Hanami means in Japanese “to see flowers”, “to enjoy flower viewing”. It is a very important tradition celebrated when trees blossom. The most important hanami of the year starts this week in Tokyo with the blossom of sakura trees (Japanese cherry trees).
The first time I saw sakura blossomed trees it was four years ago at the Izu peninsula, I was not impressed at all, there were not many trees around the area I visited. But during the next years I started appreciating the beauty of Japanese sakura blossom and the importance of hanami in Japanese society. I visited many parks and places around Tokyo, and tried to always go to new parks to enjoy sakura from different perspectives.
This week until the end of the next week is going to be the best moment to enjoy hanami in the Tokyo area. This is a map I just made with some of the places where I’ve enjoyed sakura hanami during last years, at the bottom I gave a rating to each place using sakura flower icons.
The rating of each place are based solely on my personal opinion.
This map is only for general orientation and to know more or less which ones are the best places to go. Since there is not enough detail in the map here are the direct links to the exact location of each place recommended in the map above using Google Maps:
- Ueno (There are huge sakura trees, what I don’t like is that Ueno is not really what I would say a BEAUTIFUL park)
- Ichigaya y Yotsuya (Most of the sakura blossomed trees are around the Ichigaya pond)
- Naka Meguro (Around the river that goes in direction to Shibuya.)
- Shinjuku Gyoen (This is my favorite place for hanami in Tokyo. One of the problems of Shinjuku Gyoen is that it is always so crowded!)
- Inokashira (Around the lake with the boats)
- Mitsuike (It is little but there are many varieties of sakura trees with different tonalities of colors etc. It is near the Kawasaki station.
- Yoyogi (It is one of my favorite parks but sakura is not its strong point. Most of the sakura trees are around the pond)
Let’s go to enjoy hanami and let’s take tons of pictures. This year I’m going to try to take a better picture than this one I took last year: