Literally translated as “flower viewing,” the hanami cultural ritual is so much more than just watching the pretty flowers. It’s an experience; a spiritual metaphor for the beautiful but fleeting nature of life; and above all, a chance to get outside and eat, drink and be merry under the cover of beautiful pink and white blossoms.
In the past, we told you about some of the top family-friendly hanami spots in Tokyo, but pretty much wherever you do it, hanami is an activity that appeals to people of all ages, which is one of the things that makes it so great. This year, the Tokyo sakura is expected to be in full bloom between March 24-28, so plan ahead and make your own sakura map along these stunning eight spots where you can see the blooms at their best.
1. Meguro River
This river’s location in a hip residential neighborhood, coupled with the way the trees drape over the water, makes for a stunning walk. Get there from dusk onward to experience the yozakura (night time sakura viewing) lit up by pink and orange lanterns. With 800 trees spread along four kilometers of the river, there are plenty of beautiful blossoms to enjoy viewing under the stars. This is also where the lively Naka Meguro Sakura Festival (April 8), a day dedicated to celebrating spring through live music performances and food stalls, is held. For more information on what you’ll encounter along the river, see this article.
Where: Naka Meguro station, main exit
2. Ueno Park
© Photo by Usodesita
Just steps from Ueno station, this park is filled with some 800 sakura trees, and when the blossoms reach full bloom it’s like …continue reading