Visit Date: 03/27/2016 (Best Time: early April)
Inokashira Park is a 43-hectares park located on the western side of Tokyo and sits on both Mitaka and Musashino cities. It is easily accessible via the lively Kichijoji neighborhood. It is estalished in 1917 and it is considered as one of the oldest park in Tokyo.
A large pond stretches across the park which has about 250 cherry trees lining its banks. The branches of the cherry trees spread and reflected over the water creates a stunning view during the cherry blossom season. Visitors can also enjoy the view from the water through the rented paddle and row boats.
One of the surviving gardens from the Edo period and one of Tokyo’s oldest and best preserved Japanese garden. Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens also provides visitors with gorgeous cherry blooming trees. It features beautiful weeping cherry trees around the garden’s entrance gate and several Someiyoshino Sakura near the pond.
Please note however, that some parts of the pond and several structures and walkways in the park are under renovation and may have certain impact on the view.
Visitors taking photoi of the Weeping Cheery tree near the garden entrance.
This park is a part of the Imperial Palace Outer Gardens and was formerly the northern fortress of Edo castle. Kitanomaru National Garden is located around 1.1 kilometers from the popular cherry blossom spot, Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo. The sakura trees around the lawn area are also in full bloom as of today. Unlike other parks in Tokyo, Kitanomaru Park is not as crowded thus provides a peaceful ambiance.
Lawn area in Kitanomaru Park.
Chidorigafuchi is a moat located northwest of the Imperial Palace. The cherry trees of over two hundred which are planted along the 700 meter pedestrian path are in full bloom despite the strong rain & wind yesterday and are expected to stay at their peak over the next few days. Trees are also illuminated at night from 18:00 to 22:00 until April 6th.
Chidorigafuchi walkway canopied with flowering cherry trees
Hanami which literally means “flower viewing” is an important Japanese custom and is held all over Japan during the Spring season. Said to have originated in the late 8th century during the Nara Period, when this seasonal event was used to welcome the new year’s harvest marking the beginning of the rice planting season. During the Heian Period, Emperor Saga together with the Japanese royalties would welcome this time with a celebration under the sakura trees in Kyoto’s Imperial Court. The practice spread to all citizens by the Edo Period in the early 1600s. The custom still lives to this day and thus became an annual tradition of enjoying a picnic under the blooming sakura trees. It is no doubt one of the more remarkable natural events in the country.
For this year, Tokyo indeed experience one of the earliest season of cherry blossom which is 10 days earlier than average and 15 days earlier than last year. This is mainly affected by the unusually warm weather in March which rose far above average, taking the weather services by surprise and resulting in a record-breaking early cherry blossom season in the capital. Cherry trees in the city have already reached full bloom and will likely be past their peak by early April. Estimated best viewing period is from March 22 to April 1.