This is it, people. The time of year you’ve all been waiting for: cherry blossom season!

cherry blossoms tokyo
Hanami at Ueno Park | Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson used under CC

And with sakura season comes hanami—a blossom viewing picnic party with friends/family/coworkers. If this is your first time experiencing the wondrous sight of pink and white petals, we suggest these two famous festivals in Tokyo at Sumida Park and Ueno Park:

The Sumida Park Festival offer views of the sakura-lined river  (boat rides available!) with Tokyo Skytree is the background. And you’ve probably seen images of  the iconic Ueno Park Cherry Blossom Festival in pictures or guide books well before ever coming to Tokyo. It’s quite a vision, but everyone thinks so, so be prepared for crowds. And remember not to leave just because the sun is setting, both festivals have nighttime illuminations, which make everything ethereally more beautiful. And for more spots to see cherry blossoms, with some less-crowded options, visit here.

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And for those wanting a little variety in their weekend, here are some (not as iconic but) equally fun events to keep the cheapest of cheap happy.

This&That Cafe Anniversary Party – Art and Music Night (March 25): After 5 years of hosting bi-monthly art and music events showcasing Tokyo’s most creative talents, #TnTCafe is still going strong. Celebrate at SuperDeluxe with amazing musical and artistic performances this Friday. Entry is 1,000 yen, drink included.

Ekoda Night Bazaar (March 26): For food, games, shopping and an overall festival atmosphere, pop by the Edoka Night Bazaar. Makes for a great family outing and authentic Tokyo experience.

Japanese Antique Market (March 27): This monthly antique market is back which aims to educate people on Japanese culture and art, while creating an opportunity for locals to sell their antique goods. Great spot to practice your Japanese and/or pick up some souvenirs!

Pipes of Piece Concert (March 27): Free concert in Yoyogi Park. The lineup for Sunday’s event includes: Merankorika / Flamboyband / Amesui / HOTEL TENNESSEE / Taro Asami.

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