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.
- You feel more of “Japanese” atmosphere with the palace gate, etc.
- 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.
|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.
|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
- To explore Japanese castle architecture with cherry blossoms,
- And/or to feel the blossoms close to you,
- To walk along so many, more cherry blossoms,
- 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!!
See MORE Sakura Spots in Tokyo
- Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) Ueno, Japan – Why You Shouldn’t Miss Shinobazu Pond
- Cherry Blossom Forecast 2015
- Early-Blooming Sakura & A Sightseeing Guide to Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Tokyo – There are so many standard cherry trees, too!
- The Full-Blooming Weeping Cherry Tree in the Japanese Garden of Rikugien – photos & reports
- Tokyo’s Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Spot – Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens
- Cherry Blossom Forecast 2014 & Full-blooming Photos in Chidorigafuchi (Imperial Palace) – See more of Chidorigafuchi
- Ueno Park Cherry Blossom Festival 2014 – Report and Photos
- Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
- Full-Blooming Cherry Blossoms in Asakusa & Sumida Riverside
- Kyu Shiba Rikyu Gardens in Hamamatsucho & Hotel Guide
- Best Photo Selection 2014 & other kinds of sakura
- Flickr Album – Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) in Tokyo 2014
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.
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|
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 Tokyo, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi and retro & modern The Tokyo Station Hotel.