Tokyo's best sakura spots: 1-5

From the obscure to the obvious, we pick 15 great hanami locations

Tokyo's best sakura spots: 1-5

15 great sakura spots
1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15

It's that time of year again, when nature tarts up even the dullest corners of the capital in extravagant pink. The forecast for 2011 suggests the flowers will be in full bloom between April 4 and 14. Whether you're up for a romantic boat ride, a party traveling at ridiculous speeds, a communal free for all, or just a traditional picnic in a park, we've picked 15 top cherry viewing spots to indulge in. Let the party commence!

On a hidden Ginza backstreet…

A 250m long street running from the Ginza 1 Chome intersection to the Ginza INZ arcade, Ginza Sakura-dori is home to fifty cherry trees that erupt in pink-tinted yaezakura blossoms. Considering how close it is to the crowded shopping districts, this particular street is still relatively unknown – making it somewhat of a hidden cherry-blossom viewing spot (though it’s worth remembering, of course, that ‘relatively unknown’ in Tokyo still means ‘known by more people than it takes to populate most large cities’).

Getting there: Ginza-itchome Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza line)

Down in Shitamachi…

Approximately one kilometre in length, Nihonbashi Sakura Dori runs from Tokyo Station (Yaesu north exit) to Kayabacho Station. The original cherry trees were planted in 1936, though they’ve long since succumbed to injuries sustained in WWII. Replanting took place in 1956, and the road has since taken on its somewhat unimaginative moniker (Cherry Blossom Street). Still, 169 sakura trees in full bloom are not to be sniffed at (other than in the obvious, appropriate manner).

Getting there: JR Tokyo Station, Yaesu north exit (Yamanote line)

Away from the flocking crowds…

As you’ve probably noticed, there are more than a few Cherry Blossom Streets in the capital. Presumably, someone high up felt that another wouldn’t hurt; this one, formerly known as Surugaya Dori, only got the trees to go with the name in 2005. At a mere six years of age, they obviously still need time to develop, but this also affords them relative obscurity – ideal if you want to avoid huge crowds. You’ll find the street between the Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi department store and the Mitsui Honkan building.

Getting there: Mitsukoshimae Station (Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line)

From beneath a sakura archway…

The 130 somei-yoshino variety cherry trees lining this particular Sakura Dori, which passes by the eastern side of Katsushika ward office, intertwine at their tops to form an enclosure that, come sakura season, blooms into a beautiful cherry tree blossom archway. The Katsushika Sakura Festival, which takes place in this idyllic setting during the first half of April, is well worth adding to your calendar.

Getting there: Tateishi Station (Keisei line)

Out in the suburbs…

195 sakura trees stretch for approximately two kilometres along the road due south of Kunitachi Station. The street’s location, some 20 kilometres to the west of Shinjuku, might suggest a more leisurely viewing space, but we’d still recommend going during the week rather than pitching up on a Saturday afternoon.

Getting there: Yagawa Station or Yaho Station (JR Nambu line)

15 great sakura spots
1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15

By Time Out writers
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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