Return to Top Page
Return to INDEX

MARCH 2024

All the schedules listed below are subject to change due to the outbreak of the coronavirus
(Please confirm information before you go at the phone numbers listed)

  (*) covered events
1 Fri *Mito Kairakuen Ume Matsuri (Feb. 10-March 17)
    *Kameido Tenjin Ume Matsuri Feb. 4-March 4 See February
    *Yushima Tenjin Ume Matsuri Feb. 8-March 8 See February
    *Katsuura Hina Matsuri, Feb. 24 through March 3
    *Display of Hina Dolls at the late Kusuo Yasuda's Residence Feb. 28 through March 3 and March 6 and 9
2 Sat  
3 Sun *Hinamatsuri
4 Mon  
5 Tue  
6 Wed  
7 Thu  
8 Fri  
9 Sat  
10 Sun *Memorial Service for the Victims of Great Tokyo Air Raids
    *Takaosan Hiwatari Fire Walk
11 Mon  
12 Tue  
13 Wed  
14 Thu  
15 Fri  
16 Sat *Ueno Sakura Matsuri March 16-April 7
17 Sun  
18 Mon *Kinryu no Mai at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
19 Tue  
20 Wed National Holiday - Spring Equinox Day (Higan)
    *Asakusa Children's Kabuki at Asakusa Shrine March 20,21,23,24 and 30
21 Thu  
22 Fri  
23 Sat *Naka-Meguro Sakura Matsuri March 23-March 24
    *Tatebayashi Koinobori Matsuri March 23-May 10
    Visit of the General Public to Inui Street in the Imperial Palace March 23 through March 3, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
24 Sun  
25 Mon  
26 Tue  
27 Wed  
28 Thu  
29 Fri  
30   Sat  
31  Sun  


(Late March to Early April)

*Special Opening of Imperial Palace Inui Street during the Cherry Blossom Season March 23 through March 31 in 2024
*Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival March 16-April 7 in 2024
*Cherry Blossoms and Rape-Blossoms at Hama Rikyu Garden
*Cherry Blossoms at Shiba Rikyu Garden
*Cherry Blossoms at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
*Cherry Blossoms at Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
*Drooping Cherry (Shidare Sakura) at Rikugien Garden
*Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
*Cherry Blossoms at Inokashira Park
*Yasukuni Sakura Matsuri (Chiyoda Sakura Matsuri) March 22-April 2 in 2024
*Bokutei Sakura Matsuri March 16-April 7 in 2024
*Cherry Blossoms Festival Chidorigafuchi (Chiyoda Sakura Matsuri) March 22-April 2 in 2024
*Drooping Cherry at Tozenji Temple at Kita Kogane, Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture
*Cherry Blossoms at Nakayama Hokkedera in Nakayama, Chiba Prefecture
*Meguro River Sakura Matsuri (Naka Maguro, Meguro-ku) Naka Meguro Sakura Matsuri March 23, 24 in 2024/ Lantern Light Up along the Meguro River March 19-March 31in 2024
Cherry Blossoms at Koganei Park
Cherry Blossoms, Mt. Fuji and Pagoda at Kanukiyama Park, Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Mito Kairakuen
Mito Ume Matsuri
Feb. 10-March 17 (2024)

Every year about one million people visit the city for the festival.

Kairakuen in Mito was a landscape gardening project started by Nariaki Tokugawa (1800-1860) Ninth feudal lord of the Mito Clan of Tokugawa Shogun family. The park opened in July 1842. The name "Kairakuen" comes from a saying within The Book of Mencius which states, "The ancients would share the pleasure with people, so their pleasures would be hearty and deep." Korakuen was built for not only feudal lords or feudal warriors, but also for commoners. Therefore, the design incorporates characteristics from modern parks as well as formal Japanese landscape gardens. In early spring, about 100 different types of 3,000 plum trees put flowers, making Kairakuen one of the three most famous parks of Japan. Mito is about 70 miles northeast of Tokyo and one hour train trip by Super Express Hitachi from JR Ueno Station. The train runs every one hour from Ueno.

