Springtime in Japan can hardly be discussed without at least some kind of reference to cherry blossoms. The swelling of buds brings to the people an excitement that no other natural phenomenon can quite match. At full bloom you can find a joyous picnic under almost every tree. And before you know it, their petals are blown away in the breeze and carpeting the pavements. The short life of the blossoms, which may be considered a shortcoming, is actually a chief attraction: a suggestion of life's transience that fascinates many.
Despite their brevity, different breeds of cherry bloom at slightly different timings, so they can be enjoyed almost throughout the whole spring. In our Japanese garden, a total of 57 cherry trees of 17 varieties can be found, including the most popular Somei Yoshino that blooms around late March to early April, followed by the rotund Yaezakura blossoming from mid-April to early May.
A traditional-style Japanese festival offering various cultural performances and experiences as well as food, beverages, and games will be held in the garden* to celebrate the coming of spring again, so why not come and enjoy this best season of Japan at Hotel New Otani Tokyo.
*Cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the situation regarding COVID-19.
Yu-suzumi is a Japanese custom in the summer in which people go outside in the early evening when the heat has subsided to enjoy the fresh air and cool down. Symbolic items for a yu-suzumi are, for example, yukata (cotton kimono), paper fans, wooden benches, mosquito coils, etc.
Why not enjoy a yu-suzumi by strolling through our Japanese garden, where the temperature is substantially lower compared to the scorching blacktop streets thanks to the abundant vegetation and water. A quiet moment by the waterfall is sure to calm you down after a hot and busy day.
Yukata dressing services that include a selectable yukata and accessories that you can take home are available for a special price, offering you a truly Japanese summer experience.
If you're looking for more activity, the Garden Pool in the Japanese garden is another place where you can cool down. A splash in the water or a meal at the poolside restaurant will make your summer day unforgettable!
The Japanese custom of Momiji-gari, or autumn foliage viewing, may be considered the counterpart of cherry blossom viewing in spring. People go out to the mountains or other scenic areas to appreciate the colors of deciduous trees, and the beauty of their vivid red, orange, and yellow shades have been described in ancient literature works including many famous haiku poems.
Such a seasonal panorama can also be enjoyed in our Japanese garden. Although on a much smaller scale, the sight of turned leaves amid the beautifully balanced landscape of the garden or reflected in the water induces a gentle yet powerful emotion in the viewer's mind.
Autumn in Japan is also a time for tsukimi (moon viewing). The altitude of the moon and also the clear sky makes this time of year the most ideal to appreciate the beauty of this astronomical body closest to Earth. In particular, the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese calendar is called Jugoya in Japan and said to be the best day for moon viewing.
Our Japanese garden, selected by TripAdvisor as one of the top 20 “Best Free Attractions in Japan” three years in a row, takes on a different ambience after dark when it is lighted by an illumination scheme coordinated by world-renowned lighting designer Motoko Ishii.
Now is the season when the lit-up garden is particularly beautiful, with the crisp winter air rendering a mystical ambience that invites you to a world of surreal beauty. In addition, thousands of fairy lights now adorn the bushes outside of teppanyaki restaurant Sekishin-tei, an impressive sight that can be enjoyed both from the inside of the restaurant and of course from the outside.