Are you in Tokyo for 3 days between March till May and looking forward to visiting cherry blossoms? Let’s have a look at the best way for you to visit the major tourist sights that Tokyo has to offer, along with beautiful cherry blossom spots! Here’s the 3-day itinerary for Tokyo featuring cherry blossoms! Get ready to enjoy Tokyo covered in pink!
Day 1 in Tokyo
9:30 Skytree スカイツリー
At 634 m high, the Tokyo Sky Tree® is the new landmark of Tokyo tourism. With the Tokyo Solamachi shopping centre, planetarium and aquarium spread out at its foot, it is a sightseeing spot where you can spend a whole day and never get bored.
The interior of the Sky Tree’s elevators is the focus of attention. There are four different types, representing the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, with the ‘summer’ lift decorated with Edo facets depicting fireworks over the Sumida River. Visitors can enjoy the excitement of knowing which season the lift they are being guided to falls in!
Walk to Asakusa 🌸
Walking from Skytree to Asakusa along the river,
12:00 Asakusa 浅草
Senso-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo, is an unmissable spot for sightseeing in Tokyo. Popular with foreign tourists, the temple is crowded with people trying to take photos in front of the large paper lanterns of the Kaminarimon gate.
The Nakamise Street leading from Kaminarimon is lined with long-established souvenir and Japanese confectionary shops, as well as sweet shops perfect for eating and walking. The best place to try Asakusa’s speciality, ningyoyaki (doll-shaped pancakes). One of the best ways to enjoy Asakusa is to compare the taste of different shops.
14:00 Sumida River 🌸 隅田川
A popular spot for cherry blossom viewing, selected as one of the 100 best cherry blossom viewing spots. It is said that the first cherry trees were planted in the Edo period under the order of the fourth shogun, Tokugawa Ietsuna, and in 1717 (Kyoho 2), the eighth shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune, planted 100 more cherry trees, and today there are approximately 300 cherry trees on the Sumida-ku side and 600 on the opposite bank in Taito-ku.
The area is close to the station and the cherry trees line both banks of the Sumida River for about 1 km, where you can enjoy the collaboration with the Tokyo Sky Tree (R).
A houseboat ride on the Sumida River is recommended to view the rows of cherry trees on both banks of the river. The Sumizutsumi Sakura Festival in 2023 is scheduled to be held from late March to early April. For more information, see the official website.
15:30 Ueno 上野
Ameyokocho- From JR Okachimachi Station to just before Ueno Station, this energetic shopping street is a maze of some 400 shops along the side of the viaduct and under the guard. Everything from fresh fish and foodstuffs to clothing and sundries can be found here at extremely low prices. There is also a wide selection of gourmet food, so be sure to visit when sightseeing in Tokyo.
In Ueno, the Tokyo National Museum is super popular! It’s Japan’s largest museum and admission is only 1000yen, totally worth it! It has exhibits of Ukiyo-e, Buddhist sculpture, calligraphy, Ainu folklore, samurai relics, and a lot more. In the museum you will also find a nice tea house and a garden, where you can also see the cherry blossoms bloom!
Ueno Toshogu is a shrine in Ueno that is also littered with cherry blossom trees. It was built in 1627, but still shines bright gold! While you’re there, you may want to check out the peony garden. It costs 700yen, but then you will see the beautiful flowers in the garden! It’s a very peaceful experience.
Ueno Park 🌸 上野恩賜公園
Ueno Park is one of Tokyo’s most famous cherry blossom viewing spots. The Shinobazu Pond is a popular spot where you can feel nature in the heart of the city, with many water birds such as ducks living in the pond and lotus flowers blooming in clusters in summer.
The mountains of Ueno have been famous for their cherry blossoms since the Edo period (1603-1868), and nature can be enjoyed to the full throughout the four seasons. The cherry trees are said to have been transplanted from Mount Yoshino by priest Tenkai, and around 800 cherry trees adorn the park, mainly along the park’s Sakura-dori.
In the Park, there is also the Ueno Zoo, where the cherry blossoms bloom all throughout the park! They have amazing giant panda’s and enormous turtles, so it is definitely worth a visit!
18:00 Meguro 🌸 目黒
In Meguro, you will find multiple shrines and temples. One of them is the Ryusenji Temple. The place Meguro is actually named after this temple, so it’s definitely one to see! The temple itself has a calming effect on everyone, because of its beautiful scenery. The temple is built inside a park, so there will be no buildings in your way, only the serenity of nature!
The Meguro River flows through Setagaya, Meguro and Shinagawa wards into Tokyo Bay. In the Meguro Ward area, cherry trees, mainly Someiyoshino cherry trees, line the river for about 4 km from near Ikejiri-Ohashi Station, and upstream from Nakameguro Station, cherry trees cover the river in an arch from both sides of the riverbank.
In 2023, the Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on Sunday 26 March and the Meguro East Area Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April. During the blooming period, lights and bonbori lanterns will be lit from sunset to 20:00.
9:00 Shibuya 渋谷
Shibuya is known for its busy streets and tall buildings, so you should try to walk the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. It’s really busy, even on weekdays, but it is an experience you should try! While you’re around the crossing, try to go to Shibuya Sky. There, you can have a great view of the crossing from above!
Once you step out of the station, you can also see a famous memorial for all the movie lovers out there! Here, you can admire the memorial of Hachi-ko, the dog that waited for his owner. It gets very crowded very soon, so I recommend doing this a little early in the day.
