NEWS from JAPAN

Tourism, Traditional & Culture

Tokyo Cherry Blossoms: Bring the Family to Showa Kinen Park for Picnics, Cherry Blossoms, and Other Spring Flowers

Looking for a relaxed cherry blossom spot in Tokyo? Showa Kinen Park is a quick drive from downtown Tokyo and just a few minutes’ walk from Tachikawa station, with flowers galore and plenty of space for family picnics. It’s spring in Tokyo, and the cherry blossoms are calling!

Cherry Blossoms (桜/sakura)

Showa Kinen Park is a sprawling green space outside central Tokyo, and when spring finally arrives each year, people arrive from all corners of Japan to admire the weeping cherry blossoms and picnic under the flowers. The park has somewhere around 1,500 cherry blossom trees, and while even one tree surpassing 50 years would be a sight worth seeing, Showa Kinen Park has whole clusters of them! The park’s most popular cherry blossom picnic spot is on the edge of a large field called “Minna no Harappa” (みんなの原っぱ) and it’s most easily reached via the West Tachikawa Gate (西立川ゲート/Nishitachikawa Gate), which is about 15 minutes away on foot – just about doable with a little toddler. Clearly, it’s a huge park, so if you end up entering via one of the other gates, you might want to hop aboard the adorable “Park Train” shuttle, which does an hour-long loop around the park.

It ended up raining a little during my family cherry blossom outing, but the pretty cherry blossom petals flowing along the little stream between the Minna no Harappa field and a neighboring Keiryu Plaza (渓流広場) was lovely enough to make up for the drizzle.

Canola Blossoms (菜の花/nanohana)

It’s not just cherry blossoms at Showa Kinen Park! Nearby, fields of buttery canola blossoms can be found, setting off the pink of the cherry blossoms with their long green stems and warm yellow petals. Of course, with around individual 200,000 canola plants growing in a waist-high field, the wash of yellow certainly has visual impact all on its own. During my visit there were even people taking engagement pictures among the flowers! (I tried to take some cute pictures of my son, too, but he wasn’t interested in staying still… I’ll just have to try again when he’s a little older!) There were plenty of families posing in front of the flowers too, and even people taking photos of their pets. That day, even the dogs seemed spellbound by the bright yellow flowers!

Tulips (チューリップ)

Over in the Keiryu Plaza, the park boasts a tulip garden with somewhere around 250,000 tulips, blooming in a brilliant rainbow of reds, pinks, oranges, and purples. Just about everyone was taking pictures of the flowers as they wandered the garden paths! There’s a little pond in the park so I was a little worried about my son, but fortunately it wasn’t an issue. Not only was there a safety rope, but my son was so entranced by the first tulips he’d ever seen that I didn’t need to worry about him looking for adventure!

Tokyo Cherry Blossom Viewing with the Family

All the flowers we saw on this trip to Showa Kinen Park – the cherry blossoms, canola blossoms, and tulips – are all within an easy 5~10 minute walking distance of each other, which makes it easy for anyone to enjoy the flowers and the warm spring breeze (even families with little kids). Before we arrived on this trip to the park, I was a little worried my young son would get bored with just looking at flowers the whole time, but the grassy fields are teeming with little kids running around and enjoying themselves, running races or blowing bubbles. Nearby, there’s also a playground with slides and a trampoline, with rubber pavement for safety. The gorgeous flowers and vast grassy fields at Showa Kinen Park make it worth a visit for anyone looking to enjoy cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo, but if you’re looking for a cherry blossom spot for the family, especially one for little kids, I can wholeheartedly recommend this place!

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