Inokashira Park is a 286,000 square meter park located in Musashino City, Tokyo. Near the extremely popular weird and retro Kichijoji, Inokashira Park is a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing. In total there is about 500 cherry blossom trees, around 250 trees surround the main pond, so it’s a popular spot during spring.
Renting a boat at Inokashira Park is a popular way to see the cherry blossoms. This is a different way to see the cherry blossoms and you can avoid the crowd at the same time. Renting a boat and rowing around the pond to see the cherry blossoms is a popular date activity.
The view from Nanai Bridge in the park is also a great spot to take photos of the cherry blossoms. The contrast of colors created by the cherry blossoms and the pond is one of the reasons Inokashira Park was chosen as one of the “100 Best Sakura Viewing Points in Japan” by the Nihon Sakura no Kai Foundation. About 660,000 visitors come and see the cherry blossoms every year. Another popular way to see the cherry blossoms is to have a flower viewing party. Most people will lay down a big tarp and bring a packed lunch or buy some snacks. If you want to get a good spot, it is recommended to get there early.
Cherry blossoms are beautiful during the day, but you can see a different version of the flowers at night. There is no nighttime illumination at Inokashira Park, but since the park is well-lit for security reasons, the park is bright enough to view cherry blossoms.
In 1913 the park was considered a gift from the Emperor to the public. Inokashira Park was the first piece of land in Tokyo to be founded in such a manner. The official name of the park is Inokashira Imperial Grant Park. The main water source of Inokashira Pond is the Kanda River, the pond was built during the Edo period.
At Inokashira Park there is a small shrine dedicated to Benzaiten, a zoo, and a small aquarium. Riding the swan boats across the lake is a popular activity among couples but there is a risk. It is said that couples who ride of the swan boats are doomed to break up. Benzaiten is the goddess of love, but she can have a jealous streak and hates seeing all of the lovey-dovey couples in the park that is dedicated to her. The best time to see the cherry blossoms at Inokashira Park is from the mid-March to early April. The park is especially crowded during the spring, many people come to Inokashira Park for the street vendors, musicians, and events.
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Address: 1-18-31 Gotenyama, Musashino City, Tokyo
Access: 5 minute walk from Kichijoji Station
Phone: 0422-47-6900 (Inokashira Park Information Center)
Website: Inokashira Park (Japanese, The Bureau of Construction, Tokyo Metropolitan Government)