Parks, riversides, ponds, hiking trails—that's what comes to my mind first when thinking about Japan's hanami (flower, in particular cherry blossom watching) in spring. However, the city itself offers some interesting cherry blossom viewing spots, too.
Ark Hills with its only recently built Sengokuyama Residence and Izumi Garden Tower in Roppongi Itchome are both modern complexes, presenting an interesting combination of workplace and residences. City life is combined with a feel of nature, as beautiful greenery decks the neighborhood throughout the year.
In spring the area around Roppongi Itchome gets a makeover when cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The cherry trees line the streets of the commercial complex pavements, which start from Izumi Garden Tower at Roppongi Itchome, extending to Ark Hills, the Swedish embassy and the ANA Hotel right up to Tameike-Sanno Metro station.
The Ark Hills Sakura Festival kicks off in March every year, when the white collar employees of the nearby offices enjoy strolling around and watching the beautiful flowers during their lunch break together with their co-workers.
Skyscrapers and beautiful flowers—that's a unique combination and the main attraction of the Sakura Festival during the day. There are even spots with the beautiful Shidare Sakura, a weeping cherry variety, which branches fall like those of a weeping willow, bearing cascades of pink flowers.
The main attraction in the evening is the light-up of the streets and the cherry trees; office workers enjoy the flowers once again on their way back home; often accompanied by a beer or two.
The Izumi Garden complex and Ark Hills both have various events going on during this time of the year, until about the middle of April, so even after the flowers have fallen off and are being replaced by the green leaves which will then stay on for the rest of the year.
Please enjoy this short video of the flute performance near the Roppongi Itchome station organized by the Izumi Garden Sakura Festival committee.
For a change, I made a visit to the Ark Hills Sakura festival on a weekend with a family rather than on a weekday with my office co-workers. Interestingly I met two of my co-workers with their families too!