Actually, I was not very willing to go to this NEW cherry blossom spot in Tokyo. Although it is getting popular and popular these several years, there is an UNFORGETTABLE FACT in locals’ mind; Meguro River officially used to be THE DIRTIEST RIVER IN JAPAN! Did you know that? I don’t think your travel guidebook tells you so!
That’s why I didn’t report cherry blossoms in Meguro River on this blog in the past years, but I am a blogger. Seeing the growing number of travelers talking about Meguro River, I felt I needed to write a practical guide as I have been doing in Tokyo Direct Guide project.
So I finally visited Meguro River Cherry Blossom Festival this year. The practical guide is at the bottom. Want my honest impressions? Enjoy!
Photos & Reviews of Meguro River
I was half excited and half worried when I was on the train to Meguro station. When I arrived the river, it was a little early – there were just a few blossoms on some trees, but there were many on others. Yay!
MY interest was on the water that used to be the dirtiest in Japan. The answer is “no problem”. I remember I once saw a TV show of outdoor survival skill contest, in which the participants went to Meguro River to make the water drinkable. On the TV screen, there was a caption saying, “They have professional survival skills. Don’t try it yourself. Don’t drink it.” It’s natural that the local government was desperate to take back the bad reputations. The bad smell locals know has gone away! Water cleaners did a great job!
Strolling along the river, I found the path was quite beautiful.
See it? The cherry trees are like arches!
In places where there are many cherry trees, you have more chances to find fully blooming blossoms. The follwoing is the best place on the day I visited Meguro River.
There are originally some cozy parks along the river.
In conclusion, Meguro River Cherry Blossom Festival is beautiful although it is not as fantastic as Sumida River in Asakusa. You can stroll along cherry blossoms in local atmospheres of Tokyo rather than a popular place. If you are planning to visit there, I don’t have any reason to stop you.
Isn’t it a beautiful story that the dirtiest river in Japan transfigured into a cherry blossom spot?
Practical Visitor Information
How to Get to Meguro River
Catch a JR Yamanote Line train anywhere in Tokyo and get off at Meguro Station. Go out of West Exit. A 5 minutes walk to the river.
Trip Advice by Tokyo Direct Guide
Meguro River runs between Meguro Station of JR and Naka-Meguro Station of Hibiya Subway Line. As a result, when you take a sakura-viewing walk, you’ll start from one of the stations and finish at the other. (Speaking exactly, Meguro River crosses the south part of Tokyo City, so you’ll see it in other places as well. When talking about Cherry Blossom Festival, the above is the place.)
So my recommendation is that you start from Meguro, view cherry blossoms with walking, arrive at Naka-Meguro and take the subway to Shibuya or Harajuku to enjoy Tokyo more or to change trains. (Or the opposite way.) In my opinion, this is the best route for a sightseeing trip. Going back to the starting point is inefficient.
The path lasts around 2 kilometers, so your trip will be a walking trip. I don’t mean it is hard at all because it’s a good paved path in the city, but it is not for those who love napping.
Meguro Station is in the east and Naka-Meguro is in the north west in the map.
Link to Google Maps in a new window.