Adventures of Anette

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sakura Season in Japan: A visit to Enoshima (江ノ島)

11:25:00 PM
Above: Mt. Fuji seen from Enoshima
Spring has finally arrived here in Japan, and one of the most characteristic parts of the Japanese spring is the blooming of the cherry blossom trees sakura. As a part of a small sakura sightseeing trip last week to Shonan we stopped by the famous island Enoshima where we also got a glimpse of the Japanese symbol. The timing of the sakura season changes depending on the area you visit (sakura forecast for 2018 here), and early March was perfect for seeing the beautiful flowers by the Oide River. We did see some sakura on Enoshima as well, but if you're considering to visit Enoshima for the sakura season you might want to include a stop by the Oide River to your itenary.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Japan Sakura Season: Early March Cherry Blossom Viewing in Shonan - Oide River (小出川)

10:52:00 PM
Above: Sakura flowers by the Oide River
One of the most popular seasons to visit Japan is in spring when the cherry blossoms color the Japanese landscape with its pink cape. The timing of the sakura season changes depending on the area (sakura forecast for 2018 here) and the type of sakura. If you find yourself in the Kanto area you can see the Japanese national flower already in January in Atami and in February the flowers bloom in the southern part of Izu, Kawazu.
Above: The sakura trees, seen from the road 
As a part of a small day trip to the Shonan area (south of Tokyo) I and some friends stopped by the Oide River (小出川) where they were having a small sakura festival.
Above: A sign that says Oide Sakura Festival

We were quite lucky with the timing, as most of the flowers were in full bloom. It seemed like some of the locals were enjoying flower-watching (hanami) by the river, but to be honest there wasn't that much going on there besides the little hanami.
Above: A blooming cherry tree with locals enjoying their hanami in the background.
Above: Visitors viewing the beautiful flowers.
Above: Sakura date with hubby
This is an event most recommended to those who have other plans in the vicinity. There are some entertainment scheduled during the festival period, but if you visit on a day without anything scheduled there honestly isn't that much to see besides the flowers. We got our nice cherry blossom pictures and headed over to Enoshima for some more in-depth sightseeing. If you find yourself in the Tokyo area early March and looking for opportunities to see the sakura it might be a good option as a part of a trip to Shonan.

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette

 Basic Info
  • ・Oide River Cherry Blossom Festival (小出川桜まつり)
  • ・Event Page: (Japanese only)

Related blog posts

Recommended Sakura View Hotels in Tokyo

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
Hotel Chinzanso
→ review
Centurion Classic Akasaka
Hotel New Otani Tokyo

The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo
The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo

Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa
Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa


This page contains affiliate links, and if you follow a link and make a hotel reservation through these links you help support this blog without any additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your kind support!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Tokyo: The Gajoen Hinamatsuri Doll Festival (百段雛祭り)

10:39:00 PM
Above: Inside the Gajoen. Photo from the official event page
The Meguro Gajoen is one of Tokyo's best-hidden gems, and one of the few sightseeing spots I wouldn't mind revisiting multiple times. Not only does the Gajoen offer one of Tokyo's best-rated hotels, inside the former wedding complex you also find the historical hundred-stairs staircase that helped inspire part of the architecture in the Ghibli movie "Spirited Away". Although much of the Gajoen was rebuilt after the Second World War the old wing still remains in its former glory and is used throughout the year for special exhibitions. This time we went to see the special Hina Matsuri (ひな祭り) doll festival exhibition that is held at the Gajoen from mid-January to mid-March.
Above: Inside the Gajoen 
The Hina Matsuri doll festival is a yearly event held in Japan on the 3rd of March to celebrate and pray for the health and happiness of girls. It is common that a collection of dolls is displayed in both private homes and public buildings, often set up in a multi-tiered doll stand called hinadan (雛壇). The Hina Matsuri tradition is celebrated all over Japan, but the features and details of the practice vary from area to area. In the Gajoen they have collected Hina dolls from various places in Japan, giving visitors a chance to see and compare dolls from different Japanese prefectures.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spring in Tokyo: Plum Blossom Viewing at Ueno's Yushima Tenmangu Shrine (湯島天満宮)

10:54:00 PM
Above: Plum flowers in bloom at Yushima Tengu
Japan is already known worldwide for its beautiful cherry blossom trees blooming around late March until early April in the areas around Tokyo. It is no wonder that this also is when the number of visiting tourists to Japan hits its yearly peak, a number that keeps increasing every year. But did you know that if you visit Japan a little bit earlier you can enjoy the just as beautiful plum flowers that are blooming from the beginning of February to early March?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Ultimate Sakura - Cherry Blossom - Forecast for Japan 2018

9:09:00 PM

It is finally time for the most popular season here in Japan; the Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Season! After the coldest winter in some 40 years, it is really nice that we're finally approaching warmer days. Due to the cold weather this winter the sakura flowers are projected to start blooming slightly later than usual. If you're traveling to Japan this cherry blossom season you can check out where to go below. The list begins in the north of Japan and goes down to the south of Kyushu.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

【Norwegianclass101】Valentines Day - "I love you" in Norwegian

10:02:00 PM

It is time for yet another valentines day and for the occasion, I've prepared a video with with 3 phrases you can use to express your feelings in Norwegian.
Håper du får en fin valentinsdag!

Thanks for watching! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below~
- Anette

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Cherry Blossom Season in Japan: 6 Top Tokyo Hotels to Enjoy the Sakura

2:43:00 PM

Time for Cherry blossom season!

