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Cherry Blossom Viewing in Tokyo

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“Cherry blossom viewing” or hanami in Japanese, is a favorite Japanese activity for the short time they are in bloom in the early months of April. Companies, friends, universities have a ritual of having a party under the cherry blossom trees or sakura in Japanese. The event is called hanami, literally flower watching, usually starts as a friendly picnic and often ends up as a late night drinking session.

There are cherry blossom trees all over Japan, but some of the best places are listed below.

Hamarikyu Garden

Hamarikyu garden is one of best gardens in Tokyo. It is open until 9 pm during the first two weeks of April where the trees are lit up at night. Take the train to Shiodome to get there. There is a 300 yen entrance fee.

hamarikyu-garden-cherry-blossoms

Aoyama-bochi (cemetery)

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea to visit a cemetery for hanami but it does have some of the best cherry blossom trees in Tokyo.

Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace is a very pleasant place to visit and is surrounded right around the exterior by sakura trees.

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Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park is a great place for a party – it is fairly spacious and grassy (fairly rare for Tokyo parks).

Ueno Park

Ueno Park is one of the most popular places for Japanese companies to have parties, making it very difficult to get a spot if you are planning a picnic or a party. Most people reserve their spot with blue mats.

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