Sakura season is short, and Sanwa Koutsu wants to help you see as much of it as you can.

Japan is filled with different places to enjoy ohanami, or cherry blossom-viewing. Unfortunately, the sakura don’t stick around for very long, which often means having to limit yourself to just one or two places and then wait until next year to see any others.

But there’s a great way to maximize the amount of sakura spots you’ll see this year: taxi operator Sanwa Koutsu has put together six different Ohanami Taxi tours. Ranging in length from 90 to 150 minutes, these are leisurely cruises around Tokyo and some of its neighboring prefectures, to see beautiful local sakura neighborhoods. For example, the 90-minute Tokyo Course takes you to Keyakizaka in Roppongi, Chidorigafuchi (the moat of the imperial palace), Shibuya’s Spain-zaka, Sotobori in Ichigaya, and Yasukuni Shrine.

Still inside the Tokyo city limits, but further away from the downtown hustle and bustle, the 120-minute Fuchu Course takes you to Fuchu Sakuradori street, Tama Cemetery, Ozawa Grand-dori, the local stadium, and Togoji Temple, with its breathtaking weeping sakura tree.

The extra-long 150-minute Hachioji Course, northeast of the Tokyo city center, features Katakura Joseki Park, Korakuji Temple, Tokyo Cemetery, Ryonan Park, the Asakawa River, Hachioji City Hall, and Fujimori Park.

The fourth and final inside-Tokyo route is the 120-minute Kodaira Course, west of downtown, which includes Lake Tama Cycling Road, the police academy environs, Itsukaichi-gaido street, Kodaira Chuo Park, the 287-year-old Koganeizakura cherry blossom tree, and Koganei Park.

And if you’re looking to see sakura outside Tokyo, the 120-minute Yokohama Course in Kanagawa Prefecture, which borders Tokyo on its south side, starts in the bayside Minato Mirai district and goes to Kamonyama Park, the Ookagawa River, the historic Motomachi neighborhood, Honmoku-dori street, and the lovely Sankeien garden.

Or you can head to Tokyo’s neighboring prefecture to the north for the 120-minute Saitama Course and see Fujimino City’s Fukuoka Chuo Park, Kawagoe’s Inasuma wetlands, Hikawa Shrine, and Kitain Temple, and the Shingashigawa River.

Prices vary by route, starting with 11,000 yen (US$75) for the Tokyo Course, 13,000 for Yokohama, 16,000 for Fuchu and Kodaira, 17,000 yen for Saitama, and 19,000 yen for Hachioji. The rate appears to be per car, so if you’re going with a friend or two, this is a pretty affordable luxury, especially considering how many places each route goes to. Oh, and since these are private tours for just you and your companions, if you want to make any alterations to your route, all you have to do is ask.

The Ohanami Taxi tours are available now, and reservations can be made through the Sanwa Koutsu website here. Of course, you’ll want to consult the cherry blossom forecast before picking a date, and we’ve got the latest update to that for you right here.

Source: Sanwa Koutsu
Top image: Press release
Insert images: Sanwa Kotsu
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]