Along with being home to some of the capital’s dodgiest nightlife and some of the top international companies (related?), Roppongi also has some very popular and noteworthy spots to admire the fleeting cherry blossoms of early spring. (Check out our full list of cherry blossom spots in Tokyo, too!)
Located off Keyakizaka behind Roppongi Hills, the cherry blossoms are so good here that they literally named the street—cherry blossom slope—after them. Keyakizaka itself is also a great spot. Visit in the evening to see the iconic Tokyo Tower lit-up in the distance.
Pictured in the lead photo for this article, Spain-zaka is an area on the border between Akasaka and Roppongi. While the area is lined with glass and steel skyscrapers, the mature cherry trees reveal that the area has a history much longer than the surrounding buildings might suggest. It’s also one of the more “secret” areas with much smaller crowds than Sakura-zaka or Midtown.
This mixed-use retail, residential, office and recreational complex is actually located in Akasaka, but is also connected to Roppongi Station, so it definitely counts. Most of the cherry blossom action happens around the back of Midtown, on the opposite side from Gaien-higashi Dori avenue.
National Art Center Tokyo
Although the museum itself doesn’t have much to offer, both the approach to the museum from Tokyo Midtown and the neighboring Graduate Institute of Policy Studies have some excellent somei-yoshino blossoms.
Just outside Roppongi: Aoyama Cemetery
If you make it to Tokyo Midtown or the National Art Center, you might as well keep going towards Aoyama Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in Tokyo. Cherry blossom trees in Japan always go together with cemeteries—the fleeting nature of life symbolized by the ephemeral blossoms.
The trees are lit up in the evening and there are big crowds, so it’s not at all spooky. Some people even have picnics amongst the grave stones. If you choose to do this, be aware that among Japanese there is a split between those that think it’s OK to have some fun with the spirits while others frown upon it.