With cherry blossom season just around the corner, it’s time to start making plans. There are plenty of great places to catch the pink blossoms in Tokyo, plus loads of sakura events, too. A popular way to celebrate is by having a picnic under the blooming trees. However, hanami parties at Tokyo’s top cherry blossom parks and gardens were banned for the last three years due to Covid-19 restrictions.
This year, though, the parties are back on. As reported by Japan Today, the Tokyo municipal government won't stop people from enjoying hanami parties this year. This is a big change compared to the last few sakura seasons, when many of the trees at popular cherry blossom destinations were cordoned off to prevent people for gathering under them.
According to the report, major sakura spots such as Yoyogi Park, Ueno Park and Inokashira Park will be allowing picnics this year, albeit with some stipulations. One of the big rules is that people are not allowed to save spots under the trees with unattended mats. You’ll also have to watch the clock as picnics must end by 5pm at Yoyogi, 8pm at Ueno and 10pm at Inokashira.
Another cherry blossom occasion returning this year is the Meguro River Sakura Festival, which takes place from March 19 to April 9. During this event, which last took place in 2019, you can see the riverside cherry blossoms lit up at night and buy food from booths set up by local restaurants. Hanami parties, however, are not allowed at this festival.
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