Famous all around the world, cherry blossom viewing or hanami (in Japanese) is the highlight of the spring season here in Japan. Usually cherry trees start blooming around the end of March and through April, with myriad spots all around Tokyo. For Japanese people, cherry blossom viewing (hanami) signifies the beginning of Spring and is great cause for celebration. There are many types of hanami including the traditional picnic-style, walk-style, restaurant-style, temple/shrine style and etc.
I will introduce you to each type, but mainly, for the purpose of this blog, I will focus on the walk-style hanami at the famous local spot Meguro River.
To get to Meguro River, you need to use JR Yamanote line to reach Meguro Station. As soon as you exit the ticket gates there will a big stand filled with brochures, maps, guides for hanami in English. Take one and follow the map!
Once you reach Meguro River remember that there are two different sides and two different directions that you can walk through. In my video blog I started out walking towards Gotanda station and made a loop back to Nakameguro station. Check out the video!
Some daytime photos!
Though daytime cherry blossoms (sakura) are quite beautiful, the nighttime cherry blossoms (yozakura) are quite a sight as well. I walked through yozakura hanami by Meguro River towards Nakameguro. There are many local food booths selling various snacks and street foods, music playing and a lot of people gathering under the night sakura trees.
The most popular style of hanami is the picnic-style! The one I went to was located in Yoyogi Park, near JR Yamanote Harajuku Station. Get up early in the morning to save a spot for your picnic sheet because the number of people visiting this hanami spot is probably the largest in Tokyo. Relaxing under the blooming cherry trees while having a picnic and a few drinks with friends!
(Check out the video blog for the footage)
Another popular and more traditional hanami is observed at your local temples or shrines. For the purpose of this blog, I went to my favorite shrine here in Tokyo, Asagaya Shinmeigu.
The last but not least type of hanami is restaurant-style! Pretty much, you are viewing cherry blossoms while enjoying your meal on the terrace of your favorite restaurant.
Enjoy the cherry blossom season in Tokyo!
Have fun exploring Japan!