It is truly one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in all of Tokyo. Not far from the Imperial Palace in the heart of Japans’ capital, include the Chidorigafuchi boat rental into your Tokyo itinerary. It’s definitely one of the most important things to see.
The spot is super popular but hasn’t been discovered by most international tourists yet and is therefore still a great getaway. Start early in the morning and enjoy the wonderful feeling of drifting through a carpet of fallen pedals and into the pink trees.
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What is So Special about Chidorigafuchi Moat?
Couple regularly get engaged at this very spot (like Nicole Warne from Gary Pepper Girl) as it is just one of the prettiest cherry blossom spots in Tokyo.
Around 260 Yoshino trees line the green Chidorigafuchi moat and bend over the quiet waters due to their heavy load of white and soft pink sakura blossoms.
The promenade of Chidorigafuchi Park is 700 metres long and you can basically row parallel to it.
As the trees are towering so high and bending so low, you can easily row underneath them and be completely surrounded by pink pedals. From above and below. It really is a dream all in pink!
Best Dates for Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossom Viewing
As is common with nature and sakura (cherry blossom) times, the exact peak times for the Tokyo sakura are somewhat unpredictable.
A good indicator is the yearly sakura forecast, which announces the most probably blossoming times, including a percentage of blossom openings.
When I visited in 2015 and 2018, the best time was the last week of March. However, there usually are plenty of Chidorigafuchi cherry blossom trees still in bloom at the end of the first April week.
If the weather is rather rainy, the earlier you go, the better. The rain drops will beat the soft pedals to the ground rather fast.
Handy: Get the Lonely Planet Tokyo Guide
What Time of the Day to Get Your Tokyo Boat Rental
Once you are in town at the right time, head down to the Chidorigafuchi boat rental early in the morning. Queues can line up from 8AM onwards as the Tokyo boat rental place opens at 9:30AM.
Avoid visiting in the afternoon as you can easily stand in line for hours.
I was lucky as in 2018, they were trying out a new method, namely buying tickets in arrival for specific time slots. No need to wait later in the day.
The queues after 9AM were indeed insane. So this was super convenient. Let’s hope they keep that system in place so you can wander around before you get to your boat.
How to Get to Chidorigafuchi Park
Let’s be real here, Chidorigafuchi Park is more a street lined by cherry blossom trees and flower beds. A park it is not. But you are here to view the Chidorigafuchi cherry blossom trees from the Chidorigafuchi moat.
Fun fact: There are 12 moats around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Plus, there is free WiFi at Chidorigafuchi Park.
(If you want more flexbility and not having to hunt for WiFi, you could buy a 7 day tourist sim card before coming to Tokyo because it can be terribly difficult to get one otherwise. Click here to get your sim card*.)
To get there, take the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line (purple Z symbol) to Hanzomon Station or Kudanshita. The latter is also served by the Tozai (blue T symbol) and Shinjuku lines (green S symbol).
Walking from the station takes between 9 and 15 minutes. Note that you can’t use your JR Railpass on any of those. (If you don’t have it yet, get it here* in advance.)
When can I rent a boat in Tokyo’s Chidorigafuchi?
During spring season, Chidorigafuchi moat is one of the major Tokyo attractions. However, you can rent a boat at Chidori-ga-fuchi Boat Pier at other times of the year as well and it’s still a magical experience. The Chidorigafuchi rental service runs almost daily from March to November.
- Open from March 1 to November 30
- Open daily except for Mondays
- Usual opening times: 11 AM to 5:30 PM
- Sakura opening times: 9 AM to 8:30 PM
The boathouse is generally open from 11 AM to 5:30 PM outside of sakura season.
During cherry blossom time, the chidorigafuchi boat rental adjusts its time to allow even more sakura vieweing. The period is short and you want to make the most of it.
While the Chiyoda City Sakura Festival is going on, it is open as early as 9:00 AM and as late as 8:30 PM with ticket sales closing at 8 PM. This means you can enjoy late night sakura boating when the cherry blossoms are illuminated, which guarantees a memorable experience.
Please note that queuing may be stopped two hours in advance due to overwhelming demand. If you want to make extra sure about the times and prices, call the Chidorigafuchi boat rental ahead of your visit.
- Address: Japan, 〒102-0075 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Sanbancho, ２−先
- Contact number: 03-3234-1948
How Much for a Chidorigafuchi Boat Rental?
Entry costs 800 yen for 30 minutes and 160 yen for 1 hour during Tokyo’s hanami season (it’s the special sakura price).
Outside of this, expect to pay 500 yen for a 30 minute Chidorigafuchi moat boat rowing experience. It’s 1000 yen for 1 hour.
Please note that you HAVE to get your ticket onsite and therefore need to calculate in the queuing times. Advance reservations are not accepted.
Which Chiyoda Hotels to Stay at
When booking your Tokyo accommodation, you will quickly realise that rooms are hard to get by the more sakura season is approaching. The earlier you book, the better!
If you want to stay as close as possible within the centre, your Tokyo hotel needs to be central as well. Good thing Chiyoda, where Chidorigafuchi Park is located, fits the bill!
Prices can easily be steep in Tokyo, such as over $200 per night for a room at the fany Oakwood Premier Tokyo*. Of course, you can also get regular prices. Try the more traditional Chiyoda Inn* or a regular hotel, such as Hotel Monterey Hanzomon*.
If you want the unique experience of a capsule hotel, try The Prime Pod* in Ginza. To get your film nerd fix, you gotta stay at Park Hyatt Hotel* in nearby Nishishinjuku. After all, this hotel served as the location for Lost in Translation*.
Is a Chidorigafuchi Boat Rental Worth It?
Absolutely! At first I was a bit unsure whether the price wasn’t a bit too steep for having to row yourself around (and I am a terrible paddler). But I needn’t have worried.
It was a great experience and an hour quickly passed. Especially if you love taking travel photography, this place is ranking high among the top 10 things to do in Tokyo!
More inspiration and tips for your Japan travels
- An example itinerary for 2 weeks in Japan
- What to see in Shibamata district in Tokyo
- Where to see both Cat Streets in Tokyo
- Anime fans and Tokyo – where you should go outside of Akihabara
- Where to see the best wisteria gardens in Japan
- Psssh! These are the best sakura spots for Kyoto
- Tips for your visit to Tokyo Disneyland
Giovanna Silvestre says
I want to do this! Your pics are incredibly beautiful
Annemarie Strehl says
Hi Giovanna, good to see you on the blog! Thank you so much for your nice compliment. :)
Richa chadda says
Excellent Article! Such a nice information. a cool Place and you’ve captured it so well
Hi Richa, thank you so much. This place really is beautiful.
closed every monday? Do you think that includes a monday when the sakura trees are blooming?
I would think Mondays are closed without exception. It’s probably their resting day as they open on the weekend too. I double checked on Google and it is still listed as that.