Sakura season is just around the corner so let’s check today the most famous sakura neighborhood in Tokyo: Nakameguro! Shall we?
While I was trying to prepare the last Japan wrap-up post I realized that I never got to share our pictures from Nakameguro, which I think it’s a shame because a part from an eye candy (sakura!) it can be helpful if you are right now organizing your trip to Japan for the 2020 season. If you are anything like us and have already bought your plane tickets to Japan to enjoy the sakura season, at this time of the year you are probably checking the sakura prediction map weekly update with impatience and, let’s be honest, uneasiness. We bought our plane tickets with more than 4 months in advance (for pricing options!), choosing our dates based on the previous year report, so the 14 days were fixed and ours fingers double-crossed. We were lucky, and the first blooms arrived just a few days (like 4) before our arrival, thus we were able to see it in Tokyo at what could be considered pre/medium-peak, but with lots of trees already florished!
Considering that the sakura season is something quite ephemeral, there’s always a feeling that you can easily miss it, however our tip would be to plan considering that you arrive there from 2 to 5 days after the previous year official starting day (because the world is sadly getting hotter, and temperatures are messing the trees). Therefore, if everything goes according to forecasts, you’ll be able to experience it in full bloom (peak) during the end of your first week, if it comes earlier, you’ll get there in the middle of the peak, and if it comes later, you’ll be able to at least see the first trees (pre-peak). Also, remember that flourishing varies alongside the country, we only planned for Tokyo.
We had lunch in the area, there are lots of good options, we opted for a little family-run restaurant with a famous Japanese comfort food: the omurice. It consists of sauteed flavorful rice wrapped in a thin egg omelette, and it is usually finished with ketchup on top. Omurice always makes me think about the Terrace House (Boys&Girls edition) incident where Minori feels that her relationship with Uchi is going nowhere and decides to send him a message via omurice, writing “Coward” using the ketchup, ha! Do you watch Terrace House? I’m completely addicted, I’ve even seen the Aloha edition which is always considered like the worse of them all. In fact, I’m counting now the days to see the new batch of the Tokyo edition on Netflix, why does it take so long?
At Kitchen Punch we got the lunch menu set which included a small miso soup, a croquette (korokke) and, of course, the omurice as main plate. Have you ever tried omurice?
2 Chome-7-10 Kamimeguro (Meguro)
The meguro river with all the trees flourished at the sides is such a treat, and I loved so much the little pink lanterns decorating. There are food stalls on the streets as well, and they serve things related to sakura, such as the special sakura Cola (only packaging, not the flavour, I was disappointed!) and the sakura martinis, those with a petal inside. It was undeniable beautiful. Please take into account that once the afternoon starts more and more people in groups of friends come to visit the river, even at the end there were restrictions to enter some parts only in a single direction.
We loved watching all the girls wearing trench coats, whom we fondly called the “Inspector Gadget” gang, and everyone’s cute expressions while admiring the sakura. Definitely wouldn’t miss Nakameguro if you are visiting Tokyo during Spring! We also had a little chance to see that the neighborhood has some interesting shops, but we need to further explore when its off season and less people is walking around.
Have you been in Tokyo during sakura season? Do you have more tips to add?
A big sakura flavored kiss!