Question

Planning to visit Japan during Sakura Festival.I'm from the US.

Would like to be in Japan in time for the Sakura festival as well as to see the cherry blossoms. I'm bringing my girlfriend along, so we'd like a romatic place with a good view of the cherry blossoms. I'm crazy about anime /manga. Which is the best place to shop for this stuff? I also want to get some soveneirs home. How much will stay,travel and sightseeing cost for two weeks? Which airlines is best to fly from the US? Which places should I visit there

Location

Country: Japan

Answers

If you are coming to Tokyo...Kudanshita is one of the better places to see cherry blossoms but it is super crowded, Kamakura about 40 mins. from Tokyo is another good viewing place and it is packed with many historical sightseeing places too.....
For Anime and Manga, Shibuya and Akihabara have many shops.
Hotels range from $150-400/night, if you book online you may find a cheaper rate try , suggestions Prince Hotels, The Westin /Ebisu or cheaper is Washington Hotels.

Most foreigners buy souvenirs at a place called Oriental Bazaar in Harajuku, nice selection and reasonably priced.
Airlines: Northwest from Chicago or Detroit
Delta also flies here
Japan Airlines JAL (expensive/good service)
I would suggest to stay around the Kichijoji area. it is a little away from the centre West direction but its really nice and relaxed, Inokashira Park has some amazing cherry blossoms and a small lake. As for hotels, the cheapest ones is probably the YMCA in Iidabashi or try the Sakura Guest Houses, basic but cheap.
Otherwise some of the "Business Hotels" near the train stations are not so bad and convenient. About 6000 to 12000 yen.
I would suggest to stay around the Kichijoji area. it is a little away from the centre West direction but its really nice and relaxed, Inokashira Park has some amazing cherry blossoms and a small lake. As for hotels, the cheapest ones is probably the YMCA in Iidabashi or try the Sakura Guest Houses, basic but cheap.
Otherwise some of the "Business Hotels" near the train stations are not so bad and convenient. About 6000 to 12000 yen.
I would suggest to stay around the Kichijoji area. it is a little away from the centre West direction but its really nice and relaxed, Inokashira Park has some amazing cherry blossoms and a small lake. As for hotels, the cheapest ones is probably the YMCA in Iidabashi or try the Sakura Guest Houses, basic but cheap.
Otherwise some of the "Business Hotels" near the train stations are not so bad and convenient. About 6000 to 12000 yen.
1.Sakura Festival is about a month and a half!! It starts at the lower part of Japan and progresses up north to Sapporro by the end. There are predictors and people standing by with cameras to photo the 1st bud opening where ever.

Asaksa Temple is a good area for souvieners and a rickshaw ride, fish market has opened up again for some disciplined viewing.

Go to for a search of good room rates from about $80, maybe less don't plan on much space in rooms or around you. Weekends are the festivals but weekdays are the best to tour since many are at work but that still leaves millions who are retired or tourists. I have flown Northwest, American, ChinaAir who seem to have a nice young polite staff.
Yes, please stay up by Tokyo. You will find many things and people just like that up there.
Well, there are plenty of places with an amazing view of canopies of cherry blossoms....but to ensure it is nice and romantic...be warned that most places will be swarmed with crowds. I live in Kunitachi and while not many people know, it has two amazing long streets full of cherry trees, and when they bloom at the end of March/beginning of April, well, words cannot describe the beauty I see everyday! I've just uploaded a book on Blurb on sakura, you can preview it to see what I am talking about. The last page in the preview shows one of the streets here in Kunitachi with sakura in full blossom.

I recommend places like Kunitachi, Inogashira Park in Kichijoji, Shinjuku Gyoen park, not really Ueno because Ueno is really crowded and with fewer sakura trees and too many noisy picnickers drinking and dancing under the trees. On the other hand, it is also an interesting cultural aspect to experience, so I'd say, check out Ueno to see the people rather than the flowers, and pop into one of the areas I suggested for a nice slow stroll, still lots of people but more relaxing and maybe more romantic.