URL: Kairakuen
Address: Tokiwa-cho, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture
Telephone: 029-244-5454
Admission: free
Open: Open all day 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Access: 15 minutes by bus from JR Joban Line Mito Station
more photos

Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival - Festival for Girls)
March 3 Every year the same day of March.

Nearly 1,000 years ago, there was a custom as a seasonal event, children's dolls are specially displayed in the home, and games played, stories told and a feast given. This play was called hina-asobi or doll play. It was about 300 years ago in the Tokugawa period that the present picturesque hina-matsuri decorations developed. The full set of hina dolls consisits of 15 dolls, two dairi-bina, three kanjo (ladies-in-waiting), five musicians, two retainers, and three guards.

When a girl is born in a family, many parents and grandparents buy hina dolls for the baby girl. Popular hina-dolls today are dairii-bina, a pair of dolls representing the Emperor and Empress. For one reason that it does not take up a large space.

Asakusa-bashi is a place where famous doll makers open their shops. The shops are crowded with mothers and grandparets who come to shop the dolls.
Access: Asakusa-bashi on JR Sobu Line and on Metropolitan Subway Asakusa Line.

more photos

Display of Hina (Matsuri) Dolls at the late Kusuo Yasuda's Residence in Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku.
March 1-March 5 and March 8 and 11 in 2023

Kusuo Yasuda is a grandson of Zenjiro Yasuda (1838-1921), founder of the Yasuda zaibatsu group. The residence which was built in 1919 and miraculously survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and the World War II was donated to Japan National Trust in 1996 after Kusuo Yasuda's death and the historically important building is opened to the public since 2007.

The Hina dolls were purchased by Kusuo Yasuda for his two daughters Misako and Kanako from the famous hina doll maker Eitokusai in Tokyo.

URL: Kusuo Yasuda Residence
Open Wed. and Sat. 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Address: 5-20-18 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku
Access: Sendagi Station on Subway Chiyoda Line
Admission: 500 yen
Telephone: 03-3822-2699
more photos

Katsuura Hina Matsuri
Katsuura City, Chiba Prefecture
Feb. 23-March 3 in 2024

1,200 traditional Hina Dolls are placed on the 60 steps of the Toomisaki Shrine in Katsuura City, Chiba Prefecture. (if it rains, the hina dolls at the shrine will be removed).
25,000 hina dolls sent from all over Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa decorate the entire city of a population of 18,000 at various festivity spots from Feb. 24 till March 4. Last year in 2016, 150,000 people visited the city for the festival.

Hina Matsuri is a festival for girls on March 3. On this day, ornamental court dolls representing the emperor and empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian Period are displayed on a specially set up red carpet in the homes, and games played, stories told and a feast given. Girls and guests are served with ama sake (sweet drink made from fermented rice). The altar is also decorated with boughs of peach blossoms and make offerings to the hina dolls of freshly made rice cakes (mochi), either flavored with a wild herb or colored and cut into festive diamond shapes.

URL: Katsuura Hinamatsuri
Access: Katsuura Station on JR Soto-bo Line. About 2 hours train trip from Tokyo.
Telephone: 0470-73-6641 (Katsuura Kanko Kyokai)
more photos

Memorial Service for the victims of Great Tokyo Air Raids
Tokyoto Ireido
March 10 from 10 a.m.

334 B-29s dropped incendiariy bombs destroying 267,000 buildings 25 % of Tokyo killing some 100,000 citizens on March 10, 1945.

During the Second World War, repeated air attacks on Tokyo were done by the American forces starting on April 18, 1942 and continued till the end of the war on August 15, 1945 resulting in devastating damages on the city and costing lives of a huge number.

The memorial hall (The Tokyo Metropolitan Irei-Do) was originally built in 1930 to commemorate the victims of the Great Kanto Earthquake which hit Tokyo in 1923. Today, the hall serves to repose the souls of the victims of the two big disasters.

URL: Ireido
Address: 2-3-25 Yokoami, Sumida-ku
Access: Ryogoku Station on JR Sobu Line/ Ryogoku Station on Subway Toei Oedo Line
Telephone: 03-3622-1208
more photos

Special Opening of Denbou-in (Denpou-in) Garden, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
The garden will not be opened until construction works finish in 2028.

