Just like every year, the beautiful cherry blossom season is coming again. But sadly, this year isn’t like every year. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, having a hanami, cherry blossom viewing picnic, eating and drinking together with friends isn’t really possible. Therefore, in this article, we will introduce a different style of hanami, so you can still enjoy the arrival of spring like every year!
Cherry blossom viewing at the aquarium?!
Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa is one of Tokyo’s biggest aquariums, located right in front of Shinagawa Station. Here they offer its guests a different style of cherry blossom viewing ー through digital art and projections. The theme of the aquarium’s current popular dolphin show is Spring. The whole arena is lit up with beautiful lights and projections of cherry blossoms!
In the middle of the performance, the show’s music stops for a short time. This “silent time” with no music and no narrations was created to incorporate and draw attention to the “new normal” in our daily life in the global pandemic. Enjoy the sounds of nature. Just dolphins singing together with the sounds of water as background music.
* Please reserve a Web Admission Ticket with a designated date and time. This is a measure to prevent queues. Reservation tickets are free. Please purchase your admission tickets inside the building upon arrival.
Date: March 8th (Monday) -April 18th (Sunday), 2021
Event HP: http://www.aqua-park.jp/aqua/sakuragatari2021/index.html
Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa
Hanami at a cafe ー Admire a Japanese garden with cherry blossoms from above
Happo-en has a beautiful Japanese garden with about 85 cherry trees. The different Sakura tree types include Kawazu cherry trees, Yoshino cherry trees, weeping cherry trees, and a special sakura tree type with double cherry blossoms. From the terrace of the venue’s cafe, you can overlook the Japanese garden from above. Don’t miss this hidden gem!
1-1-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/GXKyRSE31DHdws8x5
Nearest station: Shirokanedai
* During the state of emergency, Thrush Cafe is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
Hanami stroll in a small group of people
One of Tokyo’s most lively cherry blossom viewing spots is Shiba Park that surrounds Zojoji Temple. Every year, the park is packed with people enjoying cherry blossom viewing picnics under the sakura trees. However, this year the Tokyo Metropolitan Government asks residents to refrain from having hanami picnics or dining in large groups of people. So as an alternative, why don’t you take a walk in the park?
4-10-17 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/e56zEpo3MsKyrv9w8
Nearest stations: Shibakoen Station, Akabanebashi Station, Onarimon Station, Daimon Station, Hamamatsucho Station, Kamiyacho Station
Atago Shrine, a little-known spot perfect for a weekday visit
Located on a small mountain 26m high, Atago Shrine is known as a so-called “power spot” for work and your career! After you walked up the loooong (and steep) ‘stairs of success’, you will be greeted by beautiful cherry blossoms. It is a very healing experience to make a wish at the shrine and stroll around the precincts. Even though the shrine is located in the middle of the city, it is usually so quiet that you can hear the birds sing.