Experience the wonder of Tokyo’s Cherry Blossoms

Japan’s annual natural phenomenon, the spectacular cherry blossom blooming has officially begun this year and is already delighting Tokyo locals. Gatherings and crowds for cherry blossom viewing hanami festivals were discouraged in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and once again this year many of the major sites will have the same restrictions. But this year tourists will have more access than ever before to Tokyo’s ideal viewing locations thanks to virtual technology. Many popular viewing sites have introduced a number of virtual experiences so that the wonderous blossoms can be seen in real time in all their glory.

A range of virtual experiences are now available, from free-of-charge viewing via live webcams and filmed panoramic video tours on Youtube, through to a range of paid ticketed virtual tours streaming live from renowned cherry blossom viewing locations around the city.

Every year, the cherry blossoms begin to bloom in the south of Japan where temperatures are higher and work their way up north over a period of weeks. The process is followed closely by the Japan Meteorological Agency and forecasts are constantly updated. The delicate blooms take about a week to fully open from first budding and the full blooms can last just a week. The small window of opportunity to see them is one of the most anticipated annual events in Japan.

In the past Tokyo’s cherry blossom season was in early April.  April is seen as the time of “new beginnings”, the start of the Japanese school year and the beginning of the financial year for most Japanese businesses, so the pink and white petals have become a symbol of blossoming opportunities.  This year and in recent years the iconic trees have started to flower in the city in March, and they can still be enjoyed in Tokyo’s west in the Okutama countryside well into April.

Here are some of the top picks for virtual hanami right now:

Live Stream Webcam at Chidori-ga-fuchi – FREE- streaming now!

This idyllic waterway in the centre of Tokyo was once part of the moat surrounding the Edo Castle, today it is one of Tokyo’s most famous areas to enjoy hanami (cherry blossom viewing). The magnificent flowering cherry trees grow along a 700-metre greenspace on the sides of what was the ancient moat.
Visit the webcam: LINK

Recorded Video of Nihonbashi Area- posted 20 March 2021- FREE- available now

Virtual Japan has posted a 37 minute video shot recently in Nihonbashi. Some of the oldest flowering cherry trees in Tokyo’s centre can be found in a backstreet of Nihonbashi, near the Fukutoku Shrine. These trees have a particularly bright pink colour and are called ‘Kawazu Sakura’

View in Youtube: LINK

Virtual Tour – Beauty of Cherry Blossoms – Old meets New in Tokyo – Ticketed Event – $12.45 per person

27 March 2021- 11:00AM AEST

This one hour long live stream tour will take you to view the stunning cherry blossoms at Chidori-ga-fuchi as well as walking along the Meguro River. Organised by Travel Japan, tickets for this tour event can be purchased through Eventbrite. A Zoom link will be forwarded to ticket holders 24 hours before the event and Q & A will be available.

Book your ticket: LINK

Find out more about Tokyo’s highlight cherry blossom viewing for 2021: LINK

SOURCE: Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau


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