You can go day or night — and many of them are free!

It’s peak sakura season in Japan, and there are tons of events happening–both formal and informal–to make the most of the fleeting time. Here are just a few to check out before and after peak blooming periods in the Tokyo-Kanagawa area.

1. Naked Shinjuku Gyoen Park (Shinjuku)

We’ve touched on this one recently, but Shinjuku Gyoen will put on a projection mapping and night sakura experience like no other. It will be held from March 31 to April 23 — while this is slightly past the early sakura full-bloom projection for this year, you may be able to catch some late bloomers or even see a carpet of fallen petals. In any case, the digital cherry blossoms will guide your way. There is an entrance fee for this one, so see our previous article linked above for more details.

2. Meccha Sakura Special (Ginza)

This ongoing indoor event takes place at Art Aquarium Ginza. The exhibit will be decked out in the delicate pink of cherry blossoms, and you can experience the surreal sight of goldfish swimming in sakura-colored water. It’s perfect for rainy days during cherry blossom season or if you have spring hayfever. It’s going on until April 25; online reserved tickets are 2,300 yen (US$17.60), and same-day tickets are 2,400 yen.

3. Chiyoda Sakura Matsuri (Chidorigafuchi Moat)

This sakura light up in central Chiyoda Ward is being held for the first time in four years. You can enjoy an LED light up of a 700-meter (around 2,297-foot) walkway completely lined with cherry trees, or you can rent a boat even during the evening hours to experience the light up from a different point of view. If your Japanese skills are up to par, you can also play a riddle game! It all starts from March 24 to April 4, and aside from the boat rental, it’s totally free.

4. Roppongi Hills Spring Matsuri 2023 (Roppongi)

From mid-March to mid-April, you can see even more sakura lit up during the evening around Roppongi Hills. On March 31, you can also enjoy a very special Kyoto Takigi Noh performance–a cultural act that’s being performed outside of Kyoto for the very first time. You can also make Japanese candy and see other stage performances on the day. And on April 1 and 2, you can see sakura on a place that’s normally not open to the public, the Keyakizaka Complex Rooftop Garden.

5. Sakura & Spirits 2023 (Nakameguro)

This one is pretty self-explanatory: blossoms and booze. Many restaurants along the Meguro River in Nakameguro will offer seasonal sakura menus and set up roadside stands, and one such place is &SPIRITS, a store specializing in distilled liquor. Want a drink like the Ohanami Gin & Tonic pictured above? Shuffle on down there. It lasts everyday from noon to 11 p.m. until April 16, with drinks priced between 1,210 yen and 1,430 yen.

6. Midtown Blossom 2023 (Roppongi)

Over 100 towering cherry blossom trees await you in another area of Roppongi, Midtown. Art is also an avid part of this event, with the focal point being The Singleton Blossom Lounge, where you can enjoy single malt whiskey on the grounds of the Ritz Carlton. The lounge is open from noon to 8 p.m. until April 16, and during peak blooming season on Friday and Saturday, they’re open as late as 9 p.m. Aside from the whiskey, entrance is free.

7. Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo’s Night Sakura Unkai and Sakura Road – Light Art – (Edogawabashi)

From sunset to 11 p.m., you can enter the ethereal misty world that is Hotel Chinzanso’s mist garden. It’s lit up in a cherry blossom theme and there are real sakura trees to accompany your journey as well. The best part about this one is that it’s totally free.

8. Night Sakura Jewel Illumination (Yomiuri Land)

This one is a bit outside of central Tokyo, but it’s worth the trip. Sakura trees that stretch 180 meters (about 590 feet) long line a lit-up pathway, and at the end of it is a fountain show. If you want to see even more blossoms, you can see even more inside the park’s grounds with an After Hours pass for 3,100 yen. It’s happening until April 9, from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (until 8 p.m. from April 1 to 4).

9. Kioi Spring 2023 Kioi Flower Station (Chiyoda)

After you’ve checked out the Chidorigafuchi Moat, you could swing by this rainbow sakura lightup at the Naturalistic Garden in the Kioi neighborhood. Along with cherry blossoms, you can also see around 3,000 tulips in bloom, along with a slew of other flowers. The rainbow lightup only happens for four minutes starting at 7, 8, and 9 p.m., so time your visit carefully! It will be held until April 16.

10. Garden Necklace Yokohama 2023 (Yokohama)

This is not in Tokyo, but the city of Yokohama is easily accessible from Japan’s capital with a 30-minute train ride. Sakura, tulips, and roses are the stars of this show, which is best enjoyed during daytime. The cherry blossoms won’t be around for the entire event (March 25 to June 11), but it’s a great spot to enjoy so much more than sakura.

Time’s awasting! Get out there and see some blossoms before they’re all gone–though there are also plenty of ways to celebrate the season even after it’s over.

Related: Naked Shinjuku Gyoen, Art Aquarium Ginza, Roppongi Hills, &SPIRITS, Tokyo Midtown, Hotel Chinzanso, Kioi Spring, Garden Necklace Yokohama
Source, images: PR Times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
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