Has your Instagram timeline recently been flooded with carefully edited pictures of the famous Japanese cherry blossoms? The Japanese word for cherry tree is Sakura and every year millions of tourists flock to Tokyo, the capital of Japan, just for these trees. Have you ever daydreamed of taking a flight to Tokyo so that you too could stand under these blossoms and carefully capture these natural beauties on camera? Look no further!
Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is dotted with large parks and green spaces, and below is a list of ten of these environmentally friendly places where you can spend days viewing Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. Please note that some of these parks offer free entry, while others do not, so please be aware of any extra costs.
1 – Meguro River
Upon landing at Tokyo International Airport, once you have gone through passport control, picked up your luggage, and gone through customs, you may be headed towards the centre of Tokyo. Did you know that a thirty-minute drive from the airport will take you to the Meguro River? This river flows through Tokyo and its banks have been transformed into an urban green space that boasts what can seem an endless, linear orchard of sakura.
Meguro River is a popular venue to view Sakura in the spring and is a good spot to visit, especially if you enjoy walking and like to combine your sightseeing with a bit of exercise. There are no fees to access the park and it is open all day.
2 – Yoyogi Park
Tokyo has several national parks and Yoyogi Park is one of the largest of these parks. It is also about a thirty-minute drive from Tokyo International Airport. If you fancy a picnic with your fellow travelers or want a good spot to sit down and take in the view of the many sakura that make Yoyogi Park the beauty that it is, it is worth arriving early. The park has several ponds, connecting bridges, and mini forests.
If you want to combine your sightseeing with the opportunity to push the reset button and get away from the busy city life in Tokyo, Yoyogi Park is a good place to visit. There are no fees to access the park and it is open all day.
3 – Koishikawa Botanical Garden
Koishikawa Botanical Garden dates back to 1684 and has many historical plants and ruins that remind its visitors of its long and ancient history. It is taken care of by the Graduate School of Science at the University of Tokyo, and several of its pathways are lined with sakura, among several other trees and plants. The garden is a great place to learn about the rich botany of Tokyo as well as view Sakura in abundance.
Koishikawa Botanical Garden is also about a thirty-minute drive from Tokyo’s international airport, and the garden is open from 09:00 – 16:30; the last entrance to the garden is at 16:00. It is open every day, except every Monday and 29 December – 3 January each year. When Monday is a Japanese national holiday, the garden is closed the following weekday. The admission fee for the garden varies with respect to your age. For adults over the age of 16, it is 500¥; for children over the age of 6, it is ¥150.
4 – Asukayama Park
Asukayama Park is another beautiful public park in the heart of Tokyo. In the early eighteenth century, Tokugawa Yoshimune planted many sakura in the area that is now Asukayama Park, and today, there are hundreds of sakura and delightful picnic spots all over the park. The park also boasts three well-known museums: the Kita Ward Asukayama Museum, the Paper Museum, and the Shibusawa Historical Museum.
There are no fees to access the park and it is open all day. However, the museums may vary in their admission fees, so please check the official Asukayama Park for further information.
5 – Inokashira Park
In comparison, to the other public spaces, Inokashira Park is a bit further away from the airport at a fifty-minute drive, but it is worth every single second of your travel time. The Kanda River flows out from the park’s serene Inokashira Pond and empties out into the outer moat of the nearby Edo Castle. Visitors and residents alike can rent boats and spend a quiet afternoon sailing across the park’s pond with sakura blossoms acting as a beautiful, flowery canopy over their heads. The park also has a petting, a small aquarium, and the Ghibli Museum dedicated to the animated feature films produced by the famous Studio Ghibli
There are no fees to access the park and it is open all day. However, entrance fees to the zoo, aquarium, Ghibli Museum, and boat rentals are likely to come at a cost, so please check online for further information.
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