A Yearly Guide to Flower Viewing in Tokyo
If you live in the city, flowers are an important reminder of the countryside and a sign of the changing seasons. They open a doorway to a world full of color and life, and so they are celebrated and cherished. This means flower festivals and stunning gardens can be found any time of the year all across Tokyo. Some of the seasonal flower celebrations are amongst the most important social events of the year, while others provide moments of pure calm amidst the roar of the city. So, read on for a guide to flowers blooming in every month of the year, and the best spots for viewing them in Tokyo.
May 06 2021 (May 14 2021)
🌼 Narcissus – Suisen
・Kasai Rinkai Park
Within Central Tokyo, the best place to view Narcissus is Kasai Rinkai Koen. This seaside park has planted 50,000 narcissus bulbs producing over 200,000 flowers. Many of the bulbs were provided by two of Japan’s most famous narcissus spots – the Echizen narcissus from Fukui’s Echizen coast and bulbs from Tsumekizaki Park in Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula.
・Ezuki Narcissus Road
A little further afield but within an easy day trip of Tokyo is the Ezuki Narcissus Road on Chiba’s Boso Peninsula. Throughout January, millions of narcissus bloom on both sides of this road near Kyonan Town. The most popular way to view the flowers is to hike the roughly 3km-long course. Local farmers can be found selling produce and flowers.
Further still but worth the trip are the narcissus of Tsumekizaki Park in Shimoda. Millions of narcissus carpet the ground of the Izu Peninsula’s Tsumekizaki Cape in January. The delicate yellow color of the flowers is impressively contrasted with the bright blue of the sea and sky in winter. A great way to view the flowers is to walk the Suzaki Hiking Trail, which takes you around the coast from the small harbor of Suzaki to the Tsumekizaki Park.
🌼 Plum Blossoms – Ume
・Yushima Tenjin Shrine
In central Tokyo, a great place to view plum blossoms is at Yushima Tenjin Shrine. With a total of 300 trees including 10 different kinds, the shrine has been famous for its enchanting plum blossoms since the Edo Period. Also, a fun “Ume Matsuri” (plum-blossom festival) is usually held at the shrine throughout February with food stalls dotting the shrine grounds.
If you are curious about other shrines with beautiful plum-blossom scenery, check out our article on 7 Shrines in Tokyo with Plum Blossoms.
・Koishikawa Botanical Gardens
A quieter option within central Tokyo is the Koishikawa Botanical Gardens plum grove. The gardens are part of the nearby Tokyo University and exhibit thousands of tree and plant species, including a Japanese landscape garden. Thus, it is the perfect place for a stroll during a sunny day and a great spot for a winter picnic under the blossoms.
If you want to get out of the city centre and fancy a hike amongst thousands of plum trees, then head to the Baigo area of Mt. Takao. Four separate plum groves are planted along the old Koshu Kaido (the Edo-period route that connected Tokyo with Yamanashi Prefecture), amounting to over 10,000 trees in total. If the weather is nice, bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful fragrance and spectacular scenery.
🌼 Wintersweet – Robai
・ Mt. Hodo, Nagatoro
If you like the idea of a winter hike amongst fragrant blossoms and want to avoid the crowds, consider exploring Mt. Hodo, where bright yellow robai flowers can be found blooming at the summit. This is quite a serious day trip from the capital, but the area offers plenty more than just flowers, such as the famed riverside Tatami Rocks, a geological wonder created by erosion from the river over the centuries, and the Hodosan Zoo.
🌼 Rapeseed Flowers – Nanohana
Originally built as a feudal lord’s Tokyo residence, Hamarikyu Gardens feature unique seawater ponds and a teahouse on an island. The gardens also offer large flower fields that are covered with nanohana flowers throughout March. The field is also lined by plum trees, and if you are lucky you can catch them blooming at the same time.
For a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji set behind a foreground of yellow nanohana, then head to Azumayama Park in Kanagawa, a perfect place to enjoy Japanese nature and relax. The hilltop park has a 360-degree view of the surrounding area including the Sagami Bay and is also popular for its cherry blossoms.
・Showa Kinen Park
Showa Kinen Park is a beautiful, large park in Tachikawa famed for its flowers. So, if you are a flower lover in Tokyo, this park is a must-see spot. Nanohana flowers have quite a long blooming period, and at Hamarikyu you can often catch them blooming alongside plum blossoms, but at Showa Kinen Park, the nanohana are timed to coincide with the sakura.
🌼 Cherry Blossoms – Sakura
・Yanaka Sakura Tunnel
Yanaka is a gem of a destination at any time of year, but when the sakura blooms the central promenade is transformed. This is not a destination for hanami picnics, but rather for a gentle stroll under the cherry trees and a chance to quietly appreciate the beauty. If you are after a more raucous hanami experience, then it is an easy walk down to Ueno Park, where the party will be in full swing.
