Cherry blossoms, sakura, Meguro River
Photo: Piti Sirisriro/DreamstimeAn undated stock photo of cherry blossoms along the Meguro River

Cherry blossoms are officially blooming in Tokyo

Spring 2022 is finally here – and it’s slightly earlier than usual

Lim Chee Wah
Written by
Lim Chee Wah

The Somei Yoshino cherry tree at Yasukuni Shrine is the one sakura tree to rule them all. When five buds on the branches of this ‘sample tree’ have bloomed, the Japan Meteorological Agency will then declare that cherry blossom season has officially started in Tokyo.

Those five early bloomers were spotted on Sunday March 20, which means the 2022 sakura season is now underway. This year, we are seeing the beloved pink flowers slightly earlier than usual – four days to be exact.

cherry blossoms, sakura, Meiji-dori, Shibuya
Photo: Lim Chee WahCherry blossoms along Meiji-dori near Shibuya Stream (photo taken on March 21 2022)

Our walks around town over the last few days have indeed proved that spring is here. The trees along the Meguro River are just beginning to bloom, while those flanking Meiji-dori Avenue (pictured above) closer to Shibuya Stream are now in full bloom. The latter, however, is of a different sakura species, which blooms earlier and has a deeper pink shade.

As a general guideline, it’ll take about a week for the sakura to reach peak bloom, and the petals will start wilting a few days after that. So you can expect the trees around Tokyo to reach full bloom after this coming weekend.

To help you plan your cherry blossom outings across Tokyo, here are the best places and the least crowded places (only relatively, let’s be honest) to admire these gorgeous spring icons. You can also catch the sakura illuminations after dark – they look even more magical all aglow at night.

If you want to go the whole nine yards, treat yourself to these sakura desserts and drinks in town. Or, take a trip out to visit more breathtaking cherry blossom destinations across Japan.

Even if you still prefer to stay home, you don’t have to worry about fomo as you can easily go on a virtual sightseeing tour of the country’s top sakura spots.

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