World Wide Shelly's Guide to Tokyo
It seems like everyone is in Japan right now to view the cherry blossoms. Cherry blossom season in Tokyo is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Locals and visitors alike eagerly await the arrival of the delicate pink blossoms, known as sakura, which signify the arrival of spring and the start of a new season. Here is a guide to experiencing cherry blossom season and beyond in Tokyo.
When is cherry blossom season?
Cherry blossom season typically begins in late March or early April, depending on the weather. The exact dates can vary from year to year, so it's best to check the forecast and local reports to plan your trip accordingly.
Where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo There are many parks and gardens in Tokyo where you can see cherry blossoms in full bloom. Some of the most popular spots include:
Ueno Park: Ueno Park is a large public park in central Tokyo and is one of the most popular spots for cherry blossom viewing. The park features over 1,000 cherry trees, which create a stunning canopy of pink blossoms.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden: Shinjuku Gyoen is a large park with a mix of traditional Japanese and Western-style gardens. The park features over 1,000 cherry trees, which bloom in late March and early April.
Chidorigafuchi: Chidorigafuchi is a moat that surrounds the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo. During cherry blossom season, the area is lined with over 260 cherry trees, creating a picturesque scene.
Sumida Park: Sumida Park is located along the Sumida River and features over 1,000 cherry trees, which are illuminated at night during cherry blossom season.
Yoyogi Park: Yoyogi Park is a large public park in Shibuya and is known for its cherry blossoms and lively atmosphere. The park features over 600 cherry trees, which bloom in late March and early April.
How to enjoy cherry blossom season
Cherry blossom season in Tokyo is a time for celebration, and there are many ways to enjoy the festivities. Here are some ideas:
Have a hanami party: Hanami is the Japanese tradition of picnicking under cherry blossom trees. Many people in Tokyo gather with friends and family for a hanami party, where they enjoy food and drinks under the beautiful blossoms.
Take a boat ride: Some parks and gardens offer boat rides along the river, allowing visitors to see the cherry blossoms from a different perspective.
Attend a festival: During cherry blossom season, many festivals are held throughout Tokyo to celebrate the arrival of spring. These festivals often feature food stalls, live performances, and other entertainment.
Take a stroll: Walking through a park or garden filled with cherry blossoms is a serene and beautiful experience. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.
Cherry blossom season in Tokyo is a magical time of year, and a must-see for anyone visiting the city during the spring. With so many beautiful parks and gardens to explore, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossoms.
You might go to Toyko for the cherry blossoms, but there are lots of other exciting things to see and do in Toyko. It is a must-visit destination for travelers looking for an unforgettable experience, and has something for everyone, from history buffs to foodies to fashionistas. Whether you're exploring ancient shrines or trendy neighborhoods, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience in this bustling and dynamic city.
When to visit Tokyo
Overall, the best time to visit Tokyo depends on your interests and preferences. If you're interested in seeing the cherry blossoms, spring is the best time to visit. If you want to experience the city's festivals and events, summer and winter are great times to visit. However, no matter when you visit Tokyo, you're sure to be captivated by its energy, culture, and charm.
Spring (March to May) Spring is one of the most popular times to visit Tokyo, and for good reason. During this time, the city is transformed by the beautiful cherry blossoms, which typically bloom from late March to early April. Visitors can enjoy hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties in the city's parks and gardens, and there are many festivals and events celebrating the arrival of spring. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices.
Summer (June to August) Summer in Tokyo is hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching into the high 80s or even 90s Fahrenheit. However, this is also the season for some of the city's most popular festivals, including the Sumida River Fireworks Festival and the O-bon Festival. If you don't mind the heat, summer can be a great time to visit Tokyo.
Fall (September to November) Fall in Tokyo is mild and pleasant, with cooler temperatures and colorful foliage. This is a great time to explore the city's many parks and gardens, and there are also several food festivals and cultural events during this season.