If you want to find out other charming spots to view sakura in Tokyo, check out our article on 8 Hidden Locations to See Sakura in Tokyo and Escape the Crowds.
Asukayama Park has been a popular hanami spot since the Edo Period, thanks to its 650 cherry trees that turn the park pink and white. This is a fun park for the whole family whatever the season, with a great playground and water-play area in the summer. But when the blossoms bloom, locals flock to hold hanami parties under the trees and enjoy the view out over the surrounding area.
・Kumagaya Sakura Tsutsumi
Kumagaya Sakura Tsutsumi is a 2 km stretch along the Arakawa riverbank planted with hundreds of cherry trees. This is another spot where the blooming of the sakura and the nanohana coincide, making for a spectacular sight. There is plenty of space here for a picnic, or you can take a stroll along the riverside path under the blossoms.
🌼 Azalea – Tsutsuji
Nezu Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest shrines and one of the most attractive, with its tunnel of red torii gates. The shrine and its grounds are tranquil and atmospheric any time of the year, and always free to enter. During the Tsutsuji Matsuri, the azalea garden costs 200 yen to enter, and it’s well worth it for the explosion of color that greets you at every turn along the hillside strolling path.
・Shiofune Kannon Temple
A bit further out of the city but still within Tokyo are the azaleas at Shiofune Kannon Temple. This historic temple and its statue of Kannon overlook a valley of around 20,000 azalea plants bursting with flowers of every shade from pink and purple to white. It is an impressive sight, and your visit can be followed by a hike along the Kasumi Kyuryo Trail in the mountains surrounding the temple.
・Godaison Tsutsuji Park
Another hillside spot just outside of Tokyo that is famed for its azaleas is Godaison Tsutsuji Park in Saitama. Unlike Nezu Shrine and Shiofune Kannon Temple, the azaleas here are not pruned into spheres, but left in their natural shape. It is quite a large mountainside park with some steep slopes and lovely views over the surrounding area and the town of Ogose.
🌼 Baby Blue Eyes Flower – Nemophila
・Hitachi Seaside Park
If you want to appreciate the full impact of nemophila, head out of the city to Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture, which houses a variety of green spaces and seasonal flowers spread out across 350 hectares. Here you will find millions of nemophila planted on the hills of the park, creating a sea of blue flowers. Click here for more information on Hitachi Seaside Park.
Located on the grounds of the former Edo Castle, Hibiya Park is Japan’s first Western-style park. It is a green oasis in central Tokyo, offering visitors views of seasonal flowers, Japanese landscapes, and cozy spots to eat while relaxing. Nemophila are one of the most striking flowers blooming here, covering Hibiya Park’s lawns in blue hues.
Located near Lake Yamanakako, Hananomiyako Park offers charming views of Mt. Fuji and impressive flower bloomings throughtout the year. In addition, the park also boasts some beautiful waterfalls, a green house dome, and an exhibition site with Mt. Fuji’s lava. In April, you can admire over 150,000 nemophila blooming with Mt. Fuji as their background, creating a touching scenery that you should not miss.
🌼 Pink Moss – Shibazakura
・Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri
It is also worth mentioning the shibazakura, or phlox moss, that bloom in April. These tiny flowers create a carpet of spectacular bright pink, but you will need to travel out of the city to see it at its best. Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Yamanashi Prefecture is probably the best-known spot, offering incredibly Instagrammable shots of the flower fields with Mt. Fuji in the background.
At Japan’s largest Buddha statue, Ushiku Daibutsu in Ibaraki Prefecture, you can catch shibazakura blooming in the shadow of the enormous statue. The 10,000 square meter park features various flowers all year round, including the beautiful pink carpets of moss in the spring.
Check here for more information on where to see the best shibazakura festivals in Japan.
🌼 Wisteria – Fuji
・Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Kameido Tenjin Shrine boasts a serenely beautiful setting for the hundreds of wisteria planted along trellises across its ponds and red arched bridges. A festival is held here when the flowers are in bloom and the shrine is illuminated at night. The lit-up flowers with Tokyo Skytree in the background is a magical sight.
Hie Shrine in Akasaka is another shrine with an exceptional wisteria trellis. There are fewer flowers here, but the trellis is well maintained, leading to beautiful blooms every May. The purple flowers in conjunction with the bright red shrine building make for an oasis of color in the heart of the business district.
