While cherry blossoms may be Japan’s most famous spring flower, it is by no means the only one! In fact, you might find you that you prefer the drapey purple plumes of fuji-no-hana (wisteria), or the bold pink shibazakura (moss phlox) that covers whole fields around Mt Fuji (and elsewhere).
And where there are flowers there are festivals. Some of the Tokyo flower festivals, like those held at shrines, have long traditions. Others are more contemporary, and may include flowers not always associated with Japan (like tulips). Many have evening illuminations — for you to start taking advantage of warmer evenings.
Note that some flower festivals are a few hours away from Tokyo, so it’s a good idea to plan out a day trip if you want to make the most of your time.
Ukima Park (Tokyo), Showa Memorial Park (Tokyo), and Sakura (Chiba Prefecture)
20 minutes by train from Shinjuku
Ukima Park is a hidden gem in Tokyo’s northern suburbs. There are 20,000 or so tulips here, which are illuminated in the evening during the park’s spring festival. The park also has a windmill, for extra Holland vibes.
Shōwa Memorial ParkTachikawa
30 minutes by train from Shinjuku
Shōwa Memorial Park is a huge park in suburban west Tokyo. Its annual spring flower festival runs from late March all the way through late May, covering the whole season — from cherry blossoms to red poppies. The highlight, however, is considered to be the tulips, which bloom in April.
|At the door: ¥440|
Sakura Tulip FestaSakura, Chiba Prefecture
1 hour by train from Ueno + taxi or 40-minute walk
If you really want to see A LOT of tulips and are willing to travel outside of Tokyo then the Sakura Tulip Festival — the largest in the Kantō area — is for you. There are lots of food stalls/trucks and a tulip market among the festivities.
If you head out early, you can hopefully grab one of the rental bicycles available at Sakura Station — the best way to travel between the station and the park.
Nezu Shrine (Tokyo)
Azaleas — tsutsuji in Japanese — are bright and beautiful, especially when they fill the grounds of a shrine in central Tokyo. Nezu Shrine holds its annual flower festival in its 300-year-old azalea garden, which is home to over 3000 plants representing some 100 different species.
During the festival, there are antique fairs, plant fairs and more — it’s a whole thing, with a traditional atmosphere.
|At the door: ¥300|
Nemophila (baby blue eyes)Mid-April to early May
Hitachi Seaside Park (Ibaraki Prefecture)
75 minutes by Ltd. Express train from Ueno + 15 minute shuttle bus
Come spring, the Miharashi Hills of Hitachi Seaside Park transform into fields of blue. It’s part of the park’s annual spring celebration, Flowering, which includes other blooms, too. The nemophila usually peak between mid-April and early May.
|At the door: ¥700|
|At the door: ¥460|
WisteriaMid-April to mid-May
Kameido Tenjin (Tokyo) and Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi Prefecture)
The best place in Tokyo to see these hanging blossoms is Kameido Tenjin, a 17th-century Shintō shrine in Kameido, a neighborhood on Tokyo’s east side. The shrine has a pond, which reflects the wisteria beautifully, and an arched bridge known as a “drum bridge,” making it a scenic spot. The annual wisteria festival has evening illuminations and often some cultural events.
Ashikaga Flower Park
If you don’t mind going a little farther, Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture is an even bigger destination for wisteria. Not only do they have the usual light purple wisteria, but they also have ones in the same shade as cherry blossoms, as well as white, yellow, and green ones.
During the park’s Great Wisteria Festival there are evening illuminations and the park’s opening hours are extended (except for the first week).
Unfortunately, Ashikaga is a little expensive to get to, as the quickest way uses the Shinkansen to get as far as Oyama. Though if you line up a couple of outings you might be able to save money with the Tokyo Wide Pass, which covers some Shinkansen rides near Tokyo.
Pro-tip: Combine a trip to see the nemophila at Hitachi Seaside Park AND the wisteria at Ashikaga Flower Park with this one-day tour that visits both. Considering the cost of getting to both, this is a pretty good deal (that also includes lunch).
Shibazakura (moss phlox)Mid-April to late-May
Fuji Five Lakes (Yamanashi Prefecture) and Chichibu (Saitama Prefecture)
Mt Fuji Shibazakura FestivalLake Motosuko, Fuji Five Lakes
About 3 hours from Shinjuku by train and bus
Pink, white, magenta, and light purple flowers carpet the ground at Fuji Motosuko Resort during the annual Mt Fuji Shibazakura Festival.
Going by ordinary public transport, you’ll first need to get from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko, the biggest hub in the Fuji Five Lakes region. From Kawaguchiko Station, there is shuttle service to the festival grounds (though sadly it’s not free).
Pro-tip: You can book packages online that include festival admission and transport to and from either Kawaguchiko Station or Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal.
Also, if you’re keen to see more of Fuji Five Lakes, but don’t want to sort out the transport, this one-day tour from Tokyo packs in a lot, including: strawberry picking, entry to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, a ride up to the Saiko Iyashi no Sato traditional village, and a visit to Lake Yamanakako.
Chichibu Shibazakura FestivalChichibu, Saitama Prefecture
80 minutes by train from Ikebukuro Station + 20-minute walk
If Mt Fuji is too far, consider visiting Chichibu for its shibazakura instead. Specifically, the place to check out is Hitsujiyama Park’s Shibazakura Hill, which has about 400,000 shibazakura flowers. Note the earlier end date for this festival.
If you’re looking for something extra special, Seibu Railways runs a late afternoon train service between Chichibu and Tokyo (Ikebukuro Station) with designer dining cars and gourmet meals. While not exactly cheap, we imagine it would be a cool experience: The train interior was designed by famous architect Kengo Kuma and the menu (and chef) changes seasonally. Included in the package is a 1-day pass for Seibu Railways, so it covers your round-trip to and from the festival.
|At the door: ¥300|
Kyū-Furukawa Teien (Tokyo)
Kyū-Furukawa Teien, near Komagome Station, is famous for its vibrant roses, which bloom in mid-May. Its rose garden is kind of shaped like a maze, which makes for good photos with the Western-style residence in the background.
|At the door: ¥150|
|At the door: ¥70|
Want more ideas that require even less planning? Check out these spring bus tours from Tokyo.
This article on Tokyo flower festivals is updated annually. Blooming times are dependent on the weather and so may vary from the forecasts. Other information is also subject to change. Post last updated in March 2023.
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