Spring in Japan means sakura, or cherry blossoms, and you don’t necessarily have to travel far for the best cherry blossom viewing spots.
In fact, there are tons of places in Tokyo to enjoy the sakura during their prettiest season.
Sitting under the cherry blossom trees during the day with some drinks and bento box lunches is of course a great way to experience a Japanese spring, but you can also enjoy sakura during evening hours!
After sunset, many cherry blossom spots in Tokyo have special light-up events, where visitors can come and be awed by the “yozakura”, or night cherry blossom experience.
Here is a one-day yozakura route that is just enough to cover some of the prettiest evening sakura spots in Tokyo.
Tokyo has a plethora of yozakura spots, so it would be very difficult to get to all of them in just one day. In order to be efficient with time and also get to the most popular yozakura spots,
we chose the Rikuguien → Chidorigafuchi → Asakusa route.
Get Your 24 hr. Tokyo Metro Ticket!!
Make the most out of your yen and time by purchasing a 24 hour Tokyo Metro Ticket! With this one ticket, you can ride on all Tokyo Metro lines for 24 hours for just ¥600 (¥300 for children).
The tickets can be purchased at a ticket machine at any Tokyo Metro line station.
Now that you have your metro ticket ready, let’s get going with the yozakura tour.
1. Rikugien Gardens 六義園 (6:00p.m. – 7:00p.m.)
Rikugien’s Cherry Blossoms
Rikugien, one of the two major Edo (former name for Tokyo) gardens, has several yozakura spots throughout the gardens.
One is the shidarezakura tree, a type of cherry blossom tree with droopy branches. This shidarezakura can be found right after entering from the main gate.
The tree is 15 meters wide and 20 meters tall, and the lit-up branches are waterfall-like. This particular shidarezakura is famous in Tokyo, and can be seen as a symbol of Rikugien.
Tsuruhime no shidarezakura
Another yozakura spot is Tsuruhime no shidarezakura (鶴姫のシダレザクラ). Also called “the second shidarezakura”, this one is also a large cherry blossom tree measuring at 13 meters tall.
This shidarezakura is lit up in blue and pink lights for a pretty night view.
Getting to Rikugien Gardens
The nearest station to Rikugien Gardens is Komagome Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line. You can get there in about 30 minutes from Tokyo Station.
【Tokyo Sta.】Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line / for Ikebukuro
→【Korakuen Sta.】Tokyo Metro Namboku Line / For Urawa-misono
→【Komagome Sta.】→ about a 3-minute walk
Komagome Station gets fairly crowded during the cherry blossoms season.
During the evening, there is even sometimes a line to get into the garden, with some visitors having to wait over 30 minutes. Try to arrive at Rikugien before sunset to avoid the crowds.
“Rikugien Gardens Shidarezakura Light Up”
・Period: Mar. 21 to Apr. 5 (2018)
・Light up: From sunset to 9:00p.m. (last entry at 8:30p.m.)
・Entrance fee: ¥300 (¥240 with a Tokyo Metro 24 hr. Ticket)
Check out this article for more information about Rikugien Gardens.
Chidorigafuchi 千鳥ヶ淵 (7:30p.m. – 8:30p.m.)
Chidorigafuchi’s Cherry Blossoms
There are many sakura spots around the Imperial Palace, but the most popular is Chidorigafuchi, the moat on the northwestern side of the palace.
Cherry blossom trees are planted on both sides of the moat.
Popular photo spot
The lights used for the Chidorigafuchi light up are LED lights, allowing for less light leakage and a cleaner illumination.
The water in the moat is very mobile, acting as a mirror for the lit up cherry blossoms to reflect on.
Chidorigafuchi and Tokyo Tower
Another Chidorigafuchi perk is being able to see Tokyo Tower behind the cherry blossom trees. The scenery is extremely photogenic, and is a popular spot for locals and tourists.
Getting to Chidorigafuchi
The nearest station to Chidorigafuchi is Kudanshita Station or Hanzomon Station, both on the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line.
The route starts on the northern side of Chidorigafuchi, which is closer to Kudanshita Station, so using Kudanshita Station is recommended.
You can get there in about 30 minutes from Rikugien.
【Rikugien】about a 3-minute walk / Komagome Sta.
→【Komagome Sta.】Tokyo Metro Namboku Line / For Meguro
→【Iidabashi Sta.】→ Tokyo Metro Tozai Line / for Nishifunabashi
→【Kudanshita Sta.】→ about a 5-minute walk
Using Hanzomon Station on your way back is recommended, as it is closer to the exit.
“Chiyoda Cherry Blossom Festival 2018”
・Period: Mar. 24 to Apr. 8 (2018)
・Light up: from sunset to 10:00p.m.
Asakusa 浅草 (9:00p.m. – 10:00p.m.)
Asakusa’s Cherry Blossoms
Asakusa is loved by locals and tourists as a symbol of old-town Tokyo. At Asakusa, you can see Sensoji Temple and the cherry blossoms light up together for a traditional yet modern night view.
Although the cherry blossoms themselves are not lit up at Sensoji, the surrounding lights from the gates and buildings help illuminate the cherry blossoms.
Hozomon and Cherry blossoms
After walking through Nakamise-dori street, you will find a large cherry blossom tree right in front of Hozomon Gate.
The sight of the cherry blossom tree and Hozomon, a traditional-style Japanese gate, is a beautiful and very “Japanese” sight.
Getting to Asakusa
The nearest station to Asakusa is Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. You can get there in about 30 minutes from Chidorigafuchi.
【Chidorigafuchi】about a 5-minute walk / Hanzomon Sta.
→【Hanzomon Sta.】Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / for Oshiage
→【Mitsukoshi-mae Sta.】Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / for Asakusa
→【Asakusa Sta.】→ about a 5-minute walk
“Sensoji Light Up”
・Period: Every day; from sunset to about 11:00p.m.
Check out this article for more information about Sensoji Temple.
Yozakura: A Forgiving Sakura Experience
Through this article, we only got to introduce three yozakura spots in Tokyo, but keep in mind that there are many other yozakura spots throughout the city!
Although cherry blossom trees can be a bit disappointing when not in full bloom, yozakura is a lot more forgiving since the lights give them an ethereal feeling.
There is still plenty of time left for yozakura, so go and explore Tokyo’s yozakura spots!