Cherry blossoms in bloom, historic shrine festivals and river cruises in pleasant temperatures make for the perfect spring holiday in Tokyo. Book a Tokyo hotel in spring to enjoy the city’s liveliest and most fascinating alfresco experiences.
Cherry blossom parties
Spring breaks in Tokyo offer the chance to see the city full of ephemeral cherry blossoms. Hanami (flower viewing) parties complete with sake, plum wine and a picnic are the best way to enjoy the sakura (cherry blossom) season. Head to Ueno Park in Shinjuku Gyoen to see the blossoms bloom amid green spaces, or visit Chidorigafuchi in Kitanomaru Park, where fallen blooms look like snowflakes on the Imperial Palace moat.
A trip down the Sumida River takes you past buildings old and new, the beer- glass shaped Asahi Beer Building, 12 unique bridges and the beautiful 18th- century Hamarikyu Onshi Gardens. Hop aboard a Tokyo Cruise Ship boat at Asakusa to see it all lit up by the cherry blossoms, magnolias and purple azaleas in bloom.
Portable shrines mounted with mysterious deities, musicians beating drums and colourfully dressed dancers are all on parade during Sanja Matsuri in May. Get caught up in the carnival spirit and whirlwind of sights and sounds on the historic streets of Asakusa by the bold red Senso-ji Temple.
A trip to the aquarium
Eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, penguins and other marine life will delight at Tokyo Sea Life Park. Visitors can watch bluefin tuna swim freely in a vast seaside dome that mirrors their natural habitat. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel, play on beach or take a break in the park’s private Japanese garden.
Samurai and horseback archery
Get a taste of Edo-period Japan at the Yabusame Festival in April. Jockeys dressed as samurai sit astride horses, firing arrows at targets as they gallop past. Watch the action, along with a costume parade filled with intricately patterned kimonos, warlords and warriors, from the banks of the Sumida River at Sumida Park.