Meguro River in Spring
March is a month that all the Japanese people are waiting for. That’s because it is the season of the lovely cherry blossoms. The appearance of the pink flowers heralds many things; it is a symbol of spring after the long cold winter and a new start. In Japan, because the school year starts in April and finishes in March, April is the start of many new beginnings. Around the time the blossoms are expected, the news is full of announcements of when they are forecast to start blooming, that is how big a deal it is. The Meguro River is one of the best spots in Tokyo to celebrate their coming!
Hanami or Cherry Blossom Viewing
Many people enjoy a tradition called ‘hanami’ or cherry blossom viewing. It usually coincides with the school spring break, and many people travel to enjoy hanami. Early April is also the time when the newly hired office workers start to work. To welcome them, companies often hold lively cherry blossom viewing parties in the evening under the cherry blossoms.
Many foreign tourists ask us “Where can we see the best cherry blossoms?” Tourists especially like to enjoy the blossoms accompanied by a traditional Japanese background such as temples, shrines, Japanese gardens, and local cherry blossom viewing parties. If you are looking for a place in Tokyo, the Megurogawa or Meguro River is one of the most impressive cherry blossom hot spots in the city.
About Meguro River
Megurogawa (目黒川), or Meguro River, is a short small river that originates in the Musashino Plateau which is located in the western part of Tokyo. The total length of the river is only about 7 kilometers. It runs through Tokyo wards Setagaya, Meguro, and Shinagawa before pouring into Tokyo Bay.
It was called Koritori River in the Edo period, which literally means “purifying your body”. People used to purify themselves using the water from this river before worshiping at the Meguro Fudoson Temple. The spot-billed duck, carp, and crayfish are typical critters that you can find in the river.
Meguro River Cherry Blossom Spots
The part near Meguro Station is the best spot to enjoy cherry blossoms. The tree line continues for about 4 kilometers. The locals planted about 800 cherry trees along the river to enjoy the flowers, even though it is only for a short time in the year. The type of tree is Someiyoshino, which is the most popular one that you can see all over Japan.
Because the river is narrow and cherry trees are covering the river from both sides, the river resembles a tunnel. The many bridges on the river are the best spots from where to see the pink tunnel of cherry blossoms. Because of this outstanding condition, Megurogawa has become the most popular river for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo.
There is ambient illumination from electric lanterns in the evening, so you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing throughout the day from morning to evening. During the cherry blossom season, they hold a cherry blossom festival and the shops along the river sell foods and souvenirs, so you can enjoy a lively atmosphere. At the end of the cherry season, you can see cherry petals floating on the river, which is another nice way to enjoy the cherry blossoms.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Along the river, you find a special Starbucks store called Starbucks Reserve Roastery which opened in 2019. This is the first one in Japan and the fifth one in the world of its kind. This coffee shop has a roaster inside and roasts more than 680,000 kg of coffee beans per year, which are then distributed to all the Starbucks stores in Japan.
The first floor is the Main Bar which serves coffee and food. The second floor is Teavana which serves herbal tea and food. The wall in which hundreds of teacups are implanted is really photogenic. The third floor is Arriviamo Bar which serves cocktails other than coffee and food. There are also open-air tables from where you can look down the river. The fourth floor is the AMU Lounge where you can join events. The shop building was designed by Kengo Kuma who is one of Japan’s top architects. He also designed the main stadium for the Tokyo Olympics.
There are also many other shops, cafes, and restaurants on the promenade. If you get tired of walking, you can stop and relax at one of the shops.
Your Japan Tour
As seasoned Japan experts, we can help you create your perfect Japan tour including guides who can tell you all about the culture related to the cherry blossom. The guides can take you to the best places you can enjoy hanami including Megurogawa. Contact us to start planning your unforgettable holiday to this fascinating country full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, culture, history, nature, and delicious food!
Access: The nearest station is Meguro on the Yamanote Line