Spring has sprung, and suddenly so: though Yokota saw snow on the first day of the season, it was quickly followed by warm weather and, even more thrillingly, the appearance of cherry blossoms. Sakura trees are a national treasure, and there is no better way to enjoy their beauty than to attend a cherry blossom festival. The blossoms themselves are short-lived, but the memory of a festival is timeless.
Looking for the perfect place to practice the Japanese tradition of hanami (cherry blossom viewing)? Discover our top picks for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo.
Fussa Cherry Blossom Festival
The Fussa Cherry Blossom Festival hosts some five hundred cherry trees along the Tama River, which is a twenty-minute walk from JR Fussa Station and JR Haijima Station. From 31 March to 8 April, festival-goers can enjoy folk dance parades, outdoor tea ceremonies, traditional musical performances and a plethora of food vendors (options range from kebabs to yakisoba). The festival is free of charge and the river is steps away.
Address: 〒197-0004 1-12, Minamidenen, Fussa-shi, Tokyo
Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival
Ueno Onshi Park, which has proved a Tokyo staple since its creation in 1873, is next to the Park Exit of JR Ueno Station. From around 20 March to 8 April, it is replete with someiyoshino (white cherry blossoms) and wild cherry blossoms. At night one thousand lanterns enhance the beautiful flora. After strolling through the park, visit an antique market or one of the art museums Ueno has to offer.
Address: 〒110-0007 Tokyo, Taitō, Uenokoen, ５−２０
Amazake Alley Cherry Blossom Festival
Amazake Yokocho is a quaint and quirky alley in Chuo’s Shitamachi area, a short walk from Ningyo-cho Station on the Tokyo Metro/Toei Subway. From around 25 March onward, cherry blossoms form an arch of pink over such attractions as a clothing store, confectionary sellers, and a famous taiyaki (fish-shaped cake) shop. In the springtime, Amazake Alley offers free cups of amazake, or sweet sake.
Address: 〒103-0013 Tokyo, Chūō, Nihonbashiningyocho, Unnamed Road 2 Chome-4
Bokutei Cherry Blossom Festival
For those who enjoy metropolitan scenery as much as cherry blossoms, a short walk from Tokyo Skytree lies Sumida Park, which features a kilometer-long succession of blooming trees from 22 March to 8 April. The park hosts night illuminations, festival stalls and river views to boot.
Address: 1-1 Imado, 7-1 Asakusa, 1-1 Hanakawado, 2-1 Hanakawado Taito-ku
Yokota Air Base Sakura Spring Festival
Every year in spring, Yokota welcomes the season by opening its gates to local nationals and indulging in the Japanese tradition of hanami, or viewing cherry blossoms. Next Saturday, 7 April from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Japanese nationals and Yokota’s residents will gather along the canopy of gorgeous cherry blossoms on McGuire Avenue (eastside of base) to enjoy live band performances, street performers, an abundance of delicious American and Japanese cuisine, and fun-filled activities for the whole family to enjoy!