Spring is the best time to travel in Japan — fight me if you like, but you know deep down that it’s true. The flowers, the warm weather, the pure joy of cherry blossoms — plus the food stalls and festivals that come with them. It’s just a glorious time to be here, and we have some great spring day trips from Tokyo to get you out of the city.
Cherry blossoms and Buddhas
Direct JR Shōnan-Shinjuku Line train to Kita-Kamakura Station
Kamakura is already one of the most popular day trips from Tokyo — the cherry blossoms are just a bonus. During cherry blossom season, begin at Kita-Kamakura Station and visit Kenchō-ji, a 13th-century temple that is known as Kamakura’s best sakura spot. Next, follow the hiking trail to Kamakura’s top attraction, the big Buddha known as Daibutsu. Genjiyama Park along the way is a nice place to stop for a hanami picnic. When you arrive at the Great Buddha, you’ll notice there aren’t too many trees — just a couple, but they are well-positioned.
Other top spots for cherry blossoms include: nearby Hasedera; Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shrine, which has a tree-lined walk; Myōhon-ji, which has some weeping blossoms; and Kōmyō-ji, which has cats as a bonus.
Spring flowers and Mt. Fuji views
Direct bus or train to Kawaguchiko Station
¥2,000 (bus) or ¥4,130 (train) (one-way)
Every spring, Kawaguchiko hosts the incredibly popular and photogenic Shibazakura Festival. Shibazakura is moss phlox (or lawn cherry), but more importantly it comes in several showstopping shades of pink.
But there is also sakura here to see: The north shore of the lake has over 300 cherry trees stretching along the 1 km walk, with views of Fuji in the background. Head towards the Kawaguchiko Music Forest for a particularly nice promenade. The annual cherry blossom festival will be held on the north shore in April, with evening illuminations. (Catch the bus to the Sarumawashi Theater from Kawaguchiko Station). On the northwestern side, Oshino Hakkai has a tree-lined river with more Fuji views.
3. Mount Takao
Hikes with blossoms
Direct Keio Line train to Takaosanguchi Station
Mount Takao, on the western edge of Tokyo, is a popular mountain escape from Tokyo. While spring is a great time for a casual hike anyway, there are 1,000 cherry trees in full bloom (if you time it right) just past the summit. Thanks to the altitude and slightly cooler temperatures, you’ll find the blossoms in bloom a little later than the rest of Tokyo — so it’s perfect if you are late to the (hanami) party.
Take the popular Omotesandō Trail to the summit. From there, you have another 30-minute hike to Takaosan Senbonzakura, the area with all the cherry trees. The place is pretty popular but you should be able to find a spot for a mini-picnic while you enjoy the view. There other great cherry blossom hikes, too.
Shibazakura and temple trails
Direct Ltd. Express Chichibu train to Seibu-Chichibu Station
Chichibu, in Saitama Prefecture, also has a Shibazakura festival, which is a little closer than the one near Mt. Fuji. Held on Hitsujiyama Park’s Shibazakura Hill, the festival takes place from mid-April to early May and features around 400,000 flowers. Chichibu, a city in Saitama Prefecture, has some other attractions, including the 34 temples that make up the Chichibu Kannon Pilgrimage and a tradition of meisen, a style of textile dyeing.
For more flower festivals, check out our these top six in and around Tokyo.
5. Ōmiya Park
A thousand trees to admire
JR Shōnan-Shinjuku Line train to Ōmiya Station + 1 stop on the Tobu-Urbanpark Line to Kita-Ōmiya Station
Ōmiya Park, in Saitama City, is one of the top 100 places in Japan to see cherry blossoms, so you know you’re off to a good start! There are over 1,000 trees lining paths and grassy knolls, which means plenty of picnic opportunities no matter how busy it gets. The trees are illuminated in the evenings, and there’s even a boating lake to get all romantic on. And that’s not to mention festival stalls that set up during the blossoming times!
6. Hitachi Seaside Park
Seasonal blooms in stunning blue
Ltd. Express Tokiwa train to Katsuta Station + 15-minute bus
Hitachi Seaside Park, in Ibaraki Prefecture, has a huge variety of spring blooms, including plum blossoms, sunny yellow rape blossoms and narcissus, tulips, poppies and roses. However, it is the baby blue eyes in April that get the most attention.
This is one of the more expensive excursions, especially if you take the limited express train. It may be worth jumping on a tour and getting your spring fill of other areas in the process.
Check out our other recommended spring bus tours.
7. Ashikaga Flower Park
Wisteria, tulips, and cherry blossoms
JR Ueno-Tokyo Line to Oyama Station + JR Ryōmō Line to Ashikaga Flower Park Station
For a little bit of everything, there is Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture. The park is most famous for its wisteria, and hosts the Ashikaga Great Wisteria Festival from mid-April to late May. However, you can also visit a month earlier, during cherry blossom and tulip season.
We’ve noted the cheapest way to get there on public transportation, with the least transfers, above; however you can also use the Tōhoku Shinkansen to get to Oyama. This is also another place that can make sense on a tour and, conveniently, the same tour that visits Hitachi Seaside Park also hits the Ashikaga Flower Park.
Looking for more day trip ideas? Here are 25 top trips from Tokyo.
While we do our best to make sure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Last update: March 2023.