Denbou-in (Denpou-in)
is a place where priests of Sensoji Temple do Buddhist training. Denbou-in was also used as the residence of Kansu, the top priest of Sensoji Temple. The guest room and the entrance of the building was constructed in 1777. When Shoguns and nobles visited Sensoji Temple, they would often rest in Denbou-in. Garden of Denbou-in, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is believed designed by Kobori Enshu, an eminent gardener in early 17th century.

The garden is not usually opened to the public. The garden has been exceptionally opening to the public in spring since 2012 to collect money for the victims of the earthquake in Tohoku in 2011. Also exhibited in the treasure house are many giant "ema" made during the Edo period and treasures of Sensoji Temple.

URL: Sensoji
Open: March 10-May 8 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) All days during the period.
Entrance to the Denpoin Garden is located next to Goju no Toh (five stories pagoda)
Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku (located inside the compound of Sensoji Temple)
Admission: 300 yen
Access: Asakusa Station on Subway Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Tsukuba Express, Tobu Sky Tree Line
Telephone: 03-3842-0181 (Sensoji Temple)
03-3842-5566 (Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center)
more photos

Hiwatari (Fire Walk)
March 10 (Every year on second Sun)
Kotsu Anzen Kitoden ground at the foothills of Mt. Takao at 1 p.m.

The Buddhist priests of Yakuo-in temple in Takao walk on fire as part of their ascetic exercise and as a ritual to pray for national peace and the safety of the people.

Yakuo-in temple belongs to the Japanese esoteric Buddhism Shingon sect which was founded by Kukai or Kobo Daishi. (774-835). Shingon sect is marked by its mystical rituals and rigorous training.

Closest Stn. Takao-san-guchi on Keio Line
A short walk from the station.
Telephone: 0426-61-1115

more photos

Higan (Spring Equinox) Week

March 20
(centering on March 20, people visit ancestral cemeteries three days before and after).

Higan literally means "the other shore." A seven-day Buddhist memorial service is held twice a year centering on the spring and autumnal equinoxes. The higan rites are intended to help souls pass from the world of confusion to the world of enlightenment.

This is the period of "haka mairi" (cemetery visiting). The whole family visits the family cemetery during the week of Higan. They sweep the compounds clean, and offer flowers and senko (incense sticks). Another important rite is to pour water over and around the tombstone. Then all kneel (bow or crouch) and pray, repeating Buddhist sutras.

Higan is an important event even today. At temples or public cemeteries throughout Japan, memorial services are conducted for lost souls. It is also a time for family gatherings.
more photos

Kinryu-no Mai (Golden Dragon Dance)
March 18 Every year the same day of the month at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The event celebrates the discovery of the Buddha statue enshrined in the Sensoji temple. The legend tells 1,000 pine trees suddenly appeared overnight near the temple on the 18th day. Three days later, a golden dragon descended into the pine trees from the heaven.
The formal title of the temple Kinryu-zan (Golden Dragon Mountain) Sensoji comes from this legend. Geisha of Asakusa play music in a cart accompanying the dragon dance.

The Dragon Dance is also held on Oct. 18.

URL: Sensoji / Asakusa Kanko Renmei
Access: Asakusa on Subway Ginza Line, Subway Toei Asakusa Line.
Telephone: 03-3842-0181(Sensoji Temple)/ 03-3842-5566 (Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center)/ Asakusa Kanko Renmei 03-3844-1221

more photos

Funatogyo on the Sumida River
The event will not be held this year in 2023.

Funatogyo is a ritual to place divine spirits on the boat and sail the river. The funatogyo ritual in Asakusa on Sunday was held for the first time in 54 years to commemorate the Sanja Matsuri's 700th anniversary. The Sanja Matsuri is believed to have started in the Kamakura period (late 12th century and the early 14th century).

Three portable shrines of the Asakusa Shrine put on a barge sailed back and forth from near the Umayabashi Bridge and the Ryogoku Bridge for one hour.

Five hundred thousand people visited Asakusa to see the event on Sunday.