・Ashikaga Flower Park
The ultimate place to view wisteria within striking distance of Tokyo is Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture. This wisteria lover’s paradise has an almost unbelievable number of wisteria plants grown across trellises and around tunnels, offering the kind of magical experience only found in Japan. Pink, purple, white and yellow wisteria can be seen here, across a huge space that will take a few hours to fully explore. Here again, the wisteria are illuminated at night, adding to the dreamlike beauty of it all.
・Hirai Sports Park
Located in northern Tokyo, the quiet Hirai Sports Park stretches along the Arakawa River offering views of beautiful flower fields and aquatic scenery. Loved by the locals as a picnic and jogging spot, the park unleashes its beauty in May when 180,000 poppies bloom on this strip of land. It’s a great photo occasion, as you can admire the flowers together with the river on one side and the Tokyo Skytree on the other side.
・Tenku no Poppy
Another superb spot to view poppies near Tokyo is Saitama’s Tenku no Poppy, a plateau located at an altitude of 500 meters, surrounded by lush-green mountains. As the name “Sky of Poppies” suggests this unique spot is like a never-ending sky of flowers, dyeing the plateau in red with 15 million poppies.
🌼 Hydrangea – Ajisai
For a beautiful array of roughly 7500 hydrangeas growing wild around an ancient temple with a five-story pagoda, head to Takahata Fudoson. Most of the hydrangeas grow along hilly paths surrounding the temple, requiring some walking to fully appreciate them. An “Ajisai Matsuri” (hydrangea festival) is usually held here in June.
For more hydrangea locations, check out our article on 21 Must-See Spots for Hydrangeas in the Tokyo Area.
・Minamisawa Ajisai Mountain
Minamisawa Ajisai Mountain is famous for its over 10,000 big-leaf hydrangeas, which are carefully maintained and grown across the mountainside. It is a special spot to view hydrangeas, because visitors can enjoy the flowers in the natural environment of a mountain. A 40-minute hiking course allows you to explore the serene setting.
・Kyodo no Mori Museum
Kyodo no Mori Museum is an open-air folk history museum with a spectacular hydrangea garden. There is an annual festival celebrating the 10,000 hydrangeas that bloom here, with the hydrangea path and the surrounding traditional buildings being a particular highlight.
Head to the shores of Lake Kawaguchi to see some purple natural beauty! At Oishi Park, 100,000 fragrant lavender flowers bloom right at the foot of Mt. Fuji, making a memorable panorama. Around this time, the Kawaguchiko Herb Festival is also held, with food, souvenir stalls, and several kinds of lavender on sale at the event.
・Sakura Lavender Land
In the traditional samurai city of Sakura, beautiful lavender fields await! 5,000 strains of three types of lavender bloom at Sakura Lavender Land, on an area of 7000 square meters that’s great for a leisurely stroll. You can take advantage of the visit to these mesmerizing lavender fields to get a taste of lavender ice cream and to stock up on souvenirs such as dried lavender or lavender floral water. (Incidentally, the city name of Sakura is pronounced the same way as the word for “cherry blossom,” but it’s written differently and has no relation to the flower!)
🌼 Iris – Shobu
・Koiwa Shobu Garden
On the banks of the Edo River, you will find Koiwa Shobu Garden, where 50,000 Irises of dozens of varieties are planted. When the garden bursts into color every June, the Koiwa Iris Festival also takes place, so booths selling street food are set up on the colorful grounds.
Mizumoto Park in the north east of the city is the largest park within Tokyo’s 23 wards and includes different natural scenery such as a forest of poplar trees, canals, a bird sanctuary, and a large pond. It also has the largest concentration of irises in the city. Over 200,000 irises bloom in June, covering the 16 fields of the Iris Garden.
・Meiji Jingu Gyoen
A beautiful iris-viewing spot right in the center of the city is the Iris Garden of Meiji Jingu Gyoen. This sanctum of calm is nestled right next to the much better-known Meiji Jingu Shrine and offers a welcome respite from the crowds of Harajuku.
🌼 Lotus – Hasu
・Shinobazu Pond, Ueno Park
The lotus flower has long been imbued with spiritual significance, and as a result they can often be found blooming in water pots in temple gardens. For more of a spectacle, visit Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park. Head there early, as the flowers open in the morning and close before noon.
🌼 Morning Glory – Asagao
・Iriya Asagao Matsuri
The quintessential summer flower in Japan is the Morning Glory. While it might lack the “wow factor” of the lotus, it is still admired, perhaps for its ability to thrive in the difficult summer conditions. You will see it everywhere, providing bright pops of color in the dense summer green. It is most strongly associated with the Asakusa district in the east of the city, and is celebrated at the “Iriya Asagao Matsuri” (Iriya Morning Glory Festival) every July.
