Sakura is the Japanese name for cherry trees and their blossoms. In English, the word "sakura" is equivalent to the Japanese flowering cherry, and their blossoms are commonly called cherry blossoms.
Since the cherry trees bloom only for a short period (1-2 weeks) during the spring, this is a very special time in Japan and we have been lucky to experience this for the second year now. We visited several places around Tokyo this year. Of course, the crowds were plentiful (though the pictures don’t show it – by using strategic camera angles!).
With about 800 cherry trees, Yoyogi Park is one of Tokyo’s largest city parks (located near Harajuku) and a very popular place for enjoying hanami (cherry blossom viewing party).
As one of the main locations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, Komazawa Olympic Park in Meguro City hosted the track and field, soccer, ice hockey, wrestling and volleyball competitions. Today, this park is filled with natural greenery and cherry blossoms along the bicycle paths.
In Chidorigafuchi, cherry trees decorate the moats of the former Edo Castle around Kitanomaru Park. Rowing boats are available for rent. Trees are lit up in the evenings which draws large crowds (same for the boat rental, day or night).
There are about 800 cherry trees planted along the Meguro River in the Meguro district of Tokyo that can enjoyed while walking through streets along the river which have many small shops, restaurants and street vendors. This was probably one of the best areas as the cherry trees in full bloom seem to form a white canopy above the river.
Nearby where we live in the Roppongi area, there is a street named Sakurasaka. Of course, it is lined with cherry blossom trees! Below is picture during the day and at night.
For more information about cherry blossom spots in Tokyo, as well as a regular forecast, see japan-guide.com’s guide to Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo.