Tokyo's sakura season has gotten off to a dreary start this year with days of murky, rainy weather, and locals have been about bursting with anticipation to begin laying out picnic blankets and taking part in extravagant hanami celebrations. Though many have headed out to popular cherry blossom viewing spots to see the gradually budding flowers regardless, others are still in waiting for the perfect opportunity to appreciate the beautiful sakura in all their glory.

But with the temperature getting warmer and the skies (hopefully) getting clearer, it's safe to say that sakura season is now in full throttle. And while there are numerous hanami destinations in the Tokyo area that will take your breath away, there's one must-visit location worth the trip — and worth weaving through hordes of people — for.

Sakura viewing in Chidorigafuchi

Walk the 700-meter-long promenade located along the Chidorigafuchi moat in Chiyoda, Tokyo and you'll find yourself in a pink sea of 260 sakura trees. Absolutely gorgeous during the spring season, this walkway winds around the outer perimeter of the Imperial Palace, offering visitors both a stunning view and the chance to get a glimpse of the Emperor's massive residence. It is also near other landmarks of cultural prominence including the Nippon Budokan and the National Theatre of Japan, making it the perfect spot for a day of picnicking, sightseeing, and perhaps even enjoying a performance at one of the famous theaters.

At Chidorigafuchi, there's more than just one way to enjoy the sakura. Visitors can of course take a quiet stroll along the promenade, stopping every now and again to get a closer look at the blossoms, but they can also revel in their beauty from inside the moat in rental boats. Parks adjacent to the moat are also equipped with light fixtures, and picnickers can enjoy hanami under majestically illuminated cherry blossoms even after the sun goes down.

Despite the ongoing rain, the Chidorigafuchi sakura are now in full bloom and now is the best time to go and see them. Even though it might feel like the weather's not on your side, you'd be surprised at how breathtaking the cherry blossoms can be even under rain and cloudy skies. For more information, visit the Japan National Tourism Organization's website.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.