Tokyo is a huge city with countless high-rise buildings, cars and people… but there are many places where you can feel the four seasons with all your senses and experience each different color the city turns into throughout the year.
Every spring, the Imperial Palace and its surrounding parks turn into a dreamy world of pink.
Chidori-ga-fuchi is a famous cherry blossom spot in Tokyo. You can stroll through the “cherry blossom tunnel” next to the moat of former Edo castle or cherish the cherry blossoms from a rental boat.
The floating lantern festival Noryo no Yube (Chiyoda City Floating Lantern Festival; lit. “refreshing summer night”) is a quiet and beautiful summer tradition. Approximately 600 lanterns with the wishes and dreams of the participants are floating on the surface of the moat, illuminating the surroundings with gentle yellow lights.
Read more about “Chiyoda City Floating Lantern Festival” and about the boat rental (Article and Video):
At the Hibiya Park Bon Dance Festival, where everyone can participate, many participants wear colorful yukata (summer kimonos) and dance the traditional bon festival dances in a big circle to the sound of Japanese drums. So much fun!
More about the Hibiya Park Bon Dance Festival (Articles and Video):
Kitanomaru Park, a beautiful park with several museums, as well as Hibiya Park are great places to stroll and see the stunning fall foliage. The orange and red gradations of maple autumn leaves and the dazzling yellow leaves of the ginkgo trees are the colors of fall in Japan.
Read more about the best fall foliage spots:
The most famous running course in Tokyo is the “Imperial Palace Run”. There is also an English running tour so you can do some sightseeing with local guides around the Imperial Palace while running!
Read more about the Imperial Palace Run:
In autumn, in addition to the fantastic fall leaves, you shouldn’t forget about another kind of leaves. I’m talking about books! Every fall, the “Kanda Secondhand Sook Festival”, is held in book town Jimbocho. Booksellers set up bookshelves outside in front of their shops and make the biggest book sale of the year. Bookworms head to Jimbocho to find great bargains. This lively and fun atmosphere is a must-see!
During the holiday season, Tokyo is a great place to do some Christmas shopping and visit cafes around the winter light spots (“illuminations”) here and there. Don’t miss “Tokyo Michiterasu”, where the Tokyo station building is lit up using colorful light projections. Also, you should take a stroll through Marunouchi-Naka-Dori Street, which turns into a gorgeous and beautiful champagne gold tunnel of lights!
More about winter lights in Tokyo:
If you’re visiting Tokyo this year, make sure to hit some of the beautiful spots featured above. We wish you a wonderful and colorful new year!