024 is March 23rd, with the peak a week later (keep checking the official website for updates). The flowers will mostly be gone within ten days of the peak. It really is such a short season!

We saw the cherry blossoms in Tokyo in 2023 on March 28th and 29th, which was a week after the predicted peak of March 21st. Honestly, it looked pretty close to peak to me at the Meguro River so I don’t think the Sakura forecast is 100% correct.

The best place to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo

Where To Stay in Tokyo

There are sooo many places to stay in Tokyo for all budgets. Toby and I were trying to keep things cheap so we stayed in a Capsule Hotel in Shinjuku. It turned out to be one of my favorite places we stayed during our one month in Japan and I think everyone should experience a capsule hotel in Japan.

We stayed at Rembrandt Cabin Shinjuku Shin Okubo. It was kind of like staying on a futuristic space station. You can pick up pajamas, slippers, and toiletries to use during your stay when you check in. There are men’s and women’s floors and the lockers where you keep your belongings are just outside the large room with the sleeping pods.

If you have a baller budget and want to splurge, consider staying at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. This beautiful luxury hotel was featured heavily in the 2003 movie Lost in Translation and I would love to stay there one day.

Tokyo temple

The Best Insurance For Your Japan Trip

Make sure you get travel and health insurance before your Japan trip. Safety Wing is my go-to and they are cheap and easy to claim with. 

Safety Wing also allows you to sign up when you are already traveling, unlike a lot of other travel insurance providers.

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