It’s official! The Japan Meteorological Agency has announced that Somei-Yoshino cherry blossoms have started to open on March 21 in Tokyo. More flowers will open in the coming days and the full bloom is expected in about a week.
Somei-Yoshino is the most famous type of cherry tree, or Sakura in Japanese. Of course there are many more varieties of sakura trees. Sakura comes in many different shades, from white to dark pink. Somei-Yoshino is the most common type of sakura tree. Its flowers have five petals and are a very light pink.
Ueno Park is one of the most famous sakura spots in Tokyo. There are over 1200 sakura trees in the park, including Somei Yoshino, Satozakura, and Yamazakura varieties. About 2 million people come here for “hanami” parties (cherry blossom viewing) each year. Join the crowds and enjoy the beginning of spring under the cherry blossoms. Bring something to sit on, drinks, and snacks and you are ready to do your own hanami like a local.
Sumida Park in Asakusa and Yanaka Cemetery are also popular places to come during Sakura time. Take a walk along Sumida River under the cherry blossoms, see the flowers while you go on a Yakatabune river cruise, or take a rickshaw ride. There are over 670 sakura trees in Sumida Park. You can take pictures with Tokyo Skytree in the background. For an extra special picture, rent a Kimono. There are many shops that rent Kimono for men, women, and children in Asakusa near Senso-ji Temple.
At Yanaka Cemetery you can find Sakura-dori Street next to Tenno-ji Temple. When the cherry blossoms open, the street becomes a flower tunnel. Inside the cemetery are many beautiful old trees. This is not a place for a hanami picnic, instead go to the nearby Yanaka Ginza. This street has many small shops selling tasty snacks and drinks.
Enjoy the start of spring and find your own favorite cherry blossom spot in the city.