Cherry Blossom Hot Spots

Cherry Blossom Hot Spots

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This weeks Cherry Blossom park review is Showa Kinen Park.
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Located in the western suburbs of Tokyo, Showa Kinen Koen (Showa Memorial Park) is one of Tokyo’s largest public parks. The different areas of the park are spread out across the expansive grounds and are connected by paved trails which are fun to explore by rental bicycle (400 yen/3 hours). Showa Kinen Koen has about 1500 cherry trees, which usually bloom a few days later than those around central Tokyo making it an ideal spot for those that missed out on Ohanami this past weekend.

This park provides an array of fun activities and in addition to the abundance of Cherry Blossom trees there are also boats, BBQ areas, petanque, croquet, and lawn bowls all available for a small fee. A great park to visit both now and all year round.

Baby changing facilities and baby buggies for hire make this park an easy sell for families with young and not so young children alike.
While it might take a little longer to reach this park, the sheer size and abundance of activities make it well worth the trip.
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For further info on park times, prices and access instructions please visit their English website:
http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/english/info/

This weeks Cherry Blossom park review is Sumida Park, a very old and traditional Cheery Blossom viewing hotspot.
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Sumida Park has been voted one of the best 100 Sakura Spots in Japan located right next to the Sumida River. This is no small feat when you think of the 1000s of parks throughout Japan with Cheery Blossom trees.

Sumida Park between the Azumabashi and Sakurabashi bridges is a great place to have a Hanami Cherry Blossom viewing party. There are about 1000 Sakura planted along this riverside park. These Sakura make a beautiful flower tunnel during the Hanami period which is between the end of March to the middle of April.

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If you are a little adventurous then the many Yatai (small food carts/stalls) which sell food, drinks and snacks will provide visitors with plenty of eating and drinking options. Naturally visitors are also able to bring their own supplies.

While the cherry blossom-filled walkway consists of narrow strips of land along the Sumida River, the strip goes on and on providing a place for everyone to sit and look at the beautiful Cherry blossoms. There is a place for everyone.

If you’ve had enough of the Cherry blossoms, the wonderful shopping streets of Asakusa are just around the corner!

Closest station(s): Ginza Line Asakusa Station (3 min) Tobu Isesaki Line Asakusa Station (3 min) Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station (5 min).

This week Meguro River.

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Around 800 sakura line Meguro River near Nakameguro Station. They’re brilliantly lit at night as part of the Nakameguro Sakura Festival.

Although Meguro River looks like an urban canal for most of the year, the cherry blossom trees coupled with the brilliant illumination that line it are breathtakingly beautiful. This hotspot is not your typical cherry viewing location and there’s not much party space so don’t bother bringing a blanket and a picnic hamper unless you enjoy eating on the side of the curb.

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This location is best enjoyed by walking up and down the canal, enjoying the many alfresco restaurants that spring up during cherry blossom season in addition to the permanent establishments that align the canal. It’s a great place for “people watching” and there are also several trendy shops, cafes and restaurants in the area.

Naka map

Highly recommended for couples or those with children young enough to push in strollers. This place does get crowded but the atmosphere these crowds create is well worth your patronage at least once while staying in Tokyo.

A 2 min walk from Nakameguro Station and accessed by either the Tokyu Toyoko Line or the Tokyo Metro Hibiya line.

This week, Shinjuku Gyoen. This beautiful park originated during the Edo Period (1603-1867) as a feudal lord’s Tokyo residence. Later it was converted into a botanical garden before being transferred to the imperial family in 1903 who used it for recreation and the entertainment of guests. The park was almost completely destroyed during World War ll but was eventually rebuilt and reopened in 1949 as a public park.

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Shinjuku Gyoen is home to a large number of cherry trees of more than a dozen different varieties. From late March to early April, more than 400 somei yoshino (variety of Cherry Blossom) trees blossom around the English garden turning the lawns into one of Tokyo’s most popular and pleasant hanami spots, in addition, the park has numerous early and late blooming cherry trees which provide an extended cherry blossom viewing season (mid March to late April) for those who miss the main season.
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This park is ideal for families as the share size and grassy area provide ample space for children to run around and families to picnic under the beautiful shade of Cherry Blossoms.

Shinjuku map

Shinjuku Gyoen has three gates:
Shinjuku Gate is a ten minute walk east from the “New South Exit” of JR Shinjuku Station or a five minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line.
Okido Gate is also a five minute walk from Shinjukugyoenmae Station on the Marunouchi Subway Line.
Finally, Sendagaya Gate is a five minute walk from JR Sendagaya Station on the local Chuo/Sobu Line

Think of spring in Japan and the first thing that comes to mind for locals is “Hanami” or cherry blossom viewing.

Ueno Park (上野公園, Ueno Kōen) is a large public park next to Ueno Station on the JR Yamanote line in central Tokyo. The park grounds are located directly across from the station and were originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city’s largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period.

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Today Ueno Park is famous for the many museums found on its grounds, especially the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. Ueno Park is also home to the Ueno Zoo, Japans first zoological garden.

Additionally, Ueno Park is one of Tokyo’s most popular and lively cherry blossom spots with more than 1000 cherry trees lining its central pathway. The cherry blossoms are usually in bloom during late March and early April and attract large numbers of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties. While there is space available during the day, the evenings can be a little more raucous as office workers flood the park after 6pm to indulge in company cherry blossom parties.

Ueno Park is a great place to experience an early afternoon picnic in the warm spring sun while looking at the vivid cherry blossom colors.

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