Winter (December to February) Winter in Tokyo can be cold, with temperatures dropping into the 30s or even 20s Fahrenheit. However, this is also the season for some of the city's most festive events, including the Tokyo Christmas Market and the New Year's celebrations at temples and shrines. If you don't mind the cold, winter can be a magical time to visit Tokyo.
Best things to do in Tokyo Here are some of the top attractions and things to do in Tokyo:
Visit the Tokyo Skytree: The Tokyo Skytree is a 634-meter-high tower that offers breathtaking views of the city. Visitors can take a high-speed elevator to the observation deck, which is located 450 meters above the ground.
Explore the Meiji Shrine: The Meiji Shrine is a Shinto shrine that was built in honor of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. The shrine is located in a large park in central Tokyo and offers visitors a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Wander through the Tsukiji Fish Market: The Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the largest fish markets in the world and is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Visitors can watch as vendors auction off fresh fish and seafood, or sample some of the market's famous sushi.
Visit the Imperial Palace: The Imperial Palace is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan and is located in the heart of Tokyo. Visitors can take a guided tour of the palace grounds and learn about the history of the Japanese monarchy.
Shop in Harajuku: Harajuku is a neighborhood known for its unique fashion and street style. Visitors can browse through the many trendy shops and boutiques, or people-watch and take in the sights and sounds of the colorful streets.
Visit the Senso-ji Temple: The Senso-ji Temple is Tokyo's oldest and most famous temple. Located in the Asakusa neighborhood, the temple features a large red gate, a five-story pagoda, and a variety of shrines and gardens.
Experience Japanese culture at a tea ceremony: The Japanese tea ceremony is a traditional ritual that has been practiced for centuries. Visitors can participate in a tea ceremony and learn about the history and cultural significance of this important Japanese tradition.
Eat your way through Tokyo: Tokyo is famous for its diverse and delicious cuisine, from street food to high-end restaurants. Some must-try dishes include sushi, ramen, udon noodles, and tempura.
Where to stay in Toyko
Tokyo is a vibrant and exciting city that offers a wide variety of accommodations to suit any budget. Whether you're looking for luxury amenities or a budget-friendly option, there are many hotels in Tokyo to choose from. Here are some of the best hotels in Tokyo, broken down by price point: Luxury Hotels
The Peninsula Tokyo: The Peninsula Tokyo is a luxurious hotel located in the heart of the city. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites, a rooftop bar with stunning views of Tokyo, and a world-class spa.
Mandarin Oriental Tokyo: The Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is a five-star hotel located in the Nihonbashi district. The hotel features stunning views of the city, a range of dining options, and a spa with a range of treatments.
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo: The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is a luxurious hotel located in the Roppongi district. The hotel features spacious rooms and suites with city views, a range of dining options, and a spa with a range of treatments.
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku: Hotel Gracery Shinjuku is a mid-range hotel located in the heart of the Shinjuku district. The hotel features comfortable rooms and suites, a range of dining options, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city.
Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo: Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo is a modern hotel located in the Shinjuku district. The hotel features comfortable rooms and suites, a fitness center, and a range of dining options.
Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku: Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is a modern hotel located in the heart of the Shinjuku district. The hotel features comfortable rooms and suites, a range of dining options, and a fitness center.
Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510: Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 is a budget-friendly hotel located in the Shinjuku district. The hotel features capsule-style rooms with shared bathrooms, and a range of amenities including a communal lounge and free Wi-Fi.
Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro: Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro is a budget-friendly hotel located in the Ikebukuro district. The hotel features comfortable rooms and suites, a range of dining options, and a communal lounge with free Wi-Fi.
Getting to Tokyo
From the west coast of the US, you can expect a 10-11 hour flight and from NYC you can expect a little over 14 hour non-stop flight to Tokyo. Flight prices range from $1000-2000 from major US airports, but you might pay more depending on your city of departure. However, for those in the know that are subscribers to World Wide Shelly's flight deal service, you might see a flight from the west coast (think LA, San Fransisco or Seattle) in the low $500's. It's just $45 a year to join. Click Here for more information and to join.