Kanto Spring

What to Do in Tokyo in Spring | Japan Guide 2024

Planning a trip to Tokyo in spring?

The city is renowned for its sakura (cherry blossoms) and attracts many visitors every spring. One of the best places to visit in Japan in spring is obviously Tokyo. It is such a great destination!

A lot of flowers bloom in this season. You will see plenty of cherry blossoms between late-March and early-April.

The city has many wonderful places to visit, including Showa Memorial Park and Inokashira Park – a popular hanami spot. It offers great shopping areas, restaurants, great museums, outdoor activities, such as hiking Mt. Takao, and a lot of fun day trips from the city.

The spring months in Tokyo are March, April, and May. It is a pleasant time to visit the city, with the average temperatures in the mornings and evenings are 5° C to 13° C. In April, temperature increases and May almost feels like summer has arrived.

For your spring attire in Tokyo, we recommend you bring a light jacket/coat, scarf, and hat to protect yourself from cold weather.

In this post, you will find out many interesting attractions in and around Tokyo, including historic events and flower festivals of spring. 

1. Hanami – the cherry blossom viewing

Cherry blossoms in Nakameguro, Tokyo. Photo Credit: Kimon Berlin at Flickr.

Tokyo is always packed with tourists. The number of visitors increases during the cherry blossom season.

Hanami arrives here in late-March, creating a great festive atmosphere throughout the city.

If you are planning to visit Tokyo this spring, you better plan your trip right away. Find some good budget friendly accommodation deals earlier than doing it just before your arrival in the city.

Tokyo boasts some of Japan’s most popular cherry blossom festivals, such as Chiyoda Cherry Blossom Festival, Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival, Nakameguro Sakura Matsuri, Koganei Cherry Blossom Festival and more. 

If you are going to stay in Ueno or Asakusa area, you must pay a visit to Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival, located very close to JR Ueno Station in Ueno Park. This is one of the most crowded and famous hanami spots in the city.

This page recommends the best cherry blossom spots that Tokyo has to offer you. Let me just say, they are truly outstanding hanami spot.

Those of you trying to avoid the crowds may prefer going to Show Memorial Park in Tachikawa. It is a massive park with many sakura trees and eye-catching tulips gardens. There you can spot poppies too, they look delightful!

Located in the centre of Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen is unique, offers massive green space any time of year, and plenty of cherry blossoms in spring.

This national park indeed will make you fall in love with it as you will not see just beautiful sakura but also stunning Japanese gardens and varieties of plants.

Besides, this is where you will see early and late blooming cherry blossoms. If you happen to be traveling around February in Tokyo, visit here to see winter cherry blossoms. Shinjuku Gyoen is place of relaxation, no doubt about that.

2. Jindaiji Temple Daruma Doll Fair

Daruma for sale at Jindaiji Temple, Tokyo. Photo Credit: nakashi at Wikimedia Commons.

In memory of Ganzan Daishi, Daruma Doll Fair at Jindaiji Temple is believed to have started in the Edo period (1603–1867). This is one of the best spring festivals in Tokyo to experience and witness plenty of Daruma dolls on display.

Jindaiji temple was built in 733 AD and it is the second oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo.

At this temple, you will see a special Daruma market during the fair, which is considered one of Japan’s three famous daruma markets. Buy different sizes of Daruma dolls from one of those 300 selling stalls. It does not matter if it is small or bigger in size.  

Experience a procession by the temple’s monks and after buying a Daruma, make sure to take it over to a monk at the Daruma Kaigansho, a kind of booth. There a monk will write a Sanskrit character in the left eye of your Daruma, indicating you have made a wish.

Roam around the temple area on foot and explore its Main gate (sanmon), the Bell tower, the Main hall, and the Ganzandaishi hall.

This oldest Buddhist temple in the city of Chofu in grater Tokyo can be reached easily by local bus from Kichijoji Station and Chofu station. Get off at Jindaiji bus stop.

Festival date: The event is held on March 3-4 every year.

3. Plum Blossoms viewing in Tokyo

Hanegi Pakr’s Ume. Photo Credit: kanegen at Flickr.

Plum flowers (ume) bloom in late winter, typically around mid-February and you can spot them until mid-March. We have featured here some popular plum blossom viewing spots of Tokyo and you should visit at least one of them.

Ikegami Baien Plum Garden is a beautiful strolling garden, where visitors can see delicate plum blossoms in early March.

