Cherry blossom (sakura) viewing is known as hanami in Japanese. It’s the most awaited season of the year, a time when everyone get together with family, friends or colleagues under the blooming cherry blossom tree. After experiencing four springs in Tokyo, we decided to take hanami to the next level. Rowing a boat on Chidorigafuchi moat while sakura is blooming.
Boat riding at Chidorigafuchi moat was the best cherry blossom sakura viewing we ever had in Tokyo. We had been meaning to have this boat riding for sometime now yet so reluctant to queue. This might be the last spring in Tokyo before we call a different country as a home. If you ask me where is the best place for cherry blossom viewing, I’ll come up with a list of Tokyo’s best spots for sakura.
What is the best thing to do in cherry blossom season in Tokyo? I cannot recommend anything better than riding a boat on Chidorigafuchi moat.
Here are useful guide for boat riding on Chidorigafuchi:
The best date: when somei yoshino sakura full bloom. Unfortunately none can precisely predict when the sakura will full bloom. Sakura reached the peak of blooming by end of March since 2014 to 2016. This 2017 however somei yoshino bloomed within first week of April, at their peak on 4 to 6 April before started falling down on 7 April.
The best time: in the morning before the pier opens at 0930. Arriving an hour earlier and start queuing up to beat the crowd. The afternoon queue is always longer and sometimes it takes 3 hours wait to get on the boat. The boat rental stops at 8pm but most of the time the service closes the queue at 6pm.
Boat rental price in peak / sakura season: 800 yen/30 minutes (row / pedal), 1,600 yen/1hour (row / pedal) in cherry Blossom season. Additional hour will be calculated after coming back to the boat pier.
Boat rental price off the peak season : 500 yen/30 min (row / pedal), 1,000 yen/1 hour (row pedal) after sakura season ends up to 30 November. The boat rental service hours however may change during off the peak season.
Getting to Chidorigafuchi: Hanzomon line stops at Hanzomon station or Kudanshita station by Tozai / Shinjuku / Hanzomon line