Heading out on an adventure to see the cherry blossom blooms can be fun and exciting for autistic families. Especially if you choose to plan a trip to see the cherry blossoms in Japan. I know you may be nervous about heading to a new country to see cherry blossoms. However, there are quite a few great resources available to help you tailor a trip to the needs of your family. As a travel advisor who specializes in autism friendly travel, I am one of those resources. So, if you don’t have the time to do all the research on your own (and who does!), reach out to me. To get you started on this journey though, let me share how cherry blossom viewing in Japan can be autism friendly.
Autism Friendly Cherry Blossom Viewing in Japan
Plan Ahead to Avoid the Crowds
The cherry blossoms bring a lot of people to Japan every spring. This means your autistic child may experience quite a bit of sensory stimulation during this trip. This stimulation can come in the form of too many people. Or it can be the loud noises that pop up in those crowds.
Planning ahead will allow you to miss some of the major crowds. You can also minimize other stressors that may be triggers for your autistic child.
Look for Special Spaces During Cherry Blossom Viewing in Japan
A few of the cities and parks within Japan are recognizing that some people struggle with crowds, loud noises, and other stimulation. To ensure everyone gets to enjoy their experience viewing the cherry blossoms in Japan, these places have created designated quiet zones. They also added sensory-friendly spaces your autistic family can use when you need them.
Avoid Certain Areas in Japan During Cherry Blossom Season
The Meguro-River side and Ueno Park are two beautiful destinations in Japan. However, during cherry blossom season, these areas get packed with people. Ueno Park is actually one of the top places to see cherry blossoms in Japan. The Hanami can be unpredictable at this park.
As for the Meguro-River side, the street simply gets too crowded to navigate with autistic children. There aren’t many places to stop and sit down for a break. Or even a space that is tucked away where you can get some quiet time.
If you do want to visit these destinations, I recommend visiting during off-peak hours. You can also choose to see the cherry blossoms in areas that are not as popular. You will still have an amazing cherry blossom viewing experience in Japan if you skip these areas.
Consider These Cherry Blossom Viewing Destinations in Japan
Kitano-maru Park, Sumida Park, and Soyokaze-Hiroba Park are three parks that are perfect for midday cherry blossom viewing. You can easily take a picnic lunch to enjoy near the cherry blossom trees.
You may also want to consider paying to enter Shinjuku Gyoen. This is a national garden that is quite large. There are three entrance gates, so long lines are not common. You must arrange for entrance tickets to this garden in advance during cherry blossom season. Keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Following these tips will allow you to have an autism-friendly experience while viewing cherry blossoms in Japan. Traveling with autistic children can be a little challenging, thanks to new things and many unknowns. However, using many of the resources available to you can make the entire experience better than you ever imagined. If you are worried you may miss something during the planning process, or you simply want to avoid spending hours doing the planning on your own, contact me. Let me use my expertise to plan an incredible cherry blossom viewing vacation in Japan for your family. I can do all the heavy lifting and all you need to do is enjoy your time away from home with your family.