Sakura is coming!
The spring is here, and because of the cherry blossoms, this is the most popular time of the year in Japan. Even a person like me, who cannot call herself a big lover of flowers, feels this magic in the air when the whole city begins to sink in soft pink clouds. And yes, I said "city" because, as for me, sakura looks better on an urban background - steel and concrete create a perfect contrast with small delicate flowers.
One of the biggest sakura spots is Ueno park, a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Tokyo, offering a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty in the heart of the city, it's a really nice opportunity to unite hanami and museums visiting, National Museum of Nature and Science is the one of my favorites, although last time I was there about 4 years ago.
In addition to the museums and zoo, Ueno Park is also home to several beautiful temples and shrines, including the Kaneiji Temple and the Tosho-gu Shrine.
Yoyogi Park, a popular public park located in the Shibuya district, is transformed into a sea of pink as thousands of cherry blossom trees bloom. Many locals and tourists alike flock to the park to enjoy hanami, with many people bringing food, drinks, and blankets to enjoy a picnic under the blossoming trees.
My favourite hanami spot is definitely Meguro river not far from Shibuya. The river is lined with over 800 cherry blossom trees, which bloom in late March to early April, creating a beautiful pink canopy over the river.
In addition to the cherry blossoms, the Meguro River is also a popular destination for sightseeing and shopping, with many trendy cafes, shops, and restaurants located in the surrounding area.
A bit unexpected destination for hanami in Tokyo is Aoyama cemetery, but believe me, you will like its serene atmosphere and beautiful scenery. Aoyama Cemetery is also home to several notable graves, including those of famous Japanese authors, politicians, and artists.
A couple of years ago, during the pandemic, I was fortunate enough to experience the most famous streets of Kyoto without the usual crowds. It was a rare opportunity to see the beauty of the cherry blossoms in a more intimate and peaceful setting.
Kyoto is home to several popular hanami spots, including the Philosopher's Path, Maruyama Park, and the Kyoto Imperial Palace, among others.
That year the blossom was especially lush.
By the way, nighttime hanami in Kyoto is a must-see experience, offering a unique and magical perspective on the city's stunning cherry blossom trees. Whether you are looking for a romantic evening stroll or a lively festival atmosphere, Kyoto's nighttime hanami spots are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Wherever you go in Japan, you can always find a place for hanami that will be special just for you.
Never stop to explore!