In addition, you can get to Hanegi Park for similar outdoor activity. This park is located in Setagaya, where Setagaya Ume Matsuri is held from early February to mid March. Try the street food from the food carts.

The Imperial Palace East Gardens is another good place to spot delicate ume. Appreciate them!

In early March, you may also plan a trip to Yushima Tenjin Shrine in Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo for its annual plum blossom festival.

4. AnimeJapan

If you are a big fan of Anime and Manga, this event in Tokyo in March is sure to be in your itinerary. In 2024, the event has been scheduled to be held on March 23-26.

Cosplay, exhibition booths, anime merchandise, live stage events, and other performances will take place at AnimeJapan 2024. The venue is Tokyo Big Sight. It is approximately 8 minutes’ walk from Kokusai-Tenjijo Station on the Rinkai Line.

Have fun in the event and buy anime merchandise of your choice as there are a lot of goods to be found.

5. Mt. Takao Fire-walking Festival

Photo Credit: Takaosan Yakuouin.

Yakuo-in is a sacred Buddhist temple for the Chisan sect of Shingon Buddhism. It is located near the summit of Mt. Takao. The mountain is well known place for going on a hike in autumn, and is considered the perfect escape from the city.

The Fire-walking festival (Mt. Takao Hiwatari Matsuri) at the temple is held on the second Sunday of March every year.

Witness a scary ritual, where the yamabushi monks walk barefoot over the hot coals while chanting and praying. Then participants follow behind them. It is worth a visit if you want to experience something different than just visiting Tokyo’s top-notch attractions.

In April, visitors here experience Mt. Takao Annual Spring Festival at the same temple ground. Parade of Children in fancy dress is the main highlight alongside a goma fire ritual of this festival.

Reaching Mt. Takao is very easy by Keio Railway. Take the limited express train to Takaosanguchi Station from JR Shinjuku Station. The one way ride takes about 50 minutes.

6. Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon 2019! Photo Credit: Nicki Dugan Pogue at Flickr.

If you are going to live in Tokyo for a year or longer this event is not to be missed. As a tourist you must experience this as well. It takes place in central Tokyo and will be held on March 5th in 2023.

Tokyo Marathon is one of the six World Marathon Majors and the biggest sporting event in Japan. Thousands of locals run along with elite runners coming from around the world.

The first run took place back in 2007, with a mission of promoting good health through running.

The marathon begins at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku and ends at Tokyo Station. Whether you run or not, be sure to participate in the event, cheer up the runners on and make your day memorable.

7. Bunkyo Azalea Festival at Nezu-jinja Shrine

Beautiful Azaleas at Nezu Shrine. Photo Credit: kanegen at Flickr.

Mid-April is the time when Azalea blooms in abundance at Nezu-Jinja Shrine. This is one of the most popular flower festivals in spring in Tokyo. 

The shrine ground has over 3,000 azalea plants of 100 different varieties with some very rare kinds. When the plants start blooming the festival kicks off. Many visitors over the weekend come here to admire the beauty of Azalea.

The best time to see azalea is between late-April and early-May. At this site, you can buy street food and pot plants during the festival.

The shrine is a 10-minute walk from Todai-Mae Station on the Namboku Line.

8. Asakusa Yabusame

An archer on horseback during Asakusa Yabusame. Photo Credit: Takashi Hososhima at Flickr.

Yabusame simply means horseback archery. Have you ever heard of this before?

Sumida Park in Asakusa area hosts a Yabusame ceremony every year in mid-April. If you have never experienced this sort of Japanese traditional ceremony, this is the event you must attend.

Those participants on horseback are well trained archers. They wear traditional hunting attire. Shooting arrows using a bow and hitting targets from a running horse at a full speed along a 300-meter long track is what they perform. They have to successfully hit three targets to claim a prize in the ceremony.

There are loads of things to do in Tokyo and this might be the one you have been looking for a long time.

9. Tulips in Tokyo

Colourful tulips at Showa Memorial Park in spring. Photo Credit: Hotate Chan.

Tulips gardens located in and around Tokyo bring a lot of stunning views, which you can’t deny taking picture of.

Sakura Tulip Festa in Sakura city is the biggest tulip festival around Tokyo. The festival is held at Sakura Furasato Square in Chiba Prefecture from late march through late April every year.

The area features over 700,000 colorful tulip flowers of 70 different types. This is obviously a perfect scenic spot to enjoy outdoor nature.

