PHOTOGRAPHY BY VICTOR CHENG AND SAMANTHA WONG
The holy grail for visitors to Japan is cherry blossom season, when the sakura blanket the country in pink and white. The tricky part is catching them at their peak; full bloom usually lasts just a week (or less) and happens at different times across the 1,900-mile archipelago, depending on elevation and latitude. This year, Tokyo’s sakura are forecast to open on March 19 and peak on March 27. If you’re lucky enough to be there when the bloom hits, partake in the tradition of hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, when throngs of people picnic under flowering trees. Popular spots include Aoyama Cemetery, Ueno Park, and Shinjuku Gyoen—but even a nightlife district like Roppongi, where photographers Victor Cheng and Samantha Wong spied this scene, can offer a view that will be the cherry on top of your trip.
Tokyo Time: This month, United launches nonstop service to Tokyo Haneda from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, and Washington D.C.; visit united.com for schedule and details.