Asukayama Park or Asukayama Koen (飛鳥山公園) is a public park in Tokyo known as one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the city. It’s located on the hill near JR Oji Station in Kita Ward, Tokyo. Comparing to other popular Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parks in Tokyo such as Ueno Park, Inokashira Park and Yoyogi Park, Asukayama Park is much less crowded, however you’ll find a large number of locals who enjoy viewing cherry blossoms quietly.
Despite it’s located not in the central area of Tokyo, the park is one of the most historical cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo since Edo Period. It is said that over 1,000 cherry trees were planted at the park by the order from the eighth Shogun of the Tokugawa clan, Yoshimune Tokugawa during Edo Period, and until now there are still over 600 cherry trees. And Asukayama Park became the first cherry blossom viewing spot in Tokyo where visitors were allowed to picnic and drink alcohol. Since then, it’s one of the most beloved cherry blossom spots in Tokyo among locals. During the season, the traditional lanterns lighten up the cherry blossoms at night.
Besides cherry blossoms in spring, Asukayama Park also attracts visitors by monorail which runs from the entrance of the park to the hill top. The Asukayama Park Monorail (飛鳥山公園モノレール) with the small carriage called “Asukarugo” can take visitors to the top of the hill within a couple of minutes, and it is extremely convenient for visitors and also local elderlies. The monorail can be used for free of charge, and now it’s the top attraction at the park.