🌼 Sunflower – Himawari
・Kiyose Sunflower Festival
Fields of bright yellow sunflowers are a cheering summer sight around the world, and Japan is no exception. Within Tokyo, the Kiyose Sunflower Festival displays around 100,000 sunflowers, which is enough to brighten anyone’s day!
・Sakura Sunflower Garden
Sakura City has a history dating back to the Kamakura Period (1185–1333) as the home of local feudal lords, and it preserves several samurai houses and historical buildings to this day. Not far away from the city center, you can enjoy the Sakura Sunflower Garden, where thousands of sunflowers are planted around the base of an old windmill.
・Zama Sunflower Festival
Also about an hour from Tokyo is the Zama Sunflower Festival in Kanagawa Prefecture. Approximately 550,000 sunflowers bloom here, and various sunflower-themed drinks and snacks can be sampled from vendors at the festival, including sunflower pasta and sunflower beer.
🌼 Spider Lily – Higanbana
The best known place to view higanbana near Tokyo is at Kinchakuda in Saitama, where 5 million spider lilies grow wild under the trees. This is also a popular hiking spot whatever the season, and its riverside location means that if it is still warm, you can bring the kids and have a splash! Read more on this stunning spiderlily location here.
・Koishikawa Botanical Garden
If you want to catch the beautiful higanbana flowers but can’t make it out of the city, then Koishikawa Botanical Garden offers a lovely display. Although not as large as the more famous sites we mentioned above, it is still beautiful, and as an added bonus, it does not draw large crowds.
🌼 Autumn Rose – Bara
・Kyu Furukawa Gardens
The Kyu Furukawa Gardens in Tabata is a bit of a surprise. On arrival you will find a splendid Western mansion perched on a hill overlooking a sloping Western-style rose garden, with an elegant Japanese garden spreading around the base. The roses are exquisitely maintained, and rose-themed events are often held in October.
・Jindai Botanical Gardens
Located right next to the ancient Jindaiji Temple, the Jindai Botanical Gardens are home to the largest rose garden in Tokyo. At these large botanical gardens that host a great variety of seasonal plants, there’s a total of 5000 roses from over 300 different species. During October the rose garden is beautifully lit up, so don’t miss the chance to admire it!
・Showa Kinen Park
Showa Kinen Park is known for many flowers, but really comes into its own in autumn when the cosmos fields bloom. Cosmos of all different shades are grown in meadow-like fields across a huge space. It is the best place to view cosmos in the city.
The Hamarikyu Gardens also boasts beautiful cosmos fields. They are smaller than those at Showa Kinen Park but large enough to give you an idea of what cosmos is all about. Hamarikyu Gardens is a lovely park to visit on its own, but during autumn, you can enjoy the unique view of the yellow and orange cosmos shimmering against the skyscrapers in the background.
🌼 Chrysanthemum – Kiku
・Shinjuku Gyoen Chrysanthemum Exhibition
This chrysanthemum-viewing event has been held at Shinjuku Gyoen since 1929. The flowers at this exhibition are arranged in meticulous and elaborate displays, and are appreciated as much for the skill in their arrangement as for their natural beauty and wide variety of colors.
・Bunkyo Kiku Matsuri
The Bunkyo Chrysanthemum Festival is held in November at Yushima Tenjin Shrine. Over 2000 plants are on show from nationwide growers, and in an unusual twist, they are arranged into sculptural flower dolls!
・Sensoji Temple Chrysanthemum Exhibition
In November, the ever-popular Sensoji Temple in Asakusa has even more in store for the many tourists that flock here. The annual Chrysanthemum Exhibition is a showcase for the extraordinary variety of the national flower.
🌼 Camellia – Tsubaki
Oshima Island is the most accessible of the Izu Islands within the jurisdiction of Tokyo, and in winter it is a wash of color as camellias bloom all across the island. Head to Oshima Park for a full-on celebration of this versatile flower, whose oil produces one of Japan’s favorite beauty products.
🌼 Winter Peony – Botan
・Ueno Toshogu Shrine
The fuyu-botan has been cultivated in Japan to bloom in time for the New Year as a sign of good fortune. The peony is a show-stopper of a flower, and during the winter it is often protected by straw canopies. You will see them blooming in some shrines and temples around the city. The best-known shrine to view winter peonies in Tokyo is Ueno Toshogu Shrine, where a winter peony exhibition is held every year.
Flower Viewing in Tokyo
So there you have it – a guide to flowers blooming in and near Tokyo every month of the year. I think we can agree that the capital puts on quite a show! There are beautiful, well-maintained and cherished flowers to be found at every turn in this colorful city. This article is full of great spots and suggestions for flower-viewing fun, so get out there and explore for yourself. You are sure to find your own favorite Tokyo spots to view flowers!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.