TOKYO – Rushed for time but keen to discover some of the best spots close to Tokyo to experience Japan’s upcoming cherry blossom season?
Check out these cherry blossom hotspots located just outside of Tokyo in the neighbouring Kanagawa Prefecture.
Yokohama City - Minato Mirai and Kamonyama Park
Yokohama City's 500m-long cherry tree-lined 'Sakura Street' resides by the city's high-rise business, dining and shopping district, Miato Mirai 2.
During the Sakura Matsuri, the cherry blossoms on Sakura Street are lit-up after dark, complemented by live music and street food stalls.
Kamonyama Park offers plenty of room to sit down and do as the Japanese do - enjoy a hanami picnic underneath the blossoms.
Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest
Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest in the middle of Kanagawa Prefecture is a resort-style theme park home to 2,500 cherry blossom trees. The highlight of the park is the 400m walkway through 500 cherry trees lit-up at night to resemble the milky way.
A Ferris wheel offers a bird’s eye view of white-pink blossoms by day, and the brilliant illuminations throughout the park by night.
A 35-minute train ride from Tokyo, Odawara Castle - built in the mid-15th century - was home to a powerful clan of Samurai who controlled the surrounding region. Odawara Castle continues to be the city's symbol conveying the glory of the Edo period.
Visiting in spring allows views of more than 300 flowering Yoshino cherry trees. The castle comes to life after dark when the whole area is lit-up with traditional lanterns and pink lights.