In the vibrant scene of Tokyo’s hanami culture, there’s more than meets the eye. While iconic spots like Ueno Park and Chidorigafuchi are perennial favorites, Tokyo harbors hidden gems for those seeking a unique and unconventional hanami experience. Join us on a journey through the city’s most unusual cherry blossom havens that redefine the art of sakura appreciation.
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Mori Garden in Roppongi: A Tranquil Oasis Amidst Modernity
Nestled close to the bustling Roppongi Hills, Mori Garden unfolds as a vast and timeless Japanese garden, once part of an Edo period residence. Offering a serene escape, this classic garden provides the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll post-shopping, surrounded by a peaceful residential area. After exploring the vibrant Roppongi district, immerse yourself in the beauty of Mori Garden, where ponds and streams meander through, and vibrant flowers bloom against the backdrop of Tokyo’s modern skyscrapers.
Yanaka Cemetery: Unconventional Hanami Amidst History
A short distance from Nippori station, Yanaka Cemetery unveils an unconventional yet increasingly popular hanami spot among the Japanese. Originally part of Tennouji temple, this cemetery boasts cherry trees lining its main boulevard, aptly named Sakura Dori. As you explore, you’ll encounter historical significance, including the grave of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun of the Edo period. While a picnic with a bento is an option, be sure to maintain respect as you enjoy the blossoms in this cemetery setting.
While you’re in Yanaka, check unmissable places you have to see with your eyes at this link!
Parco Memoriale di Arisugawa-no-miya: Edo-era Grandeur in Modern Tokyo
Once part of a feudal residence during the Edo period, Parco Memoriale di Arisugawa-no-miya now stands as a beautiful garden donated by Prince Terunomiya Nobuhito. The Tokyo metropolitan government expanded the garden, incorporating tennis and baseball fields in alignment with a focus on health and education. This charming landscape in Azabujuban boasts ponds, bridges, and various walking courses, each season represented by blooming flowers, including cherry and plum blossoms. Take a moment to admire Prince Arisugawa Taruhito’s statue and explore the Tokyo Metropolitan Library within this historic oasis.
Hama Rikyu Gardens: Tranquility Overlooking Tokyo Bay
A short distance from Shiodome station, Hama Rikyu Gardens emerge as a serene haven overlooking Tokyo Bay. Once a hunting preserve and later a property of the Tokugawa family, this garden endured damage from the Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II. Restored and opened to the public, it now stands as a picturesque retreat with a tea house and various activities, including traditional Japanese hunts. While not widely recognized for hanami, Hama Rikyu Gardens boast an impressive variety of trees and flowers, with one of its lakes utilizing water from Tokyo Bay, a unique feature in the capital.
Sarue Onshi Park: A Local’s Hanami Haven
Cherished by locals, Sarue Onshi Park, generously donated to the city in celebration of Emperor Showa’s wedding, offers a sprawling landscape for hanami enthusiasts. With tennis and baseball fields in the south and dedicated hanami spaces in the north, the park provides a harmonious contrast between Tokyo Sky Tree, the blue sky, and delicate pink blossoms. While not surrounded by tourist hotspots, the park invites you to take a leisurely stroll, exploring the charming surroundings.