Imperial Palace / Chidorigafuchi Sakura Matsuri (cherryblossom festival) – Photos & Tourist Info

From my point of view, Tokyo’s leading cherry blossom spots are two; One is Ueno Park, and the other is Chidorigafuchi.

Full-blooming cherry blossoms in Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo, Japan

These 2 places are musts for a blogger like me.

I uploaded a Chidorigafuchi post before, but it was combined with cherry blossom forecast of the year. Full-blooming sakura photos are at the bottom there. (So I wrote cherry blossom forecast post apart from other cherry blossom related posts this time.)

So I hope to concentrate to photos, travel information such as how to get there, Google Maps, and so on, at the bottom of this post, and a comparison with the other greatest sakura spot Ueno Park.

Back to basics, Chidorigafuchi is a district around Imperial Palace.
In case the pronunciation is too difficult because of languages, just remember it as Imperial Palace.
Hundreds of cherry trees are around the moat, so it has been a famous sakura viewing place for a long time.

As far as I see it, the differences between Ueno Park and Chidorigafuchi are the following.

In Chidorigafuchi,

  1. You feel more of “Japanese” atmosphere with the palace gate, etc.
  2. You can get so close to cherry blossoms themselves – If you are a photographer who want to shoot the blossoms rather than views, I suppose you can take photos freely from many different angles.
Let’s explore the photos.
The Japanese Gate to Kitanomaru Park and Nippon Budokan

When you turn left on the way to the main part of Chidorigafuchi, you’ll easily find this gate. It is the gate to Nippon Budokan (Meaning, “Japan martial arts stadium.” Competitions of judo, kenodo and other martial arts, and concerts of very popular musicians, both domestic and international, are held here.) Kitanomaru Park.

Imperial Palace was once a castle of a samurai clan, so just a gate is very Japanese and samurai-like.

And you will see this, too. Tokyo Tower, which has been the icon of Tokyo for decades. In Ueno, we see Tokyo Skytree, the new symbol of Tokyo.

Tokyo Tower from Chidorigafuchi

Some of you think that you have seen this photo; It’s Tokyo Direct Guide/Diary’s Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr (tumblr is just opened) cover photo.
….
No, this is a new photo taken this year! I took a better photo in the very same spot in Chidorigafuchi. If you are interested, you can see the old cover photo on Facebook.

Tokyo Tower is bright red, but it is not so because the air is foggy in spring in Japan.

You can get a free official guidebook with English maps during the sakura festival.
The famous sakura path is called Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo in the English map, which means “green path.”

Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo around the moat
Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo, the sakura path
Sakura and colza flowers

 

Cherry blossoms and Budokan (judo and kendo stadium)

The first photo of this post is the most iconic place in Chidorigafuchi; It is on your left on the deck for views. But when you see your right from the deck, the view is wide and wonderful, too!

Full-Blooming Cherry Blossoms from the deck

Well, I said that Chidorigafuchi may be a better place for photographers who hope to shoot blossoms than Ueno Park.
The reason is that you can get so close from 360 degrees freely. You don’t need to care about the direction of sun lights anytime because you can move around a cherry tree.

You will easily find a place and enough space to shoot blossoms themselves like this…

Moreover, you can get close to cherry blossoms blooming in minor places.
For example, blossoms on the trunk

Interesting, aren’t they?

Cherry blossoms blooming from the trunk

How about a thin branch?

A sakura branch

So, talking about the 2 best sakura spots in Tokyo, I’d like to suggest as following – 

If you want

  1. To explore Japanese castle architecture with cherry blossoms,
  2. And/or to feel the blossoms close to you,
I recommend Chidorigafuchi and the district around Imperial Palace.
If you want
  1. To walk along so many, more cherry blossoms,
  2. And/or to explore the fabulous reflections in the pond,

Of course, it’s a great idea to visit BOTH!! 
Browse Ueno Park, and other great places, and compare.
Just enjoy photos. And when you really visit Chidorigafuchi, all the tourist information you want to know is at the bottom of this post. Keep it in your mind and have a great time!!




 

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See MORE Sakura Spots in Tokyo

 

Everything to Visit Chidorigafuchi – Tourist Information

How to get to Chidorigafuchi

The nearest station is Kudanshita.
Tozai Subway Line, Hanzomon Subway Line and Shinjuku Subway Line have Kudanshita Station.

First, see The Easiest JR Train Map to learn the outline of Tokyo City, and then see The Easiest Subway Maps to find Kudanshita.

 
So if you are in Tokyo Station, take Tozai or Hanzomon Subway Line from Otemachi, which is connected to Tokyo Station.
If you are in Shibuya, take Hanzomon Subway Line.
If you are in Shinjuku, take Shinjuku Subway Line.
Chidorigafuchi is in a walking distance from Tokyo Station, but it is not near. If you want to take a long walk in a beautiful spring day, it might be a good idea. If you are a tourist, not a jogger, I recommend taking a subway. When you go out of the exit, you will say, “Amazing!”

Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossoms from Kudanshita Station

Accommodation

Hotels near Tokyo Station – Imperial Palace is near Tokyo Station. There are 5-Star fabulous hotels there and some feature the breathtaking views of Imperial Palace. They include Shangri-La Hotel TokyoFour Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi and retro & modern The Tokyo Station Hotel.



Booking.com

 

2 thoughts on “Imperial Palace / Chidorigafuchi Sakura Matsuri (cherryblossom festival) – Photos & Tourist Info

  • 2015-04-04 at 10:12 AM
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    Wow! I LOVE the cherry blossom! One day I hope to see it – and if I do, I will take your advice and visit BOTH!! Have a great weekend, my friend!

    Reply
    • 2015-04-05 at 9:47 AM
      Permalink

      Hi, Red,

      I really feel that famous places have reasons to be famous. I love these 2 cherry blossoms spots very much, and you know, that's why I can write much about them.

      Have a good day to you, too!!

      Reply

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