Access: Asakusa Station on Subways Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line, Asakusa Station on Tobu Line
Telephone: 03-3844-1575 (Asakusa Shrine)/ 03-3842-5566 (Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center)
more photos

Drooping Cherry at Tozenji Temple in Kitakogane, Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.
Late March to Early April

Tozenji Temple is a Jodo Sect temple which thrived greatly during the Edo period protected by the Tokugawa shogunate and the temple was counted as one of the 18 major temples in Kanto district. The temple used to have many buildings but most of them were destroyed in the anti-Buddhist movement during the early Meiji era.

The temple is visited by many people in spring for beautiful cherry blossoms and from late November to early December for gorgeous autumnal colored leaves of the giant trees. Drooping cherry put flowers before the popular "somei yoshino" cherry trees.

URL: Tozenji
Address: 359 Kogane, Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture. (The temple is located on the other side of Hondoji Temple across the JR Joban Line Kitakogane Station).
Access: Kita Kogane Station on JR Joban Line. 10 minutes walk.
Telephone: 047-345-1517
(Photos taken March 26)
more photos

Chiyoda Sakura Matsuri Festival
March 22-April 2 in 2024

Chidorigafuchi near Tayasu-mon gate of the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda-ku

There are more than 200 varieties of sakura or flowering cherry trees in Japan. Among them, Somei Yoshino a new variety cultivated in the early Meiji years in Tokyo is by far the most popular. Somei Yoshino comes with slightly pink, almost white and five-petaled blossoms.

Sakura is considered the national flower of Japan. The flower seldom lasts more than three or four days, it is compared to the spirit of samurai who are prepared to die with a grace for his lord at a moment's notice.

Access: Kudan-Shita Stn. on Subways Tozai Line and Hanzomon Line.
Telephone: 03-3264-3910 (Chiyoda-ku)

more photos

Ueno Cherry Blossoms Festival
March 16-April 7 in 2024
Ueno Park, Taito-ku.

The Ueno Park is probably the most well known cherry blossom viewing spot in Tokyo and it is most crowded. Hanami loosens up the heart of Japanese people and turns the park into a big outdoor hanami party where people are allowed to drink and sing songs. This relaxed phenomenon may come from a reason that the area is inhabited by commoners. Ueno is so called "shita-machi" commoners's area. The park includes several temples and shrines as well as cultural institutions - a concert hall, museums, Tokyo University of Fine Arts plus Ueno Zoo.

URL: Ueno Park/ Ueno Kanko Renmei
Nearest Stn. JR Ueno Station. A few minutes walk from Ueno Koen-guchi Exit.
Telephone: 03-3828-5644/ Ueno Kanko Renmei 03-3833-0030
more photos

Bokutei Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossoms Festival)
March 16-April 7 in 2024
Riverbank of the Sumida River, Mukojima, Sumida-ku.

The Mukojima geishas serve tea to cherry blossom viewers on March 29, 30 and 31. Various attractions on weekends uring the festival.

The area on the other side of Asakusa across the Sumida River is called Mukojima. The history of Hanami (Cherry Blossoms Viewing) at Mukojima is long.
The Edo Shogunate planted sakura trees at many places in Edo (Tokyo) and Mukojima was one of the 33 districts. Today, nearly 1,000 cherry trees are planted along the Sumida River.

During the Edo period, there were many geisha districts in Edo (Tokyo). Today, they are seen only in several areas such as Akasaka, Mukojima, Shimbashi, Asakusa and Kagurazaka.

Access: Higashi Mukojima Stn. on Tobu Isezaki Line and 15 minutes walk.. It is a walking distance from Asakusa and you can enjoy cherry blossoms on both sides of the Sumida River.
Telephone: 03-5608-1111 (Sumida Kuyakusho) (Sumida Kanko Kyokai)

more photos

Yasukuni Sakura Matsuri (Chiyoda Sakura Matsuri)
Yasukuni Shrine in Chiyoda-ku.
Period for this year 2024 to be announced)

Yasukuni Shrine offers entertainments (traditional performing arts) for its sakura festival during the period.
The feature is "Furusato Matsuri" which introduces festivals from local Japan.

Yasukuni and Chidorigafuchi are located side by side across the Yasukuni Dori (street).

