The cherry blossoms usually bloom in Tokyo in the last week of March and the first week of April. You have to be lucky to catch them at their best during a short trip to Japan.
Cherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi
Average Opening and Full Bloom Dates in Tokyo
In an average year, the cherry blossoms start blooming on 25 March in Tokyo. Then, they hit full bloom (known as “mankai” in Japanese) on 2 April in Tokyo. About a week after that, most of the blossoms have fallen off the trees.
Cherries Blossoms Are Unpredictable
The above dates are only averages. Depending upon the weather, the cherries can open a week or so earlier or later and hit full bloom any time in late March or early April. Thus, it’s REALLY hard to plan a trip around the cherry blossoms. The only way to be sure to see them in full bloom is to book a room in Tokyo from 25 March to 10 April, and who has the money or time to do that?
Cherries Vary From Year to Year
In some years, the cherries in Tokyo all start to open about the same time and then all seem to hit full bloom about the same time. In other years, there’s huge variation between trees, even in the same neighborhood. Needless to say, it’s glorious when the cherries are all in synch, but this is far from guaranteed.
Booking Accommodation During Cherry Blossom Season
Cherry blossom season is the peak tourist season in Japan and both Japanese and foreign tourists like to visit Tokyo during this time. Hotels can be fully booked during this season, so book as far in advance as possible, and expect to pay higher rates. Check Agoda.com and Booking.com for available hotel rooms in Tokyo or Kyoto.
Blossoms Are a Bonus
To tell the truth, it’s hard to catch the cherry blossoms at their peak during a short trip to Japan. If you plan a short stay in Tokyo hoping to see the cherries at full bloom, you’re more than likely to be disappointed. Thus, I recommend that you consider the cherry blossoms to be a bonus. If you see them at their best, consider yourself lucky, but don’t make them the focus of your trip. Make Japan the focus of your trip and you won’t be disappointed.
Tokyo Cherry Blossoms Guide:
- When Is Cherry Blossom Season In Tokyo
- Where Is The Best Place To See Cherry Blossoms In Tokyo?
- Tokyo 2-Day Cherry Blossom Itinerary
- Where To Stay In Cherry Blossom Season In Tokyo
- Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms In Tokyo Away from The Crowds
Heading To Kyoto?
There are some spectacular places to see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto too - see my Kyoto Cherry Blossom Viewing guide for full details about the best places to see the cherries in Kyoto and where to stay too.
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals. Check my guides to arriving at Narita Airport and at Haneda Airport.
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world