This page reveals the places you can go to for hunting incredible tulips spots around Tokyo, which also includes the famous Yokohama Park. When sakura are all gone, most people find these vivid tulips quite appealing.

10. Day trips from Tokyo

The big wisteria tree in Ashikaga Flower Park!

Why don’t you go outside Tokyo and have fun exploring places that are well admired by locals and tourist alike?

In spring, you can celebrate many flower festivals across Japan. Some of them are located not far from Tokyo city, requiring you less than a 90-minute train ride.

For example, The Great Wisteria Festival at Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture is held from mid-April to late-May, attracting thousands of visitors every day and offering over 350 wisteria plants of different varieties including over 150 year-old wisteria tree in the park.

It is a massive old wisteria tree, which will draw your attention for sure with its long branches full of wisteria blossoms (fuji in Japanese).

Hitachi Seaside Park’s Nemophila.

Note that Kameido Tenjin Wisteria Festival is held from mid-April to early-May at Kameido Tenjin Shrine, located near to Tokyo Skytree. If your travel time does not permit you to visit Ashikaga Flower Park, then this is the prime spot you have.

The nemophila of Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture is a great sight to behold. In general, they bloom from mid-April to early May.

In fact, the park is well known for its nemophila (baby blue eyes) in spring and kochia in autumn. Head over to Miharashi Hill of Hitachi Seaside Park and enjoy the impressive views of nemophila.

Shibazakura and Mt. Fuji in the background. Photo Credit: Fuji Shiba-sakura matsuri.

Fuji Five Lakes region boasts incredible scenic views not only because of the iconic Mt. Fuji but also Shibazakura and cherry blossoms in spring and gorgeous autumn leaves in autumn.

Shibazakura (moss phlox) at Fuji Motosuko Resort will blow your mind with its 800,000 shibazakura, covering 2.4 hectors of land. They are extremely beautiful.

In addition, Hakone, Kamakura, Nikko, Atami, Kawaguchi, Enoshima, Odawara, and Izu Peninsula are considered the best day trip destinations from Tokyo. There you will find loads of things to do and see to make your each trip a great adventure.

11. Roses at Jindai Botanical Garden

Roses at Jindai Botanical Garden. Photo Credit: Hotate Chan.

Tokyo in spring is fabulous! Now you will get familiar with a botanical garden, where loads of roses bloom in each spring.

The biggest rose garden in Tokyo is Jindai Botanical Garden, located in Chofu City.

Here, the Rose Festival is held from early May to late May. With a large collection of original rose breeds, there are over 5,000 rosebushes of 400 different kinds.

This botanical garden also feature tulips, wisteria, plum and cherry blossom in spring. If your Tokyo trip is in May, make your way to Jindai Botanical garden and see thousands of beautiful roses.

12. Strawberry Picking in Tokyo

Fruit picking is an interesting activity that everyone loves. Don’t we? In spring you can harvest juicy strawberry at Kawatsura Strawberry Farm in Chiba Prefecture.

It offers “all you can eat” package for its visitors. No reservation is needed, but early visit is highly recommended to make your spot confirmed. Strawberry picking rules are given in this page – please read carefully.

It is time to grab a basket and pick up those ripped strawberries and put them in your mouth! If you like eating strawberry jam, don’t forget to buy some fresh homemade strawberry jam at the farm.

Similar to this farm is Yokohama Strawberry Park, where you can pick strawberry year round as they are cultivated in an electric greenhouse. It is an hour ride from JR Shinjuku Station.

Besides, visit Ohara Orchards for picking strawberries. This farm is situated in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture. Advance reservation is required.

In conclusion

Sensoji at night. Photo Credit: IQRemix at Flickr.

Tokyo is a dream destination for old and young, and even for your little ones, where they can visit Tokyo Disnyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Saniro Puroland, Tokyo Joypolis, Asakusa Hanayashiki, and Arakawa Amusement Park.

In May (Late spring), there are some famous festivals take place in the city, such as Kanda Matsuri, Kachiya Matsuri, Kurayama Matsuri, and Sanja Matsuri. These are all worth a visit.

We recommend you visit Sensoji temple at night. Tokyo Skytree can be seen from the temple ground as well! 

Stop by many restaurants you encounter while traveling around Tokyo, and I am sure you will be amazed by the taste of each and every traditional Japanese dishes you try.

The city amazes everyone with its natural beauty and festivals with rich history of hundreds years. Come to Tokyo, embark on a journey, and see what discoveries are awaiting for you.

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