Nearest Stns. Kudan-Shita on Subway Hanzomon Line and Subway Tozai Line.
Telephone: 03-3261-8326

more photos

Yasukuni Furusato Matsuri
Yasukuni Shrine in Chiyoda-ku..
During the Sakura Matsuri at Yasukuni March 22-April 2 in 2024

This year (2010), introduced was Kiriko Matsuri of Noto Province (District of Noto Peninsula - Northern part of Ishikawa Prefecture) on March 28.
A Kiriko team from Suzu Town of Noto displayed a lively demonstration of the festival.

The Kiriko Festival of Noto will begin on July 2 at Noto Town and continue until October at various towns in Noto. (Noto Tourist Information Center 0768-26-2555)/

Nearest Stns. Kudan-Shita on Subway Hanzomon Line and Subway Tozai Line.
Telephone: 03-3261-8326
more photos

Cherry Blossoms at Inokashira Park in Kichijoji surburban Tokyo.
Late March to Early April

The pond inside the park was an important water reservoir to serve water via Kanda River for citizens of Edo now Tokyo until 1917 when the area was donated to Tokyo City and opened as a park.

About 500 cherry trees (somei yoshino, yamazakura) put beautiful flowers during a period from the end of March through early April.

During the cherry blossom season, the park is packed with crowds who come to see gorgeous cherry blossoms.

URL: Inokashira Park
Admission: Free
Open: Throughout a year.
Address: 1-18-31 Gotenyama, Musashino City
Access: Kichijoji Station on JR Chuo Line/ Inokashira Koen Station on Inokashira Line
Telephone: 0422-47-6900
more photos

Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
Late March to Early April

Shinjuku Gyoen was constructed on the site of a private mansion belonging to Lord Naito, a "daimyo"(feudal lord) of the Edo era. Completed in 1906 as an imperial garden, it was re-designated as a national garden after the Second World War and opened to the public. With 58.3 ha(144 acres) in size and a circumference of 3.5 km, it blends three distinct styles, French Formal Garden, English Landscape Garden and Japanese Traditional Garden, and is considered to be one of the most important gardens from the Meiji era. (from Ministry of Environment Shinjuku Gyoen National Park Home Page)

URL: Shinjuku Gyoen
Open: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.@Closed: Monday and Dec. 29-Jan. 3 (Open all week March 25 through April 24 and Nov. 1 through Nov. 15)
Admission: 200 yen
Address: 11 Naito-cho, Shinjuku-ku
Access: Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station on Subway Marunouchi Line
Telephone: 03-3350-0151@
more photos

Drooping Cherry (Shidare Sakura) at Rikugien Garden in Komagome, Bunkyo-ku
Late March to Early April

Rikugi-en has been counted as one of two excellent gardens of the Edo period together with Koishikawa Koraku-en. The garden was built by Mr. Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa, a famous favorite of the fifth Shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa , as his villa in 1702. This garden is a typical Daimyo garden called a Kaiyuu pond garden with hills and ponds. The garden became the property of Iwasaki family of Mitsubishi group and was contributed to Tokyo city and opened to the public in 1938. Rikugi-en was appointed as special beauty spot of Japan in 1953.
(from Pamphlet of Rikugien Garden)

URL: Rikugien
Admission: 300 yen (65 years and above 150 yen)
Access: Komagome Station on JR Yamanote Line/ Komagome Station on Subway Nanboku Line
Telephone: 03-3941-2222
more photos

Cherry Blossoms at Koishikawa Korakuen Garden
Late March to Early April

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden was the Edo residence of Yorifusa Tokugawa - the founder of the Mito Tokugawa family. The garden was completed by the second clan ruler Mitsukuni Tokugawa (1628-1701). The garden features a central pond and hills, making it perfect for a stroll. When Mitsukini set about constructing the garden, he incorporated some concepts of the Chinese Confucian scholar Shushunsui of the Ming dynasty, including a garden reproduction of Seiko Lake (China), a "Full Moon Bridge" and other features with cultural origins in China.
(From Koishikawa Korakuen Pamphlet)

URL: Koishikawa Korakuen
Open: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Closed: Year-end holidays Dec. 29 through Jan. 1)
Admission: 300 yen
Address: 1-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku
Access: Iidabashi Stn on Toei O-edo Line/ Iidabashi Stn. on JR Sobu-Chuo Line.
Telephone: 03-3811-3015
more photos

Asakusa Children's Kabuki

March 20,21,23,24 and 30, 1 p.m. at Asakusa Shrine (adjacent to Sensoji Temple) in Asakusa, Taito-ku, Admission: free

Children's kabuki is played at many places in Japan and its history is long. It is said it originated in giving trainings to children who play the roles of children in Kabuki plays. Many teams selected from around the Kanto district join this event.

