According to the Sakura (cherry blossoms) forecast, Tokyo residents will be enjoying the beautiful pink colored season by the 4th week in March. Forget about the lousy hay fever for now, and let’s review some popular viewing spots so that we can lay a perfect plan in advance!
- Sumida Park – One of the most popular spots which is listed as top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots compiled by the Japan Cherry Blossom Association. Its history as a cherry blossom viewing spot starts way back when Yoshimune Tokugawa (1684-1751), the eighth general of the Edo Shogunate, planted cherry trees in this area.
- Rikugien Gardens – Known as an illumination spot and its magnificent 15 meters tall Shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree). 7 minutes walk from JR Komagome station which is very easy to access. Definitely best to visit when the illumination event is taking place: 21 Mar to 5 Apr this year.
- Sankeien Gardens (Yokohama) – Originally built and opened to public in the early 1900s, visitors can enjoy an old-style Japanese atmosphere in this traditional Japanese garden. There will be night viewing events during the cherry blossom season and visitors can enjoy illumination of cherry blossoms and a historical three storied pagoda.
- Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (Kamakura) – The famous shrine constructed by Minamoto no Yoritomo (1193–1199), the founder and the first general of the Kamakura Shogunate. This is a historical, year-round tourist destination but definitely best to visit in spring. A row of cherry blossom trees will lead you to the magnificent shrine and you will never be disappointed in the stunning view of Genpei-ike (a large pond at the shrine entrance) surrounded by cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms has always been special for the Japanese. One reason is because they bloom for only a short period and fall in no time. In the old days, they were often thought to be a symbol of life and death, and were used in numerous historical writings and songs – and still, their beauty and magnificence grabs our hearts and minds.
Hope you all enjoy the precious season.
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