Mar 4, 2019
What's your favorite Tokyo hanami spot?
I feel like I've hit up all the "standard" hanami spots: Yoyogi, Asukayama, Ueno, Yanaka... What's your favorite spot (preferably not on that list) and why?
I like petting cats and eating snacks.
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I get restless pretty quickly so for me I prefer the "strolling" hanami experience. For that I quite like some sections of the riverside along Sumidagawa and last year I went to Nakameguro for the first time. It was pretty packed on the bridges there but otherwise it was a nice experience. Chidorigafuchi (around the Imperial Palace) is also another classic strolling spot. For a sit-down-and-eat/drink experience how about Yasukuni Shrine? There you get the bizarre combination of delicate sakura and Imperialist aggressor overtones. It's nothing if not a bit strange, and in the evening all the office workers turn out for drinks so it ends up making for quite a fun atmosphere. I also quite like the cherry blossom around Tokyo Midtown. You can stroll or sit, and plus there are the Midtown shops/restaurants as well as all the stuff in Roppongi if you get bored.1
Higashi Ayase Park behind the Tokyo Budokan is a U-shaped park with water features, an avenue of cherry trees, playgrounds. It’s a good one for strolling.1
Maybe not one to necessarily picnic at, but Aoyama Cemetery was one that I enjoyed passing through to enjoy the cherry blossoms when I lived in Tokyo. It's definitely unique!2
The Mori building in Roppongi is quite nice. The garden lights up at night and the night sakura is stunning.0
I do most of my "hanami" outside of Tokyo, but in Tokyo I like Shinjuku Gyoen because its not as packed as other parks - possibly because you have to pay in.0