Kabuki is one of the three major traditional theaters of Japan, along with Noh and Bunraku (puppets). Kabuki started in the early 17th century as a kind of variety show and grew into colorful, exubelent and highly stylized theatrical performances incorporating elements of Noh and Bunraku. Flamboyant gestures and elaborate costumes delight the eyes of audiences.

Photos are scenes from "Shiranami Gonin Otoko" (A group of five dandy-thieves) one of the most popular kabuki repertoire played by the children of Shigarakikai Tanu-kids in Tokyo.

Asakusa Jinja Shrine
Google Map
Access: Asakusa Station on Subway Ginza Line, Metropolitan Subway Asakusa Line, Tsukuba Express and Tobu Isezaki Line.
Telephone: 03-3844-1221 (Asakusa Kanko Renmei)/ 03-3844-1575 (Asakusa Shrine)/ 03-3842-8820 (Machizukuri Suisen Kiko)/ 03-3842-5566 (Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center)

more photos

Cherry Blossoms at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
Late March to Early April

Cherry trees in Tokyo put flowers on March 28 this year ( 2014) and they became in full bloom on March 31. Forecasting the timing of cherry blossom to become in full is a very difficult task and it troubles many people involved. At this time of the year, the weather is very much changeable and the cherry blossoms are very much short living. Festivals of Hanami (Cherry Blossoms Viewings) are held almost all over Japan. Parties involved have to decide the days of the festivals in advance for necessary preparations. But the timings are often mismatching and the festivals are held before or after the best time of viewing the sakura.

Access: Asakusa on Subway Ginza Line, Subway Toei Asakusa Line, Tsukuba Express..
Telephone: 03-3842-0181(Sensoji Temple)/ 03-3842-5566 (Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center)
more photos

Visit of the General Public to Inui Street in the Imperial Palace March 23 through March 31, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in 2024. Cherry trees are not putting flowers as of March 24 this year.

The imperial Household Agency, celebrating Emperor Akihito's 80th birthday on December 23 in 2013, planned to open parts of the palace grounds to the public for five days during spring and autumn in 2014. Beauty of cherry blossoms in spring and colored leaves in autumn to enjoy. Following after the opening of the palace in spring in 2014, the Imperial Household Agency opened the Inui Street inside the palace to the public again in autumn from December 3 to December 7 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. the same year. Visitors pass through the Inui Street of about 750 meters entering from Sakashita-mon Gate and exiting from the Inui-mon Gate or from Nishi Hanebashi which leads to the Imperial Palace East Garden. In the spring opening in 2015, total 380,000 people visited for the event of five days.

Access: Tokyo Station on JR Yamanote Line, Chuo Line, Tokaido Line/ Nijubashi-mae Station on Subway Chiyoda Line
Telephone: 03-3213-1111 (Imperial Household Agency)/ 03-3211-1475 (Phone Service)
more photos

Cherry Blossoms at Shiba Rikyu Garden
Late March to Early April

The Shiba Rikyu Garden is one of a pair of feudal era clan gardens surviving in Edo (modern Tokyo). The other is Koishikawa Korakuen Garden. The Shiba Detached Palace Garden is a classic, strolling, spring-fed pond-centered garden featuring rock and land formations. The land on which the garden is located was originally under the shallows of Edo Bay, but from 1655-1658, this area was reclaimed and in 1678, came to be used for the official residence of Okubo Tadatomo, an official of the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate. The residence passed through the hands of several persons and finally, during the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate, it became the official residence of the Kishu branch of the Tokugawa family. In the 4th year of the Meiji Period (1871), it became the residence of the Arisugawa-no-miya family. It was purchased by the Imperial Household Agency in 1875 and became the Shiba Detached Palace. In 1924, in commemoration of the marriage of the Showa emperor, the property was given to the City of Tokyo.

