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The Best Uncrowded Places to Find Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

Japan tourism has boomed tremendously since they FINALLY began letting tourists re-enter the country in Oct 2022, being one of, if not, THE last country to relax its travel restrictions since 2020.

Since my first visit in September 2017, I had vowed to return for cherry blossom season as soon as it was possible. And so, when the 2023 cherry blossom (sakura) forecast finally published in December 2022, I promptly booked my ticket without hesitation, sucking up the cost of peak season, and prepared to leave with or without any friends (one friend did join, though)!

For the rest of 2023, my Instagram feed was flooded with Japan content from fellow travel bloggers and friends, alike! Because Japan has a special place in my heart, it was awesome to see that others shared the same sentiments for it. I suspect 2024 will be no different!

According to the Live Japan 2024 Cherry Blossom Forecast, peak bloom in Tokyo is, as usual, at the very end of March! So plan to be in Tokyo on or around March 29th!

Now that you have a ticket, where should you go for the best viewing? My Google / blog searches returned many of the same popular results: Ueno Park, Asakusa (Sensoji-Temple), and Meguro River, to name a few. But I personally cannot stand crowds. So I planned to visit these sites super early in the morning to take advantage of low crowds. Unfortunately, I was also extremely I didn't make it.

But no need to worry! You WILL see sakura ALL over Tokyo. In fact, if your life literally depended on NOT seeing any cherry blossoms in Tokyo during the season, I would take extreme pity on you....

That being said, here are three amazing locations I found while exploring Tokyo that had little to no crowds!

Kunofune Bridge

On our very first night, we walked around near our hotel, Keisei Richmond Hotel, and came across my favorite location of the three, Kunofune Bridge! The white sakura was stunning, especially at night with the trail of paper lanterns lit under the trees!

I absolutely recommend stopping here at night! The bridge is right by the Monzen-nakacho metro station on the Tozai and Oedo Lines. It may be slightly out of the way in Koto City, but so worth it! Just don't get stuck here past midnight when the metro shuts down!

Hama-rikyu Gardens

On another day, we just wanted to check out a garden and found Hama-rikyu Gardens. The admission was 400 yen for a joint ticket for both this and the next garden on this list. The website today lists Hama-rikyu at 300 yen alone.

Hama-rikyu is a very big park with several ponds, a tea house, some lovely shrines, and no shortage of sakura!

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Onshi Garden

With our joint ticket, we walked 15 minutes from Hama-rikyu to the smaller Kyu Shiba Rikyu Onshi Garden. There's a nice pond, and I loved the single pretty white sakura tree here! Entry is 150 yen according to Japan Guide. By purchasing a joint ticket with Hama-rikyu, you save 50 yen.

Have you visited Japan during sakura season? If so, where was your favorite place to view them? If you haven't been, which of these three places seems most appealing to you? Leave a comment below!

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