Shibuya has a lot of cute stores and fun places to visit. I recommend getting the Sakura Frappuccino to get into the mood of the Cherry Blossom season. They sell them at Starbucks, where you also have a nice view of the Scramble Crossing. They use jelly made from real cherry blossoms, so it’s a nice touch to the very sweet drink! On top, you have the Sakura Macarons, which give it the finishing touch for a refreshing drink!
11:00 Yoyogi Park 🌸 代々木公園
The fifth-largest urban park in Tokyo’s 23 wards, it is divided into a forest park area that stretches across the road and a plaza area with an athletics track, outdoor stage and other facilities. Together with the trees of the neighbouring Meiji Shrine, it forms a thick green forest, and the waterscape facilities with three large and three small fountains and a water corridor create a pleasant atmosphere.
The park is home to approximately 600 cherry trees, including Someiyoshino, Oshima and mountain cherry trees, which are usually at their best from late March. When the cherry trees are in full bloom, the Cherry Blossom Garden and the Central Square are brightly coloured.
12:30 Harajuku 原宿
Harajuku is known as the shopping district, so you will definitely find some cute fashion here!
Harajuku is also famous for its many animal cafe’s. They have the normal ones, like cats and dogs, but they also have cafe’s that you won’t see anywhere else! I especially recommend the Hedgehog cafe! It’s really cute, you can hold them and watch them fall asleep in your hands or you could feed them and hear the tiny crunch.
They also have cute snacks in Harajuku! You could get cotton candy in the shape of bunnies or dogs! Or some crepes with fresh strawberries, they taste really good.
15:00 Shinjuku Gyoen 🌸 新宿御苑
The garden is a skilful combination of a formal garden with beautiful rows of plane trees, a landscape garden characterised by extensive lawns and lilies, and a traditional Japanese garden, and is considered to be a modern Western garden representative of the Meiji era.
The garden has a unique landscape of about 10,000 trees, including lilies, plane trees, Himalayan cedars and rakusyo, and about 900 cherry trees of about 70 species are a major attraction in spring. The lighting up of the cherry blossoms in 2023 has not yet been decided. Please check the official website for details.
The early flowering cherry trees start blooming in January, and the Someiyoshino cherry trees are at their best from late March.
17:00 Shinjuku 新宿
Shinjuku is a great place to discover everything Tokyo has in a short time span. From bars to neon lights, from restaurants to shopping, everything can be found in Shinjuku! Even art! Go to the Nishi Shinjuku neighbourhood and marvel at the great sculptures that are there.
For the movie fans out there, you can see a giant Godzilla head on the roof of the Toho Cinema building! Just walk up to the top and marvel at the experience, feel like you’re in the movie yourself!
9:00 Imperial Palace 🌸 皇居
The Tokyo Imperial Palace is definitely worth visiting! They have free guided tours around the Palace, in which you will get the most out of your experience! You can also visit the gardens. These gardens can make even the most stressed person relax! The inner grounds only open up to the public twice a year, once on January 2nd and once on February 23rd.
10:30 Chidorigafuchi 🌸 千鳥ケ淵
One of the best places in Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing, located a five-minute walk from Kudanshita Station and a five-minute walk from Hanzomon Station. A 700-metre promenade stretches from Yasukuni Dori to Kitanomaru Park, with some 260 cherry trees, including Someiyoshino, planted along the street.
The street is planted with some 260 cherry trees, including Someiyoshino, which bloom in late March and early April every year. The reflection of the cherry trees on the water is also beautiful and attracts many visitors every day, including business people stopping by on their way home from work and couples enjoying cherry blossom viewing.
12:00 Yasaka Shrine 🌸 八坂神社
The Shokonsha was originally founded in 1869 (Meiji 2) at the behest of Emperor Meiji. The shrine enshrines those who died in defence of the country, from the late samurai of the Tokugawa Shogunate to the last World War.
The shrine has long been known as a cherry blossom viewing spot, with a sample cherry tree designated by the Tokyo District Meteorological Observatory in the precincts, and during the cherry blossom season from late March to early April, the shrine attracts many visitors with ‘Dedo Yozakura Noh’, ‘Dedo Engei’, ‘Dedo Pro Wrestling’, various dedicated performances and kitchen car stalls.
14:00 Zozoji Temple 🌸 増上寺
One of the seven major head temples of the Jodo sect, this historic temple has been in existence for 600 years. As a family temple of the Tokugawa family, it also houses the Tokugawa shoguns’ cemetery, where six of the shoguns are buried. The vast grounds are planted with some 200 cherry trees.
Most of them are Someiyoshino cherry trees, but several other varieties can be enjoyed, including weeping cherry trees and Yutenzakura cherry trees.
16:30 Roppongi 六本木
Not nearly as popular but twice as great is the observatory in Roppongi Hills. This observatory lets you go to the top of the building, where you can see the Tokyo Tower and the Skytree at once! It is especially wonderful when it’s dark. Then, the lights of the city shine bright! In Roppongi Hills, you can also see the beautiful Sakura!
Everywhere in Roppongi, there are cherry blossom trees. These trees bloom early, so it’s a really nice spot to go to! I highly recommend going here and just walking around the city.
Roppongi is known as the nightlife district for foreigners, so if you want to experience this, you should definitely go to Roppongi! There are multiple great places to eat as well, for example, the Torikizoku restaurant. It offers cheap drinks and great food, overall a nice place to eat!
Are you excited to visit these amazing places in Tokyo? Hope you enjoy this 3-day itinerary in Tokyo featuring cherry blossoms! Tokyo is great to explore in 3 days, but there’s always more to see in this big city, so definitely come back again!