Cherry blossoms look great against a blue sky, but don’t let nightfall stop you. Japan has a long tradition of appreciating the blossoms when the sun goes down. There is even a word for it — yozakura.

Several of Tokyo’s best cherry blossom locations and festivals moonlight as yozakura spots. Some even have enough space for picnics (so long as you behave yourself) and food stalls. Bring your camera and discover the very best of Tokyo’s nighttime cherry blossom light-ups and illuminations.

Though, come to think of it, does it ever really get dark in Tokyo? Anyway, the lanterns or lights may be simple — just enough for the flowers to be seen in the dark — or extravagant enough for the blossoms to give off an ethereal glow.–>

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1. Meguro River

Lights from Mid-March to early April

Cherry blossoms over the Meguro River take on eerie shades of magenta and lavender under lantern lights
Meguro River is a great spot for a romantic evening stroll. | Photo by Getty Images

Over 800 cherry trees grow on a stretch of the Meguro River, spanning almost 4 km and transforming an otherwise ordinary river into a beautiful sight.

Paper lanterns are strung along a 1 km-long section in Nakameguro — between Nambu Bridge and Saikachi Bridge — as part of the Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival. This narrow part of the canal makes for a lovely, romantic stroll.

2. Chidorigafuchi Park

Lights from Late March to early April

Hop on a boat and traverse the moat at Chidorigafuchi. | Photo by Jui-Chi Chan/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Chidorigafuchi Park, which sits on the opposite side of the moat from the Imperial Palace, has about 260 cherry trees that line the water. They’re illuminated in the evening during the Chiyoda Cherry Blossom Festival, which extends to nearby Kitanomaru Park and Yasukuni Shrine.

During the festival, you’ll be able to take a rowboat out onto the moat to get those yozakura photo shots. And don’t forget to check out the food stalls set up around the vicinity.

3. Rikugien Garden

Lights from March 16 to 24
6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

weeping cherry blossoms in the Rikugien
This tree looks really cool when lit up. | Photo by HORIGUCHI

Rikugien is best known for its shidare-zakura, or weeping cherry tree. Described as magical and mystical, the evening illumination makes the massive cherry tree look like it’s floating in the dark.

A special ticket is available from ¥900 to view the garden at night during cherry blossom season. Of course, the park is also open in the daytime — as early as 9:00 a.m. — and regular park admission is ¥300.

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4. Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown

Lights from Mid-March to mid-April

Cherry trees illuminated at night next to Roppongi Hills
Mohri Garden in Roppongi Hills gets quite busy during cherry blossom season. | Photo by

Both Roppongi Hills’ Mohri Garden and nearby Sakura-zaka (literally “Cherry Slope”) have cherry trees that come aglow in spring. Mohri Garden has the Somei Yoshino variety and weeping cherry trees while Sakura-zaka has all Somei Yoshino.

Swanky Tokyo Midtown, meanwhile, also has illuminations in the evening. Find them in the complex’s Hinokichō Park and elsewhere as part of the Midtown Blossom event.

5. Ueno Park

Lights from Mid-March to early April

Ueno Park Cherry Blossoms
The Ueno Park cherry blossom light-up. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Ueno Park is already famous enough for cherry blossoms during the day! While its light-up is nothing too spectacular, its space and reputation as a picnic spot make it an optimal place for a nighttime picnic.

If it’s too hard to stake out a spot, you might have slightly more luck at night. Emphasis on slightly.

6. Spain-zaka and Ark Hills

Lights from Late March to early April

The lesser known Spain-zaka sakura spot is for those who don’t like too many crowds. | Photo by Gregory Lane

The mature cherry trees lining the roads around Roppongi’s Spain-zaka are amongst the most spectacular and least known in Tokyo. While there aren’t really any places to put down a mat for a picnic, the area is great for an evening stroll.

Spain-zaka runs up the hill next to Ark Hills from Roppongi-dōri towards the Embassy of Spain. To get there, take the Ark Hills exit from Roppongi-itchōme Station and follow the modest crowds. While the area’s sakura festival only lasts for a few days, the cherry blossom light-up will last for the entirety of the blooming period.

7. Sumida Park

Lights from Mid-March to early April

A night out with the cherry blossoms and Tokyo Skytree. | Photo by Sumida City Tourism Association

Visit historic Asakusa to see this park by the river, where you can have a picnic underneath illuminated cherry blossoms and see Tokyo Skytree. The Sumida River has been a famous cherry blossom festival spot for centuries. There are over 600 trees in the park alone!

8. Monzen-Nakachō, Fukagawa

Lights from March 16 to April 7
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This quiet neighborhood in Kōtō Ward has a low-key vibe, but it’s a great place to check out during cherry blossom season, as it hosts the Oedo-Fukagawa Sakura Festival. There will be food stalls on the weekend and illuminations of the blossoms in the evening from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. But what sets it apart is that you can take a cruise on a wasen, or traditional Japanese boat, to admire the cherry blossoms.

For other ways to enjoy cherry blossom season in Tokyo, see our alternative Hanami guide.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. This post was last updated February 2024.

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