Cherry blossom viewing, or hanami, is a big event in Japan. Every year, forecasts are released recommending the best time frame to view the cherry blossoms in each area of Japan. There is only about a week and a half to enjoy the cherry blossoms, so the viewing is celebrated with parties and festivals.
In Tokyo, Ueno Park is one of the most popular areas for cherry blossom viewing. The park has around 1,200 cherry trees and is decorated with thousands of paper lanterns during the Ueno Sakura Matsuri (Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival). The paper lanterns are lit up in the evenings and illuminate the cherry trees for a spectacular view.
This year, the cherry blossoms are expected to be in full bloom in Tokyo from March 22 until April 1. Ueno Park opens for viewing on March 18 and the festivities will continue at the park until April 9.
You can access Ueno Park by going out the Park Exit at JR Ueno Station. Ueno Station is centrally located in Tokyo and accessible via the JR Yamanote line, Keisei line, and Tokyo Metro Ginza and Hibiya lines.
Date: March 18 – April 9, 2017
Fee: Free admission
Schedule of Events:
- 10:00 am-8:00 pm – Open air antique market
- 5:30 pm-8:00 pm – Cherry trees are lit up
Transportation: 3 minute walk from Ueno Station
Photo credit: ©JNTO