While the cherry blossom may be Japan’s most famous spring flower, it is by no means the only one. In fact, you might find 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).

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 the warmer weather.

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Pro tip: See the best of spring flowers around Tokyo with this ¥12,900 bus tour to Hitachi Seaside Park and Ashikaga Flower Park.

1. Tulips

Ukima Park (Tokyo), Showa Memorial Park (Tokyo), and Sakura (Chiba Prefecture)

Not traditionally associated with Japan, but blooming marvellous here anyway. Get your tulip fix at any of these three parks.

(Showa Memorial Park Tachikawa
Shōwa Memorial Park is known for its tulips. | Photo by iStock.com/ntrirata

Ukima Park

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 Park

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.

Sakura Tulip Festa

Sakura, 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 and trucks, and even a tulip market among the festivities.

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If you arrive early, you might be able to grab one of the rental bicycles available at Sakura Station — the best way to travel between the station and the park.

2. Azaleas

Nezu Shrine (Tokyo)

Close up of bright pink azaleas
Once you start noticing them, azaleas are all over Tokyo. | Photo by Getty Images

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.

3. Nemophila (baby blue eyes)

Mid-April to early May
Hitachi Seaside Park (Ibaraki Prefecture)
1 hour and 15 minutes by Ltd. Express train from Ueno + 15 minute shuttle bus, or an easy bus tour

Nemophila in bloom at Hitachi Seaside Park
Photo by iStock.com/BuiDoanVinh

Come spring, the Miharashi Hills of Hitachi Seaside Park transform into fields of blue. It’s part of the park’s annual spring celebration, aptly called Flowering, which includes other blooms, too. The nemophila usually peak between mid-April and early May.

As the park can be a little difficult to get to on your own, it’s worth going on a one-day tour that visits both Hitachi Seaside Park and Ashikaga Flower Park. Tickets start from ¥12,900.

4. Wisteria

Mid-April to mid-May
Kameido Tenjin (Tokyo) and Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi Prefecture)

wisteria in bloom at Ashikaga Flower festival
Wisteria in bloom at Ashikaga Flower Park. | Photo by iStock.com/Vichai Phububphapan

The timing can prove tricky for wisteria in Tokyo, but it’s so worth it if you can catch them in full bloom.

Kameido Tenjin

Kameido, Tokyo
15-minute walk from Kameido Station in Tokyo

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

Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture
1 hour and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station

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).

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.

5. Shibazakura (moss phlox)

Mid-April to late-May
Fuji Five Lakes (Yamanashi Prefecture) and Chichibu (Saitama Prefecture)

Fuji shibazakura festival
Mt. Fuji makes this one extra special. | Photo by iStock.com/jiratto

Mt. Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Lake 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. In total, there are around 800,000 flowers.

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 a shuttle service called Shiba-Sakura, running to the festival grounds (¥2,350 including entrance ticket; 30-40 minutes).

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 Festival

Chichibu, 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, it’s an awesome 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.

6. Roses

Kyū-Furukawa Teien (Tokyo)

Kyu-Furukawa Teien
Kyū-Furukawa Teien. | Photo by Gregory Lane

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.

Want more ideas that require even less planning? Check out these easy 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 first published in April, 2015. Last updated in February, 2024 by Alex Ziminski.

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