There is some discrepancy as to the origins of Japan’s ubiquitous Yoshino cherry trees, that you can now see in near full bloom if you peer out your office window or open your social media application of choice. Several intensive studies have been conducted to prove the Yoshino species is in fact a hybrid of two native Japanese cherry trees.

Yet some South Korean reports insist Japan’s cherry trees emigrated from the South Korean island of Jeju. Getting in on the act, China claims Japan’s cherry blossoms in fact descend from the Himalayas. Meanwhile, a 2007 joint study between Japan and South Korea universities concluded that the Yoshino cherry and the Jeju tree are two distinctive species, possibly putting the argument to rest.

If you don’t care about cherry blossoms, there are plenty of other activities and events happening in Tokyo this weekend that won’t get lead to international conflict.

Yoyogi Park

Every foreigner living in Tokyo for a certain period of time claims to have secret cherry blossom viewing location that they’re not sharing. Yet why mess with a tried and true classic. Yoyogi Park will be electric this weekend as people from all walks of life will gather amongst the cherry trees in gregarious revelry. Sometimes it’s good to be part of the crowd.

Sakura Tulip Festival

If you are pining for a Dutch take on sakura season hop over to Sakura City in Chiba to fulfill your floral desires with thousands of tulips blooming in front of Lake Imba and a genuine Dutch windmill.

Tokyo Tower 333 Koinobori

For the next month leading up to Children’s Day on May 5 the iconic Tokyo landmark will fly 333 koi carp banners (Tokyo tower is 333m tall) in front of the main entrance. Don’t miss the nightly illuminations.

Jim Gaffigan

The “King of Clean Comedy” brings his five children for a return appearance in Tokyo. Check out our interview with Gaffigan, who is known for his unique brand of humor largely revolving around fatherhood and his observations on life and food. 

Japan Local Food Festival Kuohzei

Traditional Japanese restaurants from far and wide offer a wide selection of meat, fish, seafood, noodles, desserts and more, including plenty of beer.

National Treasure, Taishakuten (Indra) Riding an Elephant, Heian period, dated 839 (Jowa 6)

National Treasures of To-ji Temple

Japanese priest Kukai made Kyoto’s To-ji Temple the focal point of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, with the year 2023 set to mark the 1,200th anniversary of the establishment of this influential religious sect. This comprehensive exhibition presents cultural properties handed down at To-ji, with a focus on treasured articles associated with Kukai himself.

Dance to the Future 2019

This ongoing production of the National Ballet of Japan Choreographic Group, a project for nurturing choreographers, includes contemporary works choreographed by the members of the NBJ.

Robbie from The Avalanches and Friends

Flying from Melbourne, Australia, Robbie Chater from The Avalanches joins forces with Japanese artists like Keigo Oyamada, Minami Yamaguchi and others for a special performance and party at Trunk Hotel to celebrate cherry blossom season.