Outside of Tokyo, well, you've got Kyoto and Nara, if you plan to visit there also. But check online for this year's predicted sakura front, so you don't miss it. Since you are only here for 2 weeks and there are already enough for you to do in and around Tokyo and in the Kyoto/Nara area, it is rather unrealistic if you are trying to include other parts of Japan like Kyushu, Hokkaido and Tohoku. I would recommend only the Tokyo area (since it's the capital...) and one other major area (like Kansai where Kyoto, Osaka and Nara are) and not trying to squeeze too many other areas or you will end up having a very exhausting trip....but then again, it depends on how you want to travel.

As for anime and manga, well, they are everywhere, but typically, go to Akihabara, and other areas like Harajuku, Shimokitazawa, Shibuya...you'll find shops that sell things related to manga and anime.

Sourvenirs: Oriental Bazaar in Harajuku, Shibuya, Asakusa....or Daiso 100yen shops carry simple Japanese souvenirs for 100 yen a piece.

Cost: well, if you can book online you usually get a better rate and I've booked hotels for friends visiting Japan at around ¥6000-8000 per night for 2 people. Traveling is expensive, and if you plan to move around Japan then consider planning a good itinerary and get a JR railway pass. Sightseeing can also be expensive but there are places you can enter for free or see a similar view from a different place without spending as much...it will depend on what you want to see.

I don't know anything about best airlines to fly from the US. But for places to visit...well, if it's two weeks, usually people stay in Tokyo for about 1 and the other in other parts of Japan, usually Kyoto and Nara area. The incredible thing is that, even with all the convenience we get here in Japan, things can still end up taking more time than you would expect (lots of walking, waiting etc.) In the typical sakura season, for instance, Kyoto city would be so congested that the only fast way to get around is by bicycle or walk really. Busses and taxis are plenty but that's what add to the problem. So you will need to take extra time into account when you plan. Many people often come to me and say they want to see this and do that all in one day, without realising that it would mean flying from one place to another. I would suggest 1 week in Tokyo, spend time in the modern city and check out some historical places like Nikko (one day) and Kamakura (one day) or nature in places like Mt. Takao and Hakone. The other week, spend it in Kyoto and Nara so you can take it easy (2-3 days in Kyoto +1 day in Nara is the minimum required to see the basic attractions). While there you could also go down to the Himeji Castle, the largest preserved castle in Japan listed as World Heritage. Check out Osaka as well. That should all be enough for 1 week.
I forgot to mention that Kunitachi is about 40 minutes on the Chuo Line from Shinjuku and there is also another spot I think might be romantic enough for you...There is a garden called Rikugi-en near Komagome station on the Yamanote and you can go there after sunset (till about 9 I think) to see sakura by night, definitely worth a visit.
There are Sakura festivals all over Japan in spring.
Near Tokyo, Izu (in Sizuoka prefecture) is one of the famous Sakura spot. Also it is good place of Onsen(hot spring). It could be romantic.
Also, Touhoku area (North-east Japan) is nice place for Sakura. Especially in Kakunodate(Akita) and Hirosaki(Aomori). You can see droop cherry blossom in town of old samurai residences, in Kakunodate.
And in Hirosaki, you can see a lot of cherry blossom with Japanese castle. If you go to Hirosaki castle at the season of full blossom, it would be impressed!
Anyway we already heard the news that cherry blossom came out in Izu.
I don’t think that Sakura festivals are romantic for lovers. Basically there are a lot of people there. But to see Sakura at night time is very beautiful!

Considering of buying goods of anime/manga, Tokyo is good place to buy them, especially in AKIHABARA. It is very famous of animation and comics.
Though it depends on what kind of accommodation you choose, the average of accommodation fee is 6000-7000 yen per person, per night in regular hotel or inn.
If you go to country side, you can find accommodation included 2 meals with 7000-8000 yen. Also there are hostels in Japan, and it is cheaper.
Hello, thank you for your query. I am living in the most beutiful city and prefecture in Japan. If you want to come to Japan you have no need to go any further than the Oita prefecture, it has everything. My recommendation for the most romantic place you will find in all of Japan for cherry blossoms is Taketa city. Please enjoy. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask. Good luck. See you in Oita

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