Kawagoe Shingashi River, Saitama
If Tokyo’s Meguro River is your usual go-to sakura site, switch it up this year by heading out to Saitama’s Kawagoe city, also known as ‘Little Edo’ for its historical streets and buildings. Behind the Hikawa Shrine, you’ll find a gentle river flanked by grassy banks and cherry trees. One of the best times to visit is during the Coedo Kawagoe Spring Matsuri, which takes place from March 25 to 26 this year. During this event, you can take a slow boat ride along the sakura-lined river for ¥800.
How to get there: Kawagoe Station is about 30 minutes from Ikebukuro Station. From there, you can take a ten-minute bus ride to Hikawa Shrine, right next to the river. Bus numbers 1 and 6 from Kawagoe Station are your quickest options.