Top 3 Places to See Sakuras Along Yamanote Line （山の手線）in Tokyo3 April, 2015
Here comes the time of the year which Japanese and everyone adore, the sakuras. This marks the end of the cold winter and a start of a new year from April. It’s also this time of the year where foreigners and locals travel around, sit under the cherry blossoms or trek under the white shady cherry blossoms. Today, I would like to write about some beautiful places around the convenient Yamanote Line, Tokyo where you can catch the sakuras. But before I move on, I like to stress that actually sakuras are everywhere. But these places have more sakura trees and create the white pretty canopy which lightens up people hearts.
Yokohama Landmark Tower, the tallest building in Kanto
Oh sakuras, sakuras, sakuras
1. Ueno Park 上野公園
Location: 2 minutes walk from JR Ueno Station Park Exit （JR上野駅公園口), Tokyo Metro Ginza or Hibiya Line
Opening Hours: 0500-2300. Closed on Dec 29-Jan 3.
Widely featured in many guide books. Lined with rows of sakura trees, the park is filled with people in the day and at night. I went there at night a year ago, I think its noisy, many people are merrying under the trees drinking. And of course, after drinking there are rubbish around. Nevertheless, the row of pink sakuras along the pavement at night is awesome. One word of cautions, there are homeless people at Ueno Park too.
Rows and rows of sakuras down the pavement
A sakura shot taken upwards
2. Shinjuku Gyoen 新宿御苑
Location to Shinjuku-mon:
10 minutes walk from JR/Keio/Odakyu Shinjuku Station South Exit.
5 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station（新宿御苑前駅）Exit 1
5 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line Shinjuku Sanchome Station（新宿三丁目駅）Exit E5
5 minutes walk from Toei-Shinjuku Line Shinjuku Sanchome Station（新宿三丁目駅） Exit C1/C5
Opening Hours: 0900-1630 (Last admission 1600). Closed on Mondays, Dec 29-Jan 3. The park is opened whole day during sakura seasons (late March to early April)
A park located in busy city of Shinjuku. Many people will have picnic at the park and afterwhich off for shopping or partying at night. I think it’s not as rowdy as Ueno Park, and you can play badminton or Frisbee, or laze on the mats under the pink canopy and read a book. One good point about the park is, there are different variety of sakuras around, so even if you come in mid-April, you can catch the late bloomers
Tips: Buy some food from Shinjuku station or along the convenient store. Mats are available at 100yen shop too. The park is so huge you can get a seat. Prepare a book and just laze your afternoon away… one point to note, spots under the sakuras are popular ones. Be there early.
3. Rikugien 六義園
Location: 7 minutes walk from JR Komazawa Station（駒沢駅）, Tokyo Metro Namboku Line or 10 minutes walk from Tokyo Toei-Metro Mita Line, Sengoku（千石）
This place is a park, not really for serious picnickers but people who like to walk around the park and exercise. It is famous of a big “shidare” sakura tree (also known as weeping sakura) standing at the entrance of the park. The special feature of “shidare” sakura is, the tree is tall and wide, the sakuras are drapping down instead of blossoming up. Please take a look at the photo below:
The park is famous for one big weeping sakura
The tall sakura stands among the greens. You will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the park after trekking to the top.