The weather in Tokyo is getting warmer day by day. According to cherry blossom forecast, sakura will start to bloom on the third week of March this year. Most of the parks and gardens in the city will be filled with a lot of crowds.

Indeed hanami is around the corner! If you are going to visit Tokyo this spring to see cherry blossom, and looking for some ideas on how to spend a day in the city, then this post will help you find out the best sakura spots including other notable sightseeing attractions.

A Japanese White-eye and cherry blossoms at Ueno Park. Photo Credit: Jason Thompson at Wikimedia Commons.

Here I will share with you a suggested Tokyo Itinerary that includes some amazing attractions. Surprisingly you can explore them all when traveling by train along the JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo’s most important train line. This circular train line connects 29 stations including major stations such as, Shinjuku Station, Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, Shibuya Station and Shinagawa Station. And a trip around the entire circle takes about an hour.

If you have a Japan Rail Pass, there is no need to buy any train tickets to get around the city, just enjoy unlimited ride on the trains that run along the JR Yamanote Line.

If you are looking for a great location to stay in Tokyo, I would highly recommend you to stay overnight at Shinjuku Prince Hotel. The location of the hotel is perfect and adjacent to Shinjuku Station.

One day is not enough to explore all the top sights of Tokyo, but this suggested itinerary shares some very good travel guide that you will want to follow. Let’s get started!

Tokyo in One Day tour during hanami

Cherry Blossom at Shinjuku Gyoen. Photo Credit: Marufish at Flickr.

Some of the sights you will see include: Shinjuku Gyoen, Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park, Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Park, Tokyo Tower, and Meguro River, and Shibuya Crossing.

Tokyo is an amazing place to enjoy your spring holidays in Japan. There are many exciting things to do in the city in spring, from exploring the parks and gardens to attending annual festivals and events. You will be overwhelmed visiting its top hanami spots including some incredible tourist destinations.

Start the day with a visit to Shinjuku Gyoen, one of the largest and most beautiful parks in Tokyo. Known as one of the best hanami spots in Japan, this massive public park has so much offer you from traditional Japanese landscape garden and English landscape garden to walking paths and lawns. Different varieties of cherry trees bloom on its grounds from late March to early April.

In the spring, the park comes alive with outdoor lovers, particularly who like to take a leisurely walk, picnicking, and taking pictures of cherry blossoms. Indeed, a lot of people visit the park during hanami (when sakura are in full bloom). They all have enjoyable hanami picnic party with friends, colleagues, and family under the cherry trees.

Torii at Meiji Jingu. Photo Credit: Olivier Bruchez at Flickr.

When it comes to accessing the park from Shinjuku Station, be sure to enter through the Shinjuku gate. Please note there is no closing day during the cherry blossom season. It’s open from 9:00 to 16:00. My advice to you is stay there for about 3 hours.

When you leave Shinjuku Gyoen, head towards Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine). Dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken and Build in 1920; this Shinto shrine can amaze you with its main complex of shrine buildings. You will also find a large torii gate there. Besides, a visit to the Meiji Jingu Treasure House is worth exploring. I would highly recommend you to read this etiquette guide before you visit the shrine.

Hanami picnicking under cherry trees at Yoyogi Park. Photo Credit: Jonathan Lin at Flickr.

Next to the shrine grounds is Yoyogi Park, another beautiful cherry blossom viewing spot in Tokyo. It’s less crowded than Shinjuku Gyoen, but still a nice place to spend some times of your day trip. You will find a few food stands there to buy some foods from.

After visiting the shrine and spending some time at Yoyogi Park, make your way to Ueno Station. At first, get to Yoyogi Station and then wait for a train to Ueno Station. After getting off the train at Ueno Station, head towards The Tokyo National Museum.

Tokyo National Museum. Photo Credit: DocChewbacca at Flickr.

It is a 8-10 minute walk from Ueno Station and quite easy to get to. It’s considered the oldest and best museum in Japan with thousands of collections of art and archeological artifacts. Regular exhibitions are held throughout the year. You should consider yourself spending here at least 2-3 hours.

Sakura at Ueno Park. Photo Credit: Simon Desmarais at Flickr.

After seeing tons of amazing sculptures, paintings, calligraphy, decorative arts, and other national treasures at the museum, you are to visit Ueno Park, located very close to the entrance gate of the museum.

This is one of my favorite cherry blossom viewing spots in Central Tokyo. Take a walk around, and you will discover more than 1000 cherry trees lining its central walkway.

Tokyo Tower. Photo Credit: bethom33 at Flickr.

Your next destination for the day is Tokyo Tower. To get to the tower, you will have to reach Hamamatsucho station from Ueno Station. From the station, you have got to walk for about 20 minutes to get there.

The tower is about 333 meters tall located in Minato ward and from its observatory you will experience a great panoramic bird’s-eye view of the city including Mount Fuji in the distance (on a clear day). This is the second tallest structure in Japan. After the end of your Tokyo Tower trip, head back to Hamamatsucho Station and hop on a train to Meguro Station.

Meguro river cherry blossoms. Photo Credit: OiMax at Flickr.

Do you know what Yozokura is? You are actually going to familiar with it this evening when walking along the Meguro River. The Nakameguro Sakura Festival that takes place in Nakameguro area from late March to early April every year.

At this time of year, people like talking walk along the Meguro River, especially when the sun goes down. Cherry trees along the riverside (on both banks of the river) are illuminated gorgeously that anyone would be delighted to see. You will come across many cafes and restaurants along the river as well.

Shibuya Crossing. Photo Credit: Bruce at Wikimedia Commons.

Your final stop for the day will be Shibuya Crossing. Being the famous busiest crossing in the world, Shibuya crossing is one of the sights in Tokyo that you can’t miss experiencing. This stop really should be any Tokyo itinerary, no matter how long or short. And don’t you forget to pay a visit to the famous Hachiko Statue whenever you are in Shibuya.

Remember, this one day Tokyo itinerary is just one of many ways to experience the city’s top tourist destinations. When you are in Tokyo in spring, don’t plan on staying here only for a day. The time is too short to visit all of its popular attractions. This 3-day Tokyo spring itinerary is a perfect choice to get the most out of your Tokyo trip. Thanks for reading this. Happy Hanami!