You might think you can only see Kawazu-zakura if you travel south of Tokyo, around the Izu area. But actually, you can find Kawazusakura in Tokyo too! Kawazu-zakura is so special because they bloom earlier than most cherry trees and stay in bloom for about a month longer. Here are 10 best spots to find Kawazu-zakura this spring in Tokyo!

Kawazu-Zakura Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

1. Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa 

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Credit: Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa

The Japanese garden at Takanawa transports you away from the bustling heart of Tokyo. Kawazu cherry trees bloom around February, followed by scarlet cherry trees, Somei Yoshino cherry trees, and weeping cherry trees, creating a continuous spectacle until early April when they reach their peak. The cherry blossoms set against the vibrant red backdrop of the Kannon-do hall and pond, recognized as a tangible cultural property by the Minato City Government, offer a mesmerizing sight.

Don’t miss the Takanawa Sakura Matsuri, a cherry blossom festival, happening from March 8 to April 14. Immerse yourself in the beauty of cherry blossoms and the arrival of spring while enjoying the safety and comfort of the hotel.

Best time to view cherry blossoms: mid-February to early April

2. Kyu-Nakagawa River

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Credit: Tokyo Album

The Kawazu cherry trees lining the riverside begin to bloom from early February, followed by approximately 260 cherry trees including the Okanzakura and Somei Yoshino varieties. For about two months until early April, when the Somei Yoshino cherry trees typically conclude their season, visitors can marvel at the full bloom of five different types of cherry trees. The picturesque scene reflected on the tranquil waters of the Old Nakagawa River is truly captivating. On a clear day, the view of the cherry blossoms alongside the Tokyo Sky Tree is simply breathtaking!

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Early February to early April

3. Shinjuku Gyoen

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10 best spots to see Kawazu Shinjuku Gyoen

This garden is a skilful combination of a formal garden with beautiful rows of plane trees, a landscape garden featuring extensive lawns and lilies, and a traditional Japanese garden, and is said 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.

In 2024, the park requires advanced reservations for cherry blossom viewing, so be sure to secure that before heading there.

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Mid-February to late April

4. Nakagawa Waterfront Park

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The Old Nakagawa River spans a 6.7 km section downstream of the Nakagawa River, which was bifurcated by the Arakawa River drainage canal. It is bordered by Edogawa Ward to the east and Sumida and Koto Wards to the west. Sumida Ward has transformed the riverbed into a park, adorning it with 256 cherry trees of nine varieties, ranging from early to late bloomers. These include not only the iconic Somei Yoshino, but also Kawazu cherry, Omoigawa, Yoko, Kanzan, Fugenzo, Ichiyou, Oyama cherry, and Sendai shidare (Sendai drooping branch). The cherry blossom festival is scheduled for 2023. For further information, please refer to the official website.

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Mid-February – early April

5. Ueno Onshi Park

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Credit: Trevor Paxton

The mountains of Ueno have garnered fame for their cherry blossoms since the Edo period (1603-1868), offering visitors a chance to revel in nature’s beauty across all four seasons. Legend has it that Buddhist priest Tenkai transplanted cherry trees from Mount Yoshino to this area. Today, approximately 800 cherry trees embellish the park, predominantly along Sakura-dori (cherry blossom avenue). The park’s 2024 cherry blossom festival is set to happen between March 22 and 31, and is poised to be a delight not just for the eyes but for the the tastebuds as well.

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Late March – early April

6. Hotel New Otani

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Credit: Hotel New Ohtani

The Japanese garden at Hotel New Otani boasts a rich history spanning over 400 years, having served as the residence of Lord Kiyomasa Kato and the garden of the Ii family, nestled within the outer moat of Edo Castle. Typically, from mid-March onward, mountain cherry trees, weeping cherry trees, Somei Yoshino cherry trees, and Yaezakura cherry trees burst into bloom.

Visitors can have a serene hanami experience amidst the garden’s numerous attractions, including a red drum bridge over the pond and a majestic 6-meter-high waterfall. Moreover, a diverse array of 58 cherry trees representing 19 varieties, such as red-stemmed and Keio cherry trees, bloom at staggered intervals, ensuring an extended period of enjoyment for hanami enthusiasts. This tranquil oasis in the heart of the city offers a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle and bustle, allowing visitors to immerse themselves fully in the serene Japanese atmosphere.

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Late March to late April

7. Yoyogi Park

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10 best spots to see Kawazu-zakura: Yoyogi Park
Credit: Meiji Shrine Goshuin

Ranked as the fifth-largest city park among Tokyo’s 23 wards, this park is divided into a forest park area situated across the road and a plaza area featuring an athletics track, outdoor stage, and other amenities. Together with the trees from the nearby Meiji Shrine, it forms a lush green forest, while the waterscape facilities, including three large and three small fountains along with water corridors, contribute to a serene ambiance. Boasting approximately 600 cherry trees, including Somei Yoshino, Oshima, and mountain cherry trees, the park typically reaches its peak bloom in late March. During the full bloom of cherry blossoms, both the Cherry Blossom Garden and the Central Square burst into vibrant colors, creating a picturesque scene.

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Late February to early April

8. Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

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Credit: Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Starting from late March, visitors can witness the full bloom of Somei Yoshino cherry trees and weeping cherry trees amidst the spring weather. As night falls, the area is gracefully illuminated by lights, transforming the surroundings into a captivating spectacle. The cherry blossoms, bathed in the gentle glow of the evening, present an enchanting sight that should not be missed!

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Mid-February to early April

9. Nishigahara Minnano Park

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10 best spots to see Kawazu Nishigahara Minnano Park
Credit: Asoviva

Nestled in a residential area, this park caters to adults and children alike, boasting a spacious lawn area ideal for ball games and jogging, as well as a jabu-jabu pond that hosts water sports during the summer months. The Kawazu cherry trees planted throughout the park bloom from February, offering their best display during the early season.

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Mid-February to early March

10. Komatsugawa Senbonzakura

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Credit: Edogawa City Official Website

Along the banks of the Arakawa River near Oshima Komatsugawa Park, a breathtaking sight unfolds as approximately 1,000 ‘Komatsugawa Senbonzakura’ cherry trees burst into bloom, stretching for about 2 kilometers from north to south. Mark your calendars for the Komatsugawa Senbonzakura Festival scheduled for March 31, 2024—an event not to be missed!

Best time to view cherry blossoms: Mid-March to early April

What are your thoughts on Kawazu-zakura? These early-blooming cherry blossoms serve as a delightful harbinger of spring, signaling the imminent arrival of warmer weather and new beginnings. With their vibrant hues and delicate petals, cherry blossoms infuse the cityscape with a sense of renewal and vitality, creating an enchanting atmosphere that captivates all who behold them.

For those eager to experience the beauty of Kawazu-zakura firsthand, this blog post is proof that Tokyo offers several prime viewing spots where visitors can immerse themselves in the splendor of these early-blooming cherry blossoms. From parks and gardens to riverside promenades, there are countless opportunities to admire the natural beauty of Kawazu-zakura and celebrate the arrival of spring in the heart of the city.