With an ephemeral canopy of pink sweeping Japan, the JT's food writers know the perfect spots to dine with an eyeful of sakura (cherry blossom) — or just the right sake to sip as you picnic under the petals.
When it comes to blossom viewing, nowhere in Tokyo does it better or with greater abandon than Ueno Park. And no restaurant is better placed to observe those evanescent petals than Innsyoutei, slap in the middle of the park. The traditional timber architecture is a century old, but Innsyoutei's dining rooms are fitted with huge modern picture windows that give perfect views onto the sakura boughs. On the elevated first floor you sit at a long counter; on the floor above, it is table seating, but with even wider vistas. There is also a small terrace where lunch is served al fresco when conditions are clement. During the hanami (flower-viewing) season, the menu is pared down — bentō boxed lunches (¥3,500 and ¥5,000) at lunchtime; and simple kaiseki multicourse meals (from ¥7,000) at dinner — and there's a two-hour limit for everyone. (Robbie Swinnerton)