Spring holidays in Tokyo
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 colorfully 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.
Mount Fuji views
Tokyo air is at its crispest and cleanest in spring, making this the best season to be awed by the haunting beauty of Mount Fuji. See its snow-capped peaks during the day, or its dramatic silhouette by night, from Tokyo Tower’s Special Observatory. Take in 360-degree views of the city from the viewing platform, where you will feel like you’re floating mid-air.
Cocktails on Tokyo Bay
A cool evening cocktail or locally brewed beer waterside on Tokyo Bay is the perfect way to top off a crisp spring evening. Rainbow Bridge all lit up is a dazzling sight from Intercontinental Tokyo Bay’s Sunset Lounge. Watch boats cruise by on the peaceful waters while you try the ales at TY Harbor Brewery or Waterside Lounge.
A day at the races
Spring is the best time of year to enjoy the excitement and pace of horseracing in Tokyo, with some of the nation’s finest international race meets running in April and May. Listen to the crowds roar as the horses and their jockeys go whizzing past at Yasuda Kinen at the Tokyo Racecourse, or watch spectacular jumps at the Nakayama Grand Jump at Nakayama Racecourse.
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