The 2017 cherry blossom season is getting closer! It is fun to go out in the park and enjoy the sakura flowers, but while you're here why not stay at a hotel where you can enjoy the view of the beautiful flowers right outside your doorstep? As they say in Japan: Ichigo ichie (一期一会) - “Treasure every encounter, for it will never recur”! The short encounter with the Japanese sakura will indeed be a memory for life. So without further ado here is an introduction to 6 hotels that are perfect as a base to experience the Japanese cherry blossoms!

Sakura Hotels
1.Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa (Shinagawa)
2.The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo(Shinagawa)
3.Hotel New Otani Tokyo (Akasaka)
4.Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo (Shinjuku)
5. Hotel Gajoen Tokyo (Meguro)
6.Rihga Royal Hotel Tokyo (Takadanobaba)

1. Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa

~~A garden with approximately 230 cherry trees~~ 

Above: From hotel's page
All of the 938 rooms at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa come with a private balcony for you to enjoy the view of the beautiful Japanese garden right outside your window. Encircled by the 3 Prince hotels Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa and The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo lies the 20,000 sqm Japanese garden exclusive for hotel guests, and here there are 19 types of Sakura, with a total number of around 230 trees. You can enjoy a stroll around the garden, and the view of the garden from the hotel lobby is also stunning. During the sakura season, you can admire the special evening atmosphere with light-up of the sakura trees. 
Above: View of the garden from the hotel lounge. From hotel's page

2. The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo
・プリンス さくらタワー東京)

~~The cherry blossom tower~~

ザ・プリンス さくらタワー東京のホテル外観
Above: From hotel's page
The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo is as mentioned one of the three Prince hotels surrounding a Japanese garden with more than 230 sakura trees. The hotel is a great choice if you want to see the cherry blossoms at its best, with the sakura trees outside The Prince Sakura Tower being particularly dense. From morning till night you can enjoy seeing the cherry blossoms in different shades of pink, and the road outside of the hotel also has an arch of sakura trees. With good timing, you're almost guaranteed a memorable cherry blossom season with a stay here.

3. Hotel New Otani Tokyo

~~Get spellbound by the beauty of the Japanese garden~~

Above: From hotel's page
Inside the hotel area, there's a 40,000 sqm Japanese garden that has become known both as the symbol of Hotel New Otani and as one of the finest gardens in Tokyo. In this magnificent garden, you can view the blossoming cherry trees, some of them beautifully surrounding the hotel garden's waterfall just like an idyllic picture. In the middle of the Japanese garden there's a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant, and here you can also try out the hotel's special sakura cocktail.
See also: Visit to a Luxury Outdoor Pool in Tokyo: The Hotel New Otani Garden Pool

4. Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

~~120 Cherry Blossom trees in full bloom~~ 

Above: From hotel's page
The 20,000 sqm garden at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo has a more than 130 years long history, and with more than 20 types of cherry blossom flowers the sakura (河津桜 - Kawazu Sakura and 寒緋桜 - Kanhizakura / Taiwan Cherry) start to bloom from the middle of February and from then the different types of cherry trees will bloom one by one all the way up till April. In the evening there are light-ups of the garden, providing yet another wondrous spectacle for the lucky guests. 

5. Hotel Gajoen Tokyo

~~~~Right by Tokyo's most popular Sakura Spot Meguro River!~~ 

Above: From hotel's page
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo has only 23 rooms, all of them with a size of more than 80㎡, but it is still one of the most highly rated hotels in TokyoParts of their rooms underwent a renovation in 2017 and this year they're celebrating their 90th anniversary. Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is also a part of the wonderous Meguro Gajoen wedding complex that inspired locations in the Gibli movie "Spirited Away". Guests visiting during the sakura season will find the location of the hotel impeccable, as it lies right by Tokyo's number one hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spot the Meguro River. The riverside of the Meguro River is home to around 830 Someyoshi cherry trees and provides a breathtaking scene when the flowers are in bloom. 

6. Rihga Royal Hotel Tokyo 

~~A hotel surrounded by famous cherry blossom spots~~

Above: From hotel's page
Winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016 this classical European style luxury hotel is guaranteed to give you a good base for experiencing the sakura season. There are numerous famous cherry blossom spots in the area surrounding the hotel including the Ōkuma Garden (大隈庭園), the Kandagawa River (神田川) and Asukayama Park (飛鳥山公園). At the hotel restaurant, you can enjoy the taste of spring with various seasonal dishes, and they also serve a seasonal special sakura cocktail for the occasion.

Final comment

How about a luxurious Ohanami?

Above: Norwegian bunda and sakura by Joe Photography
The sakura season is one of the most beloved times of the year in Japan, and if you're lucky enough to find yourself in Tokyo during this special season a stay at a hotel with good access - or even better; a view of a sakura garden - would be the perfect way to spoil yourself during your visit. For more information about sakura spots in Japan, you can check out some of the blog posts below. 

Related blog posts

This blog post has been based on an article by Yoyaq

This page contains affiliate links, and if you follow a link and make a hotel reservation through these links you help support this blog without any additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your kind support!

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

The classical story about a girl who went for a one-year exchange program to Japan, fell in love and got stuck there. Starting out as a student in Kyoto in 2010 I now work full-time in Tokyo as a hotel consultant, and write mostly about my travels, working life in Japan as well as a bunch of random stuff.
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