Cherry blossom season is fast approaching and you know what that means … hanami (flower viewing) parties! After the long, cold winter during which Tokyo saw more snow than usual, all of us here at GoConnect are looking forward to basking in the mild temperatures underneath the beauty of the sakura.
For the long-term residents of Tokyo, we’re pretty sure you don’t need us to tell you where to go to enjoy hanami. Yoyogi, Chidorigafuchi and Hibiya parks, among many others, are perfect places in the city to enjoy the blooms with a can of beer. For those of you who are looking for a little variety, why not take a weekend trip to Fukuoka and enjoy the cherry blossoms away from home?
This huge park is located just 15 minutes from the center of Fukuoka City and is known for its seasonal blooms, making it a perfect place to enjoy hanami. However, the beautiful trees and vast amount of space are not the only draws of this park. The park is built around the site of Fukuoka Castle—also known as Maizuru or Seki Castle—which was built in the early Edo Period (1603–1867).
Additionally, the park is joined to Ohori Park, which is home to a lake where you can enjoy boating. Fukuoka City Art Museum is also nestled in between the two parks, so you can take a cultured stroll through the museum, seeing all the famous art on display.
If you’re looking for a cup of coffee, or a nice hot sandwich to fill you up before you head to the park, Stereo Coffee is a 25-minute walk from Maizuru Park and offers some great beverages. Vinyl records, skateboards and hipster wood decorate the interior walls, and upstairs you’ll find a gallery space. If you’re having trouble finding the place, keep your eye out for the bright blue bench and neon sign outside!
3-8-3 Watanabedori, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
A stone’s throw away from Maizuru Park is a great seafood restaurant called Chikae Fukuoka. The huge space is filled with tanks full of live fish and lobsters, which are served to you fresh! They have menus in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese, and the wait staff can converse in English. Make sure you make a reservation though, as it is known to be extremely busy, with lines down the block.
2-2-17 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Open: 11:30am–3pm; 5pm–10pm