Japanese cherry blossoms, or sakura as they’re called in Japanese, are known around the world for their beauty. Typically only lasting a few weeks in March or April, they can be tricky to view if you’re traveling from overseas and need to pin down travel plans. But, with the help of weather forecasts, you can typically expect to see at least some cherry blossoms no matter how early you have to plan your trips. If you plan on chasing the cherry blossoms around the country, check out Japan Rail Pass to save a TON on your train tickets.
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Table of Contents
- When is cherry blossom season in Japan?
- Why is cherry blossom season so important in Japan?
- Best Ways to Enjoy the Blossoms
- Differences between cherry, plum, and peach blossoms.
- Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan
- Traveling to Japan in Spring
When is cherry blossom season in Japan?
Sakura season is typically from late March to mid-April. It varies each year depending on weather conditions so it’s important to check the forecasts that come from the Japanese Meteorological Agency like ours Here. It also depends on the location in Japan. The blooms typically open first in the southern region, and the blooming progresses northward. So it’s possible to catch peak bloom in a few different regions of Japan if you’re willing to travel.
Why is cherry blossom season so important in Japan?
Viewing cherry blossoms has been a national pastime since the 8th century. There are many species of cherry, some of which have been cultivated through cross-breeding. These efforts took off in the 14th century when they became cultivated as ornamental flowers.
But why is Japan so fascinated with the sakura phenomenon since centuries ago? Cherry blossom trees have many meanings to the Japanese. A lot has to do with the very brief life of the flowers, blooming only for about a week to ten days.
Their fleeting beauty illustrates all too perfectly that nothing in this world is permanent, everything passes away at some point. A sad but beautiful admiration for this impermanence has been an important part of the Japanese mindset since ancient times. In Japanese, it’s called “mono no aware.” This mindset can be found in the smallest things of Japanese daily life.
Best Ways to Enjoy the Blossoms
While you can definitely stroll through a park to enjoy the cherry blossoms, there are other ways you can get into the spirit of spring. Here are some typical things you can do to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Japan:
Hanami: This means “flower viewing” and is a great Japanese tradition of having a picnic under the sakura and enjoying the blossoms. Bring a tarp to sit on, snacks and drinks. But make sure you check that the park allows hanami or you’ll be disappointed.
Sakura Festivals: These cherry blossom festivals provide food stalls, pretty lanterns, and even entertainment. They are held around peak blossom season and they are a perfect way to view the blossoms and enjoy the spring weather. See our Spring Packing List.
Yozakura: This refers to cherry blossoms that are illuminated at night. They offer a different take on the cherry blossom-viewing experience.
Hikes: The best chance of seeing some quiet cherry blossoms in their natural habitat is to head out into the mountains for a spring walk. Pack a picnic and it’s the best way to welcome spring.
Differences between cherry, plum, and peach blossoms.
The cherry blossom (sakura) may at times be confused with the plum blossoms (ume) or peach blossoms (momo). Plum blossom spots in Japan tend to bloom earlier in the season – from mid-February to mid-March – while the cherry blossom season peaks in April. Peach blossoms bloom around the same time as cherry blossoms but have a very sweet smell. All trees produce flowers ranging in color from white to pink, to red but can be easily identified in the following steps:
Petals and Growing pattern
- Cherry flowers have a small split or notch in each petal; plums and peaches do not.
- Plum flowers have round tips, peach has pointed petals.
- Cherry blossoms produce multiple flowers per bud, while plums produce only one and peaches have only 2.
- New cherry leaves are green in color, while plum tree leaves emerge with a purple or red hue.
Colors and Scents
Plum: Flower colors can be broadly divided into white and crimson, though complex color differences can occur between them. For example, some buds turn pink when they bloom, and some buds turn white. Some buds have a pale pistil, and only the petals are red. They have a sweet, gentle scent similar to jasmine.
Peach: Flowers can be white, pink, or red. The color varies by type and individual plant. Different colored flowers might even grow on one tree! The scent is sweet and mild, which you can smell from both the flowers and the leaves.
Cherry Blossom: Can be white, light pink, or dark pink, depending on the type and individual plant. The cherry blossom scent is usually very mild, and Yoshino cherry trees are particularly faint, barely noticeable even if you bring your nose close. While there are more fragrant varieties with stronger scents, you won’t usually see them around town.
Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Goryokaku Tower and Fort Goryaku
Hakodate is also an area in Hokkaido where you can enjoy cherry blossoms in late April. Goryokaku was designated as a national special historic site and is now open as a park known for its famous cherry blossoms. You can eat jingisukan