Your Guide to 花見 Hanami in Tokyo 2024: Stay Under the Pink Canopy

Spring in Japan explodes with the delicate beauty of sakura, or cherry blossoms. This breathtaking spectacle draws locals and tourists to celebrate hanami, the centuries-old tradition of appreciating these ephemeral blooms. Check out this blog for Japan’s Sakura forecast and recommended places to have a hanami around Tokyo!

Coto Academy is a Japanese language school located in Tokyo and Yokohama. With its small class sizes and flexible course schedule, we ensure the students find their community here in Japan and learn practical and useful daily-life Japanese by focusing on conversational practice.

A Quick Jump To…

Sakura Forecast 2024

While dates vary slightly each year, the 2024 Sakura forecast for Tokyo predicts peak bloom between March 23nd and March 30th. For other locations, check here.

Where to 花見 Hanami in Tokyo

上野恩賜公園 Ueno Park

A classic choice, boasting over 1,000 sakura trees and numerous food stalls. 

Photo By DiGJAPAN!

新宿御苑 Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

It escapes the bustling city, offering serene ponds and meticulously planned landscapes. 

目黒川 Meguro River

On a boat, cruise under a tunnel of blossoms or enjoy riverside picnics alongside locals. Be prepared for crowds!

Photo By Japan Travel

千鳥ヶ淵緑道 Chidorigafuchi Park

A picturesque moat lined with over 700 sakura trees, ideal for leisurely strolls. 

Photo By

旧中川  Former Nakagawa Riverbed Kawazu

It is one of the most popular locations to watch the cherry blossoms bloom. There are approximately 800 sakura trees.

代々木公園 Yoyogi Park

With more than 700 Sakura trees, it is also a nice place to watch the cherry blossoms bloom.

Photo By TimeOut

Hanami Delights

No Hanami experience is complete without a delectable spread to enjoy under the delicate canopy of Sakura. Here’s a guide to what to eat during your Hanami, from savory bites to sweet treats:

Savory delights

Photo By YumeTwins

  • 花見弁当 Hanami Bento: These specially packed lunchboxes are perfect for picnics, filled with delicious bites like sushi rolls, inarizushi (fried tofu pouches with rice), tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet), grilled fish, and spring vegetables. Opt for bento boxes with pink and white elements to echo the Sakura theme.
  • おにぎり Onigiri: Rice balls are easy to grab and come in various fillings, such as pickled plums, salmon, and tuna mayo. For a special touch, consider infusing them with sakura leaves.
  • 焼き鳥 Yakitori: Grilled skewers of chicken, vegetables, and seafood are a crowd-pleaser and add a smoky aroma to your picnic.
  • 唐揚げ Karaage: Crispy bite-sized fried chicken is a popular finger food, perfect for sharing with friends.
  • たこ焼き Takoyaki: Savory octopus balls offer a fun and flavorful treat.
  • 天ぷら Tempura: Lightly battered fried vegetables and seafood are healthy and delicious.

Sweet treats

Photo By まめはる

  • 桜餅 Sakura Mochi: This iconic Hanami dessert features a chewy rice cake filled with sweet red bean paste wrapped in a salted cherry blossom leaf, offering a delightful contrast of flavors.
  • 花見団子 Hanami Dango: Sweet dumplings made from rice flour, often presented in tri-colors (green, white, and pink), symbolizing spring and the sakura.
  • 苺大福 Ichigo Daifuku: Mochi filled with sweet red bean paste and a fresh strawberry, a perfect season taste.
  • 和菓子 Wagashi: Traditional Japanese sweets like どら焼き Dorayaki (pancake sandwiches with sweet fillings) and たい焼き Taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes) offer a variety of flavors to explore.

Hanami Essentials

Photo By TokyoTreat

  • Mat: Essential for sitting comfortably on the ground. Blue tarps are popular, but picnic blankets work too.
  • Food and Drinks: Bento boxes, snacks, and light drinks are perfect for sharing. Enjoy seasonal treats like Sakura mochi!
  • Garbage Bags: Keep your spot clean and respect the environment.
  • Warm Clothing: Evenings can be chilly, so pack layers.
  • Etiquette: Respect others’ space, avoid excessive noise, and dispose of trash properly.

Additional Tips

  • Consider alternative transportation like bikes or public transit, as parking can be challenging during peak season.
  • Download translation apps or phrasebooks to help navigate and communicate.
  • Check weather forecasts and dress accordingly.

You Might Be Wondering…

Do I need reservations?

Popular spots often require reservations, especially for large groups. Check individual park websites for details.

What time should I arrive?

Arrive early (before noon) to secure a good spot, especially on weekends.

Can I drink alcohol?

Yes, but consume responsibly and within park regulations.

What if it rains?

Many parks have shelters or covered areas. Consider alternative indoor hanami options like cafes with Sakura views.

Are there accessible Hanami spots?

Yes, several parks offer wheelchair-friendly paths and facilities. Check park websites for information.

Want to learn and study more about the Japanese language and culture?

Book a free level check consultation with us to join!

Test your Japanese level!

Do a self-test to see which course fits you.

Check your level