Historic Flower Festivals in Tokyo
Traditionally in Tokyo, temples and shrines are not only a place of worship but also the place to enjoy viewing seasonal flowers. There are historical temples and shrines famous for flower viewing, which have been popular over a hundred years, and still attract Tokyoites to this day.
Peony Festival (Botan Matsuri) at Nishiarai Daishi Temple
Season: Around mid-April - May
Nishiarai Daishi Temple (西新井大師) has 2 gardens of peony flowers, attracting visitors since its open in 1804. Although Nishiarai Daishi is located outside of central Tokyo, where international tourists rarely visit, the temple is very familiar among people living in northern Tokyo. Admission is free.
20-min walk from Nishiarai station on the Tobu Railway Line.
3-min walk from Daishimae station on the Daishi-sen line.
* One stop from Nishiarai to Daishimae sta. (It is a bit complicated)
For people familiar with Toei bus system, it is easier to get there by Toei bus. (From Ikebukuro or Ouji station)
Google Maps - Nishiarai Daishi
Wisteria Festival (Fuji Matsuri) at Kameido Tenjin Shrine
Season: Late April - Early May
Over hundreds of years, Kameido Tenjin (亀戸天神) is known for beautiful Wisteria (Fuji) flowers covering the grounds of the shrine. During the festival, a hundred food stalls will be lined there. Admission is free.
15 min. walk from JR Kameido station. (North Exit)
Google Maps - Kameido Tenjin
Azalea Festival (Tsutsuji Matsuri) at Nezu Shrine
Season: Mid. April - Mid. May
http://www.nedujinja.or.jp/ (Japanese site)
Nezu Shrine (根津神社) is a historical shrine situated in Nezu, near Yanaka and Ueno. From the middle of April to the beginning of May, the Azalea Festival is held in the shrine ground, where people enjoy viewing the flower and food served at stalls. The entrance is free. Admission is 200 JPY for the garden area.
5 min. walk from Nezu station on the Chiyoda Subway Line
5 min. walk from Todaimae station on the Oedo Subway Line
Approx. 10 min. walk from Hakusan station on Mita Subway Line
Google Maps - Nezu Shrine
Japanese Irises Festival (Shoubu Matsuri)at Horikiri Shoubuen
Season: Early June - Mid. June
From early-June to mid-June
Horikiri Shoubuen (堀切菖蒲園) is a public garden having a history of hundred years, has depicted in Ukiyoe woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige or Suzuki Harunobu. Admission is free.
Approx. 15 min. walk from Horikiri-shoubuen station on the Keisei Line
Google Maps - Horikiri Shoubuen