At the beginning of 2019, I went to Japan for a week’s vacation, but did not return home until almost two months later. My reason for staying, other than being a digital nomad with a very flexible sense of home: I absolutely had to see the cherry blossoms in Japan.
Cherry blossoms or Cherry tree, are the national flower of Japan, and they tend to bloom in late March and early April. (This varies from year to year, so be sure to allow plenty of time in the country if you hope to catch them at their peak.)
In Japanese culture, the fleeting bloom of cherry trees is considered an icon of fleeting beauty. Flowers are celebrated through a practice called Hanami, which literally translates to “looking at the flowers”. It’s a millennial tradition that continues today: you’ll see many people take a break to enjoy nature and celebrate flower displays with everything from specialty foods to pink toys in arcade games.
But you don’t have to be from Japan to appreciate the country’s sakura season. It’s stunningly beautiful, which is why the annual flood of pink flowers is high on so many travelers’ wish lists.
The big question is where to see them. When it comes to top-watching lists, places like Kyoto, Mount Fuji, and Hirosaki Castle usually get the bulk of the press. (For good reason, they’re beautiful.) But there’s nothing quite like a sakura blossom in the heart of Japan’s biggest city. While the country is full of fascinating destinations, why not mix sakura with Tokyo’s iconic sights, Michelin-starred restaurants and a dizzying array of things to do?
Unfortunately, Japan is currently not open to tourists, but the country’s COVID-19 restrictions are changing, so keep an eye on official regulations for the latest updates. But if you’re ready to at least dream of a trip to see cherry blossoms in Japan, read on. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are a few places across the city of Tokyo that are worth exploring in the spring.
Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Where to See Sakura in Tokyo
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