Last year I visited Japan during it’s world famous cherry blossom season, also known as “sakura season“. Every year thousands of people from all over the world flock to Japan to see this one of a kind phenomenon. And it’s not just tourists that are intrigued by it’s beauty, the locals can’t get enough of it either! Streets will be buzzing with people and often it can get very crowded and a little overwhelming. That’s why I wanted to write this guide for you on where to see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo in 2020.
Besides the best places to see them I will also include at which time to visit them to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossom season in Tokyo in 2020. By following this guide you’ll have a stress free experience and end with the most amazing photos.
When to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo in 2020
The cherry blossom season in Tokyo usually peaks from late March until early April. When traveling to Japan for sakura season the first week of April is a good time to start your trip!
However, the blooming season depends on a lot of factors such as temperature, wind and rain. Over the past ten years blooming season in Tokyo occurred from 28th of March until the 8th of April. If this is your first trip to Japan you do not want to miss any of these places and definitely check out these cherry blossom locations in Kyoto as well.
In 2020 first blooming in Tokyo will start on 19th of March and full bloom will be on 27th of March (exact dates will be updated)
Where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo in 2020
Tokyo truly is a one of kind city. One moment you’re in a beautiful Japanese garden, the next you’re surrounded by neon lights and Godzilla is looking at you from the distance. The easiest way to get around Tokyo is by public transportation and if you’re staying in Japan for longer than a week I strongly advise you to buy a Japan Rail Pass. This will include almost all of the Subway lines that you’ll take in Tokyo and if one of them isn’t included you simply just pay the difference.
Japan is a pretty expensive country so saving on transportation is a good way to start!
Chidorigafuchi Green Way
The Chidorigafuchi Green Way is one of the most beautiful places in Tokyo to see the cherry blossoms. These picturesque gardens were once part of the Imperial Palace. The best way to admire it’s beauty is to go for a 60 minutes boat ride (1000 YEN) from the Chidorigafuchi boat parking.
The entire moat is lined with over 260 Yoshino trees, which are bend over the water. Due to their height you can easily row underneath them. Besides it being a beautiful location for photography, it is also very romantic.
The boat rental place opens at 9.30am and I do advise you to get in line early since this spot is really popular with the locals and tourists!
The Yoyogi Park is a beautiful and spacious park located close to the Harajuku station and Meji Shrine. The best time to visit is in the early morning to watch the soft light shine through the cherry blossom trees. There will only be a handful of other people there which is a big difference with let’s say a few hours later.
Yoyogi Park is a favourite with the locals. During cherry blossom season they come together and all enjoy a picnic underneath the pink and white trees.
Tokyo Metropolitan Aoyama Park South District
This beautiful street isn’t a famous spot but should definitely be on your radar! It’s only a 2 minute walk from the Nogizaka Station and very quiet in the early morning.
Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho
Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho, also known as the pee alley, is located in Shinjuku. While the cherry blossoms that you see on these photos aren’t actually real, it remains one of the most beautiful streets in Tokyo.
It’s a favourite with the locals and every day they will come here for lunch. The big advantage here is that even if you miss out on some of the more famous cherry blossom locations you’ll still be able to get amazing photos here. If you have the time I strongly advise you to visit this street during the day and in the evening when all of the lights are turned on.
Okay to be fair this street isn’t in Shibuya Station but it’s only 2 minutes walking and your best point of reference! After your arrival go out through the South Exit and turn left. You’ll see the main road and there is a pedestrian bridge for easy crossing. Once you’re on the other side of the road this street is right in front of you.
The cherry blossom streets are on both sides this winding road and make for a beautiful pink landscape in the middle of the modern city. The best time for taking photos is early in the morning. But if this doesn’t fit into your schedule no worries. I took my photos around 5pm and while I had to step aside once in a while to let cars pass by it was still pretty easy to take some cool photos!
The Tokyo Skytree is one of the most iconic landmarks in Tokyo and serves as the perfect backdrop for the cherry blossom trees.
Taito – Ku, Asakusa
This cute street is only 10 minutes walking from Asakusa Station and close to the Senso-ji shrine. While the principle here is the same as in the pee alley it does involve cherry blossoms AND the Tokyo Skytree as it’s background!
The Meguro river is probably one of the most popular places in Tokyo to admire the beautiful cherry blossoms. The entire river is lined like a promenade with pink and white cherry blossom trees on both sides.
In the evening there is a beautiful light show so make sure to stay a little longer after your visit.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the best spots to go cherry blossom watching. It’s more than 5 hectares holds over 1000 cherry blossom trees in all sizes and shapes. This makes it the perfect place to visit during early blossom season and peak season. If you miss the main season of cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen is the best place to catch cherry blossoms in town.
Important to know is that the garden only opens at 9am and closes at 4.30pm.
Click here for all of the best photography locations in Tokyo.
One place in Tokyo that has to be on your list, besides the cherry blossom hunting is teamLab Borderless. It’s not easy to take good photos here so I wrote an entire guide on how to get the best photos here and get the most out of your visit!
Where to stay in Tokyo during cherry blossom season 2020
One of the main reasons that you really want to keep an eye on the cherry blossom forecast is that once it’s out, hotels tend to book out fast! And not just that, prices tend to skyrocket during this season so try to book your hotel at least 2 months from before.
Tokyo holds some of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels but also offers cheaper accommodation in the form of capsule hotels. I will list my favourites in both categories below.
- First Cabin Nishiazabu – I personally stayed here during my trip and really liked it! The showers are clean and every evening you get a set of fresh pyjamas and slippers. Toiletries are from Shisheido and they even have a hairdryer and curling iron at every bathroom stall.
- The Global Hotel Tokyo – Located in Shinjuku with also spacious and comfortable cabins. Perfect if you want to try out a capsule hotel but don’t feel comfortable in enclosed spaces.
- Nine hours Shinjuku-North – The perfect place if you want to experience a true capsule hotel!
- Andaz Tokyo – Wake up and fall a sleep with a spectacular view over the city and the Tokyo Tower.
- Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo – Try to snag the Hello Kitty room!
- The Prince Park Tower Tokyo – Located right next to the Tokyo Tower and offering panoramic views over the entire city.
- The Peninsula Tokyo – The Peninsula Tokyo pampers its guests with a spa centre and a fitness club with a swimming pool and sun loungers, overlooking the Imperial Palace Gardens.
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Charlotte Lint is the founder of Charlies Wanderings.
Charlotte has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice.
She is an expert on writing efficient travel guides and finding unique places to stay.
Every month she helps over 134.000 people discover the most beautiful places in the world through her detailed travel guides.