Spring is a beautiful time of year anywhere in the world. However, Tokyo in spring takes things to another level. Japan’s capital city may be a sprawling metropolis but this is perhaps one of the world’s premier destinations when it comes to enjoying the natural beauty of this season.
This city of almost 9.3 million is a must-visit stop on your trip to the East Asian nation. There are so many things to see in Japan in spring already. That said, you’ll find a huge number of those activities in and around the municipality of Tokyo itself.
We’re going to take a look at 7 of these essential outings that will provide the ultimate Tokyo experience in the springtime.
How can I see Tokyo in Spring?
If you’re planning a visit to Japan this year then there are only a few important things to remember (aside from booking the flight, of course):
- Check you have the right visa to travel to Japan
- Book the correct level of travel insurance for your trip
- Consult your doctor to see if you need any inoculations
- Reserve your accommodation early – Japan in spring is popular with tourists all over the world!
If you’re unsure what documentation you need to enter Japan, check which visa types you’ll need before traveling so that your holiday or business trip goes without a hitch. Simply apply here for your tourist eVisa for Japan and enjoy a worry-free trip.
The best things to see in Tokyo in Spring
1. Enjoy a shower of cherry blossoms
Hanami – the observation of cherry blossoms – is perhaps one of the most famous things to do in Japan in spring. As the blossoms bloom on the trees across the city the landscape turns a bright pink and an exquisite shower of petals start to fall. This beautiful, once a year experience can be enjoyed in many locations across Tokyo city.
Sakura season, which falls between March and April, is an occasion that should be high on anyone’s Tokyo spring itinerary. Be sure to check the special app Sakura Navi. This helpful tool will help you plan the perfect Sakura party during your time in Tokyo.
2. Wander around the wonders of Ueno Park
Ueno Onshi park can be found in the northwestern corner of the city center. It is not only full of natural beauty but is also full of fun activities for you to experience. The park can easily take a day out of your trip with its beautiful boating lake, museum, and zoo.
Ueno park also boasts numerous elegant Edo period temples and shrines built by the Tokugawa clan, which will allow you to enjoy Tokyo’s unique mix of ancient and modern design in all its glory.
3. Enjoy the azalea blooms
Sakura may be the flower that everyone in Tokyo wants to see during springtime, although they are not the undisputed flower queens of the city. Azaleas are another floral treat to enjoy during your time in Tokyo.
These spectacular blooms add a bright burst of color in many of the city’s top destinations. The best places to see them are at the Meiji shrine and the many parks and gardens around the local area.
4. Kick back at Yoyogi Park
One of Tokyo’s coolest experiences for any out-of-towner is the famous Yoyogi Park next to Harajuku station and the Meiji shrine and gardens. This is the place where younger residents love to hang out during the weekend and is where you’ll see Tokyoites at their most relaxed.
This beautiful location, which was the site of the 1964 Olympic park, has a special character of its own. Most notably, you can experience the many cosplayers who gather under the trees and on the lawns, dressed as their favorite anime characters, rockabillies and break dancers.
5. Sample some of the seasonal eats
Whilst in many Western countries we are used to enjoying food in and out of season all year round, Japan is a little more traditional with the food it has on offer. That said, spring in Japan offers a rich mix of delicious natural treats.
Bamboo shoots are the most famous vegetable you’ll find on any spring menu, although the Sansai (or mountain root vegetables) should not be missed. You can enjoy many of these seasonal and healthy treats either steamed with rice or prepared as tasty tempura.
6. Check out the events during Matsuri season
Spring is a time of festivity all over the world and in Japan that is no exception. In Tokyo, you can experience some of the wildest parties during Matsuri, a series of festivals which take place during May.
These epic Shinto celebrations honor the three founders of Tokyo’s oldest Buddist temples. During this time you’ll see locals donned in their traditional happi (Kimono-like jackets), hachimaki (headbands) and carrying ornate portable shrines around the city. The streets are also filled with food stalls, people partying, traditional drum and flute bands and even the odd geisha.
7. Be spirited away by the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
If you love animation, fantasy or movies then the Ghibli Museum, Mitaka (on the outskirts of Tokyo) is an unmissable location for your vacation. Fans of famed director Hayao Miyazaki will be amazed by the collection of original sketches, film cells and large models of his most famous creations like Totoro. There’s even an exclusive short animated film you can watch in the purpose-built cinema, on-site.
Spring really is the best time to see this marvelous museums as it is closed for maintenance during the end of May and early November. Be sure to check the website for the best times to visit before your trip.
Really, any time of year is a great time to travel to Tokyo city. Although, going in spring really adds an extra touch of natural magic to the trip, while the city is in full bloom.