These Are the Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Kanto, According to a Popular Japanese Show

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A trip to Japan during the spring season is never complete without witnessing the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Last March 18, a popular Japanese TV show announced this year’s “7 Hottest Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in the Kanto Region.” Aside from the scenic spots, the show also introduced new ways of cherry blossom viewing such as from a hot air balloon at night and on a cruise.


In this article, we look at the top cherry blossom viewing spots that made the list:


Sagami Lake Resort Pleasure Forest


The Sagami Lake Resort Pleasure Forest lets you ride a hot air balloon and enjoy the flowers and illumination from the sky.


The
Sagami Lake Resort Pleasure Forest is a nature-rich amusement park that holds illuminations at night and is home to 2,500 cherry blossom trees. The trees in this park are considered as one of the largest in the Kanto region.


Aside from that, you can also experience the
Sagami Lake Cherry Blossom Festival alongside the cherry blossom illumination.


The facility was formerly introduced as a spot where you can enjoy the view of the cherry blossoms from a cable car and a Ferris wheel. As a special event last March 23, however, people had the opportunity to admire the night cherry blossoms and illumination from a hot air balloon.


Ueno Park


Ueno Park has over 3 million people visiting it every year during the cherry blossom season.


The
Ueno Park was said to have been established in the Edo period when Tokugawa Ieyasu's aide, Tenkai Soujyou, transported cherry blossoms there from Mt. Yoshino in Nara. There are about 800 cherry blossoms in the park, including a cherry blossom tunnel formation at the main street.


The TV program introduced the must-see sidewalk by Shinobazu Pond, which becomes a small cherry blossom tunnel.
 In addition to this, the park also has several other great spots, like Kiyomizu Kannondo Temple and Ueno Toshogu Shrine.


This year’s cherry blossom experience is made even more special with its highlight event —
an orchestral concert held onstage, in front of the park’s fountain, amidst the cherry blossoms. Through this, children and adults can experience what it’s like to be a conductor of an orchestral performance.  


More than 3 million tourists visited the park last year. Since the park’s location is close to a train station, museums, and a zoo, visitors of all ages will enjoy going to this place.

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Akagi Nanmen Senbonzakura


Aside from the cherry blossoms, the rape blossom field is also going to be lit up for the first time this year.


The
Akagi Nanmen Senbonzakura has a 60-year-old cherry blossom tunnel that spans about1.3 kilometers. Adjacent to this is the Miyagi Senbon Sakura no Mori, where the "World Cherry Blossom Zone" was opened last April 2013. There, you’ll find about 500 cherry blossom trees of various species. Sales exhibitions of special products made by local artists are also done during the Cherry Blossom Festival.


Next to the cherry tree-lined street is a rape blossom field that’s in full bloom from early to mid-April. 
Furthermore, there is also a spread of 150,000 bright pink moss phlox on the other side of the cherry blossom tree row. A beautiful scenery awaits you everywhere you look when you are at this park.


Take note that the illumination starts from sunset until 9:30 p.m.


Shinjuku Gyoen


The cherry blossoms at
Shinjuku Gyoen continue to bloom for a long period of time. This place is 12 times larger than the Tokyo Dome and has about 1,000 cherry blossom trees. It has become a very popular cherry blossom viewing spot, that approximately one million people visit the park each year.


All in all, you’ll find 65 types of cherry blossom trees planted there. The flowering period of the cherry blossoms varies depending on their type. Some varieties bloom from September to October in autumn, while others bloom in the extreme cold of January.


Each year, a Cherry Blossom Viewing Party is hosted here by the Prime Minister. For the first time this year, the park will be holding a light up event alongside their cherry blossom viewing activity.


Meguro River


Hanami (flower viewing) Cruising is a popular activity at Meguro River.


The
Meguro River flows through the Setagaya District, Meguro District, and Shinagawa District into Tokyo Bay. Approximately 3.8 kilometers of Yoshino Cherry Blossoms line the river within the 800 cherry blossom row from Ikejiri Ohashi Station to the Kamenokoh Bridge, below the Tokyu Meguro Line.


Upstream from the
Nakameguro Station, the cherry blossoms from both sides of the bank make an arch above the river. On the other hand, a row of tall sakura trees can be found downstream.


During the flowering season, the
sakura light-up and cherry blossom festival are popular among the locals and tourists. At night, the tree illuminations make for a magical scene.

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On top of the illumination event, visitors can now experience a new way of cherry blossom viewing through the
Ohanami Cruiser. After entering the Meguro River from Shibaura, you can enjoy looking up at the beautiful cherry blossoms found on both sides up to Meguro Gajoen. This cruise is perfect for people who want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a leisurely flower viewing.


Furthermore, reclining sofas and an all-you-can-drink plan will be introduced in the Onahami Cruiser this year.
Make sure that you reserve early if you want to enjoy this unique flower viewing experience.


Satte Gongendo Sakuratsutsumi


The large panorama of cherry blossoms and rape blossoms of Satte Gongendo Sakuratsutsumi has been 
a hot topic in many media outlets.


The
Satte Gongendo Sakuratsutsumi has about 1,000 cherry blossom trees spanning a length of one kilometer. A rape blossom field spreads out beside the trees, creating a gorgeous contrast of pink and yellow. In addition to this, the park is lit up at sunset during the cherry blossom festival, so you can likewise enjoy the cherry blossoms at night.


This spot is also easily accessible by train from Tokyo and will only take you 90 minutes to get there.


Rikugien Garden


Rikugien Garden is the TV show’s number one cherry blossom viewing spot.


The
Rikugien Garden was created by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, who is an aide to the fifth Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi in the Edo Period. It was built using a landscaping technique called Kaiyu-shiki Tsukiyama Sensui Teien.


Gardens in this style normally consist of a large lake (
sensui) and an artificial hill (tsukiyama). This technique makes the place more conducive for visitors to stroll around the area and enjoy the surroundings. As such, it was specifically designated as one of the “Special Places of Scenic Beauty” back in 1953.


The most popular highlight of the place is its huge 70-year-old giant fern cherry tree. It is planted alongside three cherry blossoms in an effort to increase the flower volume in the future. The fern cherry trees show a different expression depending on the time of the day and have vines that flow down seamlessly like waterfalls. On the other hand, the illumination creates an effect that makes it seem like the cherry blossoms are floating in the dark.


Moreover, the garden also has a
Fukiage teahouse, where you can eat seasonal cherry sweets like the Weeping Cherry Tree Sweet Beans Jelly.

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The garden’s location is a five-minute walk from Komagome Station. It should be noted, however, that 
mats or picnic sheets are strictly prohibited at Rikugien Garden. This is to allow visitors to enjoy the cherry blossoms purely and without any form of obstruction.


Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokyo Walker™ (19 March 2019)


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