Ueno Park Sakura
Photo: のらんちゅ/Photo AC

Can you – and should you – go see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo this year?

Here are the official notices from park management and authorities to help you make an informed decision

Youka Nagase
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Youka Nagase
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Cherry blossoms have started to bloom in Tokyo and normally, we’ll all be getting ready for some hanami (sakura-viewing) soiree. But this is no ordinary year. The Covid-19 pandemic is still here and even as the state of emergency has been lifted in Greater Tokyo, the risks and threats of coronavirus are still very real.

So let’s cut to the chase: Can you, and should you, go see the cherry blossoms this year?

Officially, most parks have banned hanami picnics and even cordoned off sections of the grounds to prevent crowds from gathering. Major hanami festivals like the ones along the Meguro river and Chidorigafuchi Moat have also been cancelled. But these cherry blossom destinations – especially the parks and gardens – are not officially closed, so you can still view the flowers while strolling. 

To help you make an informed and responsible decision on whether to go check out the cherry blossoms this year, we’ve compiled the official notices and recommendations from Tokyo’s top sakura spots, including popular parks and gardens. If you do go, remember to stay cautious and safe at all times. Mind your surroundings, avoid crowds, wear a mask, sanitise your hands often and practice social distancing.   

Arisugawa Park

Picnics and gatherings are banned, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms while wearing a mask. See the official notice here

Asukayama Park

Picnics and gatherings are banned, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms with your mask on. See the official notice here.

Hibiya Park

Picnics and gatherings are banned, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms while wearing a mask. Outdoor tables can only be used for eating and drinking for short periods of time. See the official notice here.

Inokashira Park

Picnics and gatherings are banned, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms with your mask on. The outdoor stage and selected sections around the Inokashira Pond have been cordoned off. See the official notice here.

Kinuta Park

Picnics and gatherings are not allowed, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms while wearing a mask. Outdoor tables can only be used briefly for eating and drinking; occupying a space for a prolonged period to photograph or film is prohibited from now until April 11. See the official notice here.

Koganei Park

Picnics and gatherings are banned, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms while wearing a mask. Outdoor tables can only be used for eating and drinking for short periods of time. See the official notice here.

Shakujii Park

Picnics and large gatherings are banned, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms while wearing a mask. Outdoor tables can only be used for eating and drinking for short periods of time. See the official notice here.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Advanced reservations are required when visiting from now until April 25. You can book a date and time slot on Shinjuku Gyoen’s website. Purchase an electronic admission ticket online if you don’t want to queue up to get a physical ticket at the venue. See the official notice here.

Ueno Park, cherry blossoms
Photo: Lim Chee WahUeno Park during the 2021 cherry blossom season

Ueno Park

Picnics and large gatherings are prohibited, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms while keeping your mask on. Certain sections of the park, especially grass lawns, are cordoned off to prevent entry. See the official notice here.

Yoyogi Park

Until April 11, picnics, gatherings and the use of outdoor benches and tables are not allowed, but you can walk around and view the cherry blossoms with your mask on. Occupying a space for long periods of time to photograph or film is prohibited. The cherry tree garden and central space are off limits for the time being. See the official notice here.

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