Here’s 5 unusual places for hanami in Tokyo.

Mori Garden a Roppongi

A vast and classic Japanese garden, Mori Garden was once part of a residence of the Edo period. Mori Garden is close to Roppongi Hills, one of the main shopping and entertainment districts in Tokyo. This means the garden is perfect for a relaxing post shopping walk, since it’s surrounded by a residential area. You can come here after exploring Roppongi, and look around for its ponds and streams, and of course enjoy the view of the flowers with the most modern skyscrapers in the background.

For a more popular place in Roppongi, read this article.

Yanaka Cemetery

Few minutes away from Nippori station, the cemetery was originally part of Tennouji temple. This unusual hanami location is more and more popular among the Japanese: in fact cherry trees line up the main boulevard of the cemetery, whose name is Sakura dori. Among the graves, you can find that of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun of Edo period. You may opt for a picnic with a bento, but remember that this is a cemetery, so be respectful and don’t make a row or leave trash.

Parco memoriale di Arisugawa-no-miya

During the Edo period this beautiful garden was part of a feudal residence, donated by prince Terunomiya Nobuhito (1905-1987) to the Tokyo metropolitan government. The authorities wanted to invest in health and education, so they decided to expand the garden by building tennis and baseball fields. The terrain follows Azabujuban’s hilly morphology and you can find ponds, a bridge and different walking courses. Each season is represented by one or more flowering, among which cherry and plum flowers. While you’re here, take a look at prince Arisugawa Taruhito’s statue, as well as the Tokyo Metropolitan Library.

Hama rikyu Garden

Few minutes away from Shiodome station and overlooking Tokyo Bay, this beautiful garden is a little quiet oasis. It was part of a hunting preserve, then a mansion was annexed in 1600 before becoming property of the Tokugawa family. Soon after being damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake and in the second world war, the garden was restored and opened to the public. The garden is home to a tea house and hosts a number of activities, like the typical Japanese hunt. Furthermore, one of its lakes uses water from Tokyo Bay, the only one in the capital with such a system. Hama rikyu is not so popular among hanami lovers, though the variety of trees and flowers is impressive. 

Sarue Onshi Park

Loved by the locals, this big park was donated to the city in celebration of emperor Showa’s wedding. In the south part you can find tennis and baseball fields, while in the north it’s possible to do hanami. Tokyo Sky Tree is visible and creates a nice contrast with the blue sky and pink blossoms. There aren’t many tourist spots nearby, but you can take a walk while exploring the area.

 

Photo credit: ototadana 六本木ヒルズ森タワーと毛利庭園の桜 via photopin (license)

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