Hello, it’s cherry blossoms seasons again under COVID-19. Do you remember last year when Governor Koike called for refraining from cherry-blossom viewing, saying, “Please refrain from cherry-blossom viewing this year. The cherry blossoms will bloom again next year.” To our surprise not much progress yet in terms of the fight against COVID-19. A rope was stretched in Ueno Park so that people cannot sit and picnic under the cherry blossoms.
As documents and history have proven, the Japanese have loved cherry blossoms for over 1000 years by going out with their lunch boxes and dancing under the flowers. That DNA has been in crisis for the last two years. All right, even if we cannot picnic or drink beer under the cherry blossoms, we still can go and view them. Here is a list of our recommendations.
No. 1 Chidori-gafuchi Ryokudo
About 260 cherry trees bloom on both sides of the moat, and it is so beautiful when reflected on the surface of the water. The light up is exceptional. Unfortunately, it seems that night illumination and night boats will be canceled this year, but daytime boats is still available with reservation. The boat on the petals at the end of cherry blossoms season is magnificent!
Now the local government offer, “live camera of the moat”. Check the flowers and crowds with this before going out. Stay safe!
No. 2 Sumida River, Asakusa
Along the Sumida River, over 600 cherry blossoms are to bloom on the banks of the river, making it one of the “100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan”. It is also famous that Yoshimune Tokugawa, the eighth shogun, planted cherry blossoms on the embankment so that it would strengthened by many cherry blossoms viewing visitors stomping on it. Our recommendation is to go down the Sumida River to Hamarikyu Gardens by water bus. Book your seats in advance. *Hamarikyu Garden will be closed until the further notice according to the latest announcement. (updated March 22, 2021)
3 / 20-4 / 7 is a special cherry blossom viewing schedule, so make a reservation in advance and enjoy a smooth visit.
No. 3 Shinjuku Gyoen
There are 1000 cherry trees in the large park, and there are many types, so even if Yoshino cherry trees are scattered, you can enjoy other types of cherry blossoms for a while.
The advanced booking is required during the cherry blossoms period (2021/3/23-4/25）It is only in Japanese, ask us for help if necessary. We will be happy to support you.
In Tokyo, you can find cherry blossoms tress everywhere, so we do not worry too much that you miss cherry blossoms. Besides spots mentioned above, a few more places that we like are; Cemeteries: Metropolitan Government Cemeteries are free to enter 24 hours a day. It is nice to take a walk in Aoyama Cemetery, Somei Cemetery, Yanaka Cemetery, which are easy to access.
The Tokyo National Museum (Tohaku) is another favorite of ours.
At this time of year, there is an annual “Cherry Blossom Viewing at the Museum (3 / 16-4 / 11)” project, and it is interesting to see cherry blossoms, picture scrolls, lacquer work, and sword patterns related to cherry blossom viewing. It feels good to see the cherry blossom viewing party drawn on the picture scrolls of the Heian period, and to take a walk in the normally closed garden area.
Advance reservations are required online this year, so make a reservation before you go out.
There are 800 cherry trees in Ueno Park, so it’s a good idea to walk along the way to Tohaku.
We hope that next year there will be a grand cherry blossom viewing.
Stay Safe! See you then in Tokyo!