From March to May every year, Japan is transformed into a pink wonderland with a plethora of colorful cherry blossoms (‘sakura’ in Japanese). This is the best time to visit the country’s fascinating capital. Baroque Travel tells you what to do and where to stay
With the onset of spring, the weather in Tokyo is glorious and there’s plenty to do in this vibrant city, which is a heady combination of traditional and futuristic lifestyles. For starters, to see the cherry blossoms at their best, make sure to visit the city’s largest park, Ueno-Koen, home to more than 1,000 cherry trees. There you can enjoy a lively traditional Hanami party, a flower-viewing event that involves a picnic and sake under the cherry trees.
The view of snow-topped Mount Fuji from Tokyo is quite spectacular, and offers a more traditional side to this magical city. We suggest you climb to the top of Mount Fuji for a view of the city of Tokyo covered with cherry blossoms. No climbing experience is necessary, and you’re in for an unforgettable experience – not to mention the breathtaking city views.
If you’re planning to visit Tokyo in cherry blossom season, we suggest you stay at the magnificent Peninsula Tokyo. From 22 March right through to the end of the month, the hotel celebrates the season with hundreds of 3-meter high cherry tree boughs transforming the lobby into a pink wonderland. If you’re planning to visit a little later, don’t despair – from 2 to 14 April, the spectacular sakura blooms are displayed at the hotel’s main entrance.
Staying at the Peninsula Tokyo is a luxurious experience anytime of the year, but it’s an extremely unique experience in the springtime. One of the hotel’s most popular events is the colorful Sakura Afternoon Tea, available every day from 1 March to 15 April from 2.30 pm to 9 pm. Guests enjoy a glass of Deutz Sakura Rosé Champagne before being presented with a variety of delectable items for afternoon tea, presented on a silver stand. Choose from savory finger foods and sakura-inspired desserts to classic savory Croque Madame and smoked salmon sandwiches. Everything is decorated to celebrate sakura season, including the handmade scones adorned with salted cherry petals. Let’s not forget the choice of 20 exquisite teas on the menu, or the exquisite floral arrangements, and the live music. This is a really unique experience.
The hotel’s Lobby Restaurant features a special prix fixed menu at this time, and guests can also order the Hanami Picnic set to enjoy in one of the city’s many beautiful parks, including Hibiya Park, Chidorigafuchi, the Imperial Palace East Gardens, Euno Park, mentioned above, and many more.
Guests can also savor a traditional Chinese sakura-inspired feast at the hotel’s Cantonese restaurant, Hei Fung Terrace or a unique meal at the grill restaurant, Peter, on the premises. And that’s not all. Peter: The Bar offers two original sakura cocktails to sample, including the gin-based Anniversary Bouquet with chamomile, elderflower and sakura liqueur, and The New Journey, a champagne concoction mixed with herbs of dry bergamot and three different flowers.
Not to be outdone, the Peninsula’s award-winning Spa offers a one hour and 50 minute Cherry Blossom Ceremony, that begins with cherry blossom tea and a pink macaron, and includes a foot scrub, exfoliating body scrub and wrap, cleansing facial, refreshing scalp massage and a body massage. Pure bliss!