By David, long-term Tokyo resident & food-loving traveler
This year, the cherry blossom season started earlier than usual in Tokyo. And officially, the cherry blossoms have reached full bloom now. This is the forecast for the Somei Yoshino variety of cherry trees, the most famous of many types of cherry trees. So if you are in Tokyo now, you can see Somei Yoshino in full bloom. But many Somei Yoshino trees and other types of sakura (cherry blossoms) that open their flowers later are just starting to open their buds. There are many beautiful flowers to see now.
In order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has asked people to refrain from gathering for large hanami parties this spring. Hanami parties, picnics under the cherry trees, are a tradition in Japan. The Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, also asked the capital’s citizens to stay at home and keep going out to a minimum this weekend. A number of venues and attractions are closed now and have canceled and postponed events. Following Governor Koike's announcement, more events are likely to be canceled in the upcoming weeks.
Even during these circumstances, spring and the cherry blossoms cannot be canceled. The flowers are painting the city white and pink during these difficult times. If you are in the city, please stop to enjoy the blossoms. Take pictures and share the joy of spring with others who cannot be here now. If you cannot see the cherry blossoms for yourself, search for cherry blossoms or sakura. Many people are posting beautiful pictures.
For travel information for Tokyo, please check Go Tokyo – The Official Tokyo Travel Guide https://www.gotokyo.org for updates. And for Japan travel information please see https://www.japan.travel/en/ by the Japan National Tourism Organization.
For local advice and travel tips in Tokyo, you can also visit one of the tourist information centers. In the old “shitamachi” area in East Tokyo I recommend the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center or the YANESEN Tourist Information Center in Yanaka. In Ueno, you can also go to the Tokyo Tourist Information Center at the Keisei Ueno Station or the Ueno Tourist Information inside the Matsuzakaya department store (B1F Matsuzakaya, PARCO_ya Ueno side).