In Tokyo for cherry blossom season? Here's your quick guide to town

There's magic in the air when Tokyo's cherry blossom trees are in bloom. Here are a local's tips on where to eat, drink and stay when visiting.

The cherry blossom trees bring Tokyo to life.
  • Kirsty Munro
  • March 2019

If you’re in Tokyo opens in new window for cherry blossom season you’ll find picnicking under the great big rosy coloured trees is a common activity. Blue plastic picnic sheets are for sale at most convenience stores, while packed bento box lunches can be picked up at any supermarket. However, if you’d like to treat yourself to a hot gourmet meal or a cocktail, here are the recommendations from a local on where to go…

Where to eat

Styled like a traditional riverside house, Yakitori Akira opens in new window is a casual restaurant offering beautiful views of the cherry blossoms along the Meguro River, with delicious char-grilled chicken.

Tucked away in Happo-en garden by a carp pond, Thrush Café opens in new window is a secret spot for cherry blossoms. Farm-to-table dishes and seasonal cocktails enhance the experience.

Soak in the fairytale setting of the Happo-en garden
Soak in the fairytale setting of the Happo-en garden.

Where to drink

Every spring, the luxury Tokyo Midtown mall creates an outdoor bar with exclusive cocktails and pink furnishings. Martini Blossom Lounge opens in new window lights up dramatically every night, with the cherry blossoms offering the perfect view while you drink.

Where to stay

An easy walk from Ueno Park and Yanaka Cemetery, Hotel Graphy Nezu opens in new window is a charming, inexpensive hotel in a residential area, giving you a real sense of downtown Tokyo. Nearby Nezu Shrine is a must-see, with cherry blossom trees and an azalea garden. After a day out, enjoy a drink on the hotel rooftop.

Enjoy serenity in the mystical Nezu Shrine.
Enjoy serenity in the mystical Nezu Shrine.

Renovated last summer, The Knot opens in new window has kept its 1979 retro charm, while offering modern rooms and co-working spaces. Just a short walk from bustling Shinjuku Station, the hotel is in front of parklands. Rent a bike from the hotel to explore nearby sakura spots, like Shinjuku Gyoen Park.