Springtime in Japan celebrates the spectacular flowers that break into bloom, giving residents and visitors alike a new life. Cherry Blossoms are probably the most popular and well known flower blossoms though Japan offers an entire season of flowers to enjoy. Read on for where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo with kids.
Cherry Blossom Season in Japan
Cherry Blossoms, or Sakura, is one of Japan’s most famous attractions drawing people from around the world. And cherry blossoms are a beloved symbol of Japan.
Cherry Blossom season is a time set aside for slowing down and spending time with loved ones. The entire Cherry Blossom season lasts from March to late April, and sometimes into early May.
Each year, the season starts in March at the southern tip of Japan. Then moves up the island to central Japan, including Tokyo, during late March and early April. And finishes up on the northern part of the island in Hokkaido, during late April and early May.
In each region, the cherry blossoms bloom for about a week. Some years, the blossoms can last as long as 10 days. Then other years the blossoms will have come and gone in just a few days. It all depends on weather, both in the previous year as well as when the trees are blooming.
Since travelers and locals alike plan vacations around the annual cherry blossoms, many use forecasts to gauge when the flowers will be in full bloom. Over the years, the forecasts are increasingly accurate and predict blooms within a week.
Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo with Kids
Many major media outlets, such as newspapers, websites and news channels, report on the status of the Cherry Blossoms most days during the blooming season. And you don’t have to leave the city here’s where to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo with kids.
Cherry trees are scattered throughout city parks, like Yoyogi, Ueno, and Shinjuku Gyoen offer spectacular places to see the trees blooming. And Yoyogi Park, in Shibuya near the Harajuku Station, is one of the premier and popular spots for Sakura.
Ohanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is a huge part of why so many people love cherry blossom season. Arriving at the beginning of spring it’s the first time most people spend time outdoors after several months of the winter. The Ohanami culture is recognized throughout Japan, so people take the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the season.
People gather under the trees and enjoy a picnic with friends or family during the evening and over weekends. One of the most well known spots in Yoyogi Park, find thousands of people everyday during peak bloom. If you plan on visiting over the weekend, you have to arrive at the park early in the morning to find a spot under a tree.
To get everyone excited about Sakura, companies release specially themed products. Find cherry blossom flavored candy, bottled tea and energy bars. Or grab some cherry blossom scented cosmetics or perfumes then decorate with special decorations to celebrate the season.
Tulips in Tokyo
Tulips offer more flowers to celebrate in Japan. Head to Tonami Park in Toyama prefecture for one of the top places to see tulips. Though Tokyo offers lots of places to find tulips.
The official tulip season begins in April and lasts until early May. In Tokyo, tulips start blooming just as the last cherry blossoms fade. If your timing is right, you can see cherry blossoms and tulips blooming simultaneously at a few special parks in the Tokyo area.
Head to Hibiya Park or Symbol Promenade Park in Odaiba, an island in Tokyo Bay, for the best tulip displays. Hibiya Park, near the Imperial Palace in Ginza, has 15,000 tulips planted in ornate flower beds.
Head to Hibiya Park or Symbol Promenade Park in Odaiba, an island in Tokyo Bay, for the best tulip displays.
Hibiya Park–Located near the Imperial Palace in Ginza, has 15,000 tulips planted in ornate flower beds.
Symbol Promenade Park–On the artificial island of Odaiba attend the Tokyo Waterfront City Tulip Festival with over 20,000 tulips each spring.
Plum Blossoms around Tokyo
For Tokyo-ites, Plum Blossoms offer hope that winter is coming to an end. Sometimes confused with Cherry Blossoms, plum trees feature small, white flowers that bloom at the end of February. Plum blossoms, or Ume in Japanese, are often overshadowed by the cherry blossoms, though celebrated in Japan.
Find Plum Blossoms celebrations in Tokyo’s shrines, temples and small parks.
Yushima Tenjin–Located in a small shrine near Tokyo University, known for it’s beautiful plum blossoms. Every year, it hosts a month-long festival with various performances, a portable shrine procession, and food stalls.
The exact date varies every year though generally begins in early February and continues into early March. Since it’s so close to Tokyo University, many perspective students come to pray for luck to get accepted to the prestigious school.
Kameido Tenjin–Offers over 300 Ume blossom trees. Visit during the month-long Ume festival starting in mid-February. At the festival, don’t miss the famed Goken no Ume which with both red and white blossoms. Throughout the entire month, you can also sample various plum themed foods and drinks at the popular food stalls. Kameido Tenjin also features spectacular wisteria.
Koishikawa Korakuen—Offers a quieter garden near Tokyo Dome. This garden doesn’t host an annual Ume festival though visit if you want a tranquil place to see plum blossoms.
Wisteria Blossoms in Tokyo
March and April mean cherry blossoms though May is all about Wisteria in Japan. Wisteria, or Fuji in Japanese, bloom beautiful purple, grape-like flowers hanging on arbor tunnels or on knotty trees.
Find wisteria in parks and shrines located in Tokyo to see the delightful hanging flowers. Spots like the Kameido Tenjin Shrine, Kyu Shiba Rikyu garden and the Hie Shrine offers the best spots to see the whimsical purple arbor tunnels in May. And for a few hundred yen to enter, it’s budget-friendly.
My Year Abroad
I’m spending my sophomore year of high school at an all-girls high school in the Suginami ward in Tokyo. As a way to document my experiences, I’m writing articles to help others traveling to Japan.
Additionally I’m working to earn my Gold Award with USA Girl Scouts Overseas during my exchange year through my articles. Read about my experiences in the following articles.