Chidorigafuchi is one of Tokyo’s premium locations for viewing cherry blossoms in spring, from late March to early April. This 700-meter-long walkway next to the Imperial Palace’s moat offers beautiful sights and great experiences even a fast passerby can enjoy.
Northwest of the Imperial Palace, this moat features around 200 cherry trees and gathers over 1 million people annually; for a particularly stunning vista visit after sunset until 10 pm when the trees are lit up.
It’s also possible to enjoy the moat itself via rental boat and paddle alongside the banks of cherry trees. Being surface level with the water offers another unique perspective of the world around and gives visitors some great photograph opportunities they wouldn’t have any other way.
But it doesn’t have to be cherry blossom season for you to enjoy the romance of rowing along the moat waters. Boat rentals are available from March to November, closing down only during the cold winter months.
The moat itself was built during the Tokugawas’ rule. The moat encircles the Imperial Palace and has an unusual shape said to resemble a plover bird, hence its name of “chidori” coming from the bird. But this isn’t the only moat surrounding the Palace, in addition to Chidorigafuchi Moat there are eleven more.
Also in the area is Chidorigafuchi Cemetery. This simple, somber location is where over 350,000 unidentified WWII war-killed are buried. Including civilian deaths from the many air raids and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Chidorigafuchi is the perfect place to begin sightseeing in the surrounding area. You’ll find plenty of shrines, temples, and museums in the area, as well as easy access to the Outer Imperial Palace, which is definitely worth a walkthrough.
Hailed as one of the most beautiful places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Chidorigafuchi receives over one million visitors every year for the spring season. Head to the 700 meter long Chidorigafuchi Green Way walking path to discover a tunnel of cherry blossom. Seating along the bank of the moat is extremely limited so arrive extra early if you’re wanting to sit and admire the flowers all day. For a more surreal vista of the flowers admire their beauty at night when the trees are illuminated from sunset to 10 pm.
Boat rentals are available from March to November every year and offer a great way to see the moat, or cherry blossoms if the season is right. It only costs 500 yen for 30 minutes during the offseason and 800 yen for 30 minutes during the cherry blossom season. Wonder in awe as your row through the moat decorated with a blanket of soft pink petals.
Chidorigafuchi Cemetery interred some 350,000 war casualty civilians and soldiers from World War II from air raids and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The monument built in the remembrance of the ugliness of war is a simple and somber one, but impressive nonetheless. The cemetery is accessible between the moat and Yasukuni Shrine.
Chidorigafuchi is directly adjacent to Exit 2 at Kudanshita Station.
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