In bloom: Where to see the cherry blossoms
According to the Japan Nationalal Tourist Association, the blossoms are forecast to bloom in Tokyo and Kyoto beginning March 29. Click here for more on the forecast.
As these listings were compiled before the massive earthquake struck Japan on March 11, please verify the event is still taking place.
The following are places to view the blossoms:
UENO PARK (Tokyo): "Night Cherry Blossoms Viewing Week," March 19-April 19, until 8 p.m.; 1,200 cherry trees in Ueno Park; two-minute walk from Ueno Station on Metro Ginza and Hibiya Lines; 03-3828-5644; click here (Japanese only).
TOSHIMAEN AMUSEMENT PARK (Tokyo): "Night Cherry Blossoms Viewing Week" March 25-April 5, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; see 800 cherry trees in the park; free to enter after 4 p.m., 1,000 yen (adults)/500 yen (children) for ride ticket after 4 p.m. during the week; Seibu Ikebukuro Line, Toshimaen Station; 03-3990-0884; www.toshimaen.co.jp/event/yozakura2011.html (Japanese only).
SANKEIEN GARDEN (Yokohama): "Cherry Blossom Night Viewing" March 26-April 3, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; seasonal flowers and historic buildings in the garden; 10-minute bus ride from JR Negishi Line; 500 yen; 045-621-0634; www.sankeien.or.jp/pdf/guidemap_english.pdf.
FUSSA CHERRY BLOSSOMS FESTIVAL (Yokota area): March 30-April 8; along the bank of Tama River. 15-minute walk from JR Ushihama Station; 042-551-1511.
KINUGASAYAMA CHERRY BLOSSOMS FESTIVAL (Yokosuka): March 25-April 5; 2,000 cherry blossoms trees, illuminated in evening; Kinugasa-yama Park; 25-minute walk from JR Kinugasa Station; 046-853-1611.
TSUKAYAMA PARK CHERRY BLOSSOMS FESTIVAL (Yokosuka): March 23-April 10; about 1,000 cherry blossoms trees on the hill with a view of Yokosuka Port, Tsukayama Park, 25-minute walk from Keikyu Line, Itsumi or Anjinzuka Station; 046-822-2575.
HAMURA FLOWER AND WATER FESTIVAL (Yokota area): March 25-April 10; about 500 cherry trees along the Tama River, plus food and street performers; JR Ome Line, Hamura Station; 042-555-6211.
CHIDORIGAFUCHI (Tokyo): March 25-April 3; Chidorigafuchi, the northeastern moat of the Imperial Palace, is one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spot in Japan and from 6:30-10 p.m., you can see illuminations; Subway Tozai Line, Kudan-Shita Station; 03-5211-4185.
SHINJUKU GYOEN (Tokyo): March 25-April 24; 144 acres park in Shinjuku, famous blossom viewing spot; 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., closed Mon. 200 yen; 10-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station; 03-3350-0151; www.shinjukugyoen.go.jp/english/english-index.html.
YASUKUNI SHRINE CHERRY BLOSSOMS FESTIVAL (Tokyo): March 25-April 3; when forecasting cherry the blossom blooming date in Tokyo area, Meteorological Agency's staff examines the 800 trees displayed here; a five-minute walk from Subway Tozai Line, Kudan-shita Station; 03-3261-8326; www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/index.html.
YASUKUNI SHRINE CHERRY BLOSSOMS NIGHT VIEW NOH PERFORMANCE (Tokyo): April 4-6, 6:40 p.m.; at Yasukuni Shrine Noh-gakudo, 3,000-4,500-7,500-11,000 yen; Jimukyoku 03-5215-2890.
RIKUGI-EN GARDEN (Tokyo): March 24-April 3, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Rikugi-en, a garden built in Edo Period, is famous for the drooping cherry trees and the blossoms are illuminated after sunset; Subway Nanboku Line, Komagome Station; 300 yen; 03-3941-2222; www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_08.html#rikugien.
ODAWARA CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL (Kanagawa prefecture): Late March until early April; about 350 cherry trees bloomi at Odawara Castle Park and are illuminated 6-10 p.m.; a 10-minute walk from JR Odawara Station; Odawara Tourist Association 0465-33-1521.
TOKYO SUMMERLAND CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL (western Tokyo): April 9-10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; about 1,500 trees near Lake Akikawa bloom, plus see local products for sale along with Japanese Taiko (drum) and other live performances at the family park; 200 yen adults, free for children; 042-558-6511; www.summerland.co.jp/ (Japanese only).
KOGANEI PARK CHERRY BLOSSOMS FESTIVAL (Tokyo): April 4-3; 1,700 cherry blossoms trees at one of the largest public parks in Tokyo along with scheduled attractions such as tea ceremonies, hula dance, Awa Odori and jazz performances; Koganei Park,10-minute bus ride from JR Musahi Koganei Station and get off at Koganei Koen Nishiguchi; 042-385-5611.
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