Sakura is the Japanese word for the cherry blossoms. And if you are planning to visit Japan in the spring, this is one word you should know. Sakura feels like a special season here. A special weather forecast predicts when the cherry blossoms will open and be in full bloom.
The current forecast for Tokyo is March 21 for the first flowers to open up and March 30 for sakura in full bloom. This is a little earlier than the average year. Cherry blossom information in English for Tokyo and other regions of Japan can be found here: https://www.jnto.go.jp/sakura/eng/index.php.
If you are in Tokyo at the end of March this year, make sure to schedule some time for Hanami. Hanami literally means seeing the flowers in Japanese. The word means going out to enjoy the cherry blossoms. Take a walk under the trees, take pictures of the beautiful flowers that change the way the city looks, or take a break with a hanami picnic.
Here are three places that are famous for Sakura and great for a visit in the spring.
Sumida Park - This park along Sumida River in Asakusa is an excellent place to take pictures. There are many cherry trees and across the river you can see Tokyo Skytree. For an extra special experience, you can take a boat out on Sumida River. There are regular ferries as well as Yakatabune boats that combine a cruise with a traditional Japanese meal. For more local tips go to the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center. The Tokyo Yakatabune Association has information on cruises and can help with reservations http://www.yakatabune-kumiai.jp/en/.
Yanaka Cemetery - Yes, this cemetery really is a popular spot for seeing the cherry blossoms in spring. Take a walk under the old trees here. For the best local information in the Yanaka area, start your visit at the Yanesen Tourist Info & Culture Centre http://www.ti-yanesen.jp/en/. The Tokyo SGG Club offers free, guided walking tours in the Asakusa, Ueno, and Yanaka area. The Yanaka tour includes a visit to the Yanaka Cemetery. https://tokyosgg.jp/guide.html
Ueno Park - This park is famous for both the excellent museums in it as well as its cherry trees. It is one of the most popular spots in Japan for Hanami picnics. So bring a blanket, snacks, and drinks, and join the locals under the Sakura flowers. A beautiful backdrop for pictures here is the Japanese garden of the Tokyo National Museum. The spring time opening of the Museum Garden is March 13 - may 20, 2019. For details, please see https://www.tnm.jp/.
Spring is a special time. Enjoy Sakura!