URL: Shiba Rikyu
Access: One minute from Hamamatsucho Station on JR Yamanote Line (Shiba Rikyu Garden and Hama Rikyu Garden are a walking distance of 20 minutes)
Telephone: 03-3232-3018
more photos

Cherry Blossoms and Rape-Blossoms at Hama Rikyu Garden
Late March to Early April

The typical Edo-period Japanese style garden Hamarikyu was owned by the Tokugawa shogunate. In 1654, Matsudaira Tsunashige, the younger brother of Ietsuna, the 4th Tokugawa Shogun, had part of the shallows filled in and built a residence on the reclaimed land. After the Meiji Restoration, the garden became the Hama Detached Palace for the imperial family and now is a metropolitan garden.

The Edo Period pond was a tidal pond that depended on the intake of seawater from Edo Bay. It had two duck hunting sites within the grounds.

URL: Hama Rikyu
Access: 10 minutes walk from Shimbashi Station on JR Yamanote Line (Hama Rikyu Garden and Shiba Rikyu Garden are a walking distance of 20 minutes)
Open: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Closed: Year-end holidays Dec. 29 through Jan. 1) Admission: 300 yen
Telephone: 03-3541-0200
more photos

Cherry Blossoms at Nakayama Hokke Dera
Late March to Early April

Nakayama Hokke Dera is one of the grand head temples of Nichiren Sect Buddhism of Japan located at Nakayama, Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture. The temple's history goes back to the 13th century when Nichiren, the founder of the sect, spent peaceful days here during the time when he had troubles with the Kamakura Government.

The temple also is the central training center of the Niichiren Sect Buddhism. From November to February, the monks receive 100 days of severe practice in cold weather. The buildings of the temple survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and Air Raids of World War II and the visitors can enjoy beautiful old Japanese temple buildings.

The temple is located very close to Higashiyama Kaii Memorial Hall. Visitors at the temple are recommended to call at the Higashiyama Kaii Memorial Hall as well. Higashiyama Kaii is a renowned Japanese painter (1908-1999) who lived in Nakayama, Ichikawa City.
URL: Nakayama Hokkedera Temple
Access: 5 minutes walk from Shimousa Nakayama Station on JR Sobu Line and one minute walk from Keisei-Nakayama Station on Keisei Line.
Address: 2-10-1 Nakayama, Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture
Telephone: 047-334-3433
more photos

Sakura Matsuri at Meguro River (Naka Meguro Area)

Nakameguro Sakura Matsuri March 23-24 in 2024
Lanterns will be lighted along the Meguro River during March 19-March 31 in 2024

Place: Along the Meguro River near Naka Meguro Station
Festival Event will be held on April 7, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the square near Naka Meguro Station

The Meguro River (canal) begins from Setagaya-ku and runs into Tokyo Bay via Meguro-ku and Shinagawa-ku for 8 k.m. About 830 somei yoshino cherry trees are planted on both sides of the river from Ikejiri Ohashi to Meguro Station for about 3.8 k.m.

Festivity events will be held on April 8 at a square near Naka Meguro Station and night light up of sakura is done during the festival period March 24-April 10.

URL: Megurogawa Sakura
Access: Naka Meguro Station on Subway Hibiya Line
Telephone: 03-5722-6850/ 03-3715-1111 (Meguro Kuyakusho)
more photos

Tatebayashi Koinobori Festival
Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture
March 23 to May 10

Along and over the Tsuruuda River which runs through Takabayashi, numerous carp streamers are flown.
In 2005 they counted some 5283 carp on the streamers, which was acknowledged to be a World Record for the number of koinobori being flown.

In Japan, there is a custom, which exhibits carp shaped colorful streamers as we wish to have good growing for boys. About 5,000 of the colorful carp banners are trailed at the five places in the city. The night time light up also is very gorgeous. (from Tatebayashi Tourism Association Website)

Access: 20 minutes walk from Tatebayashi Station along the Tsuruuda River
Telephone: 0276-74-5233 (Tatebayashi Sightseeing Association)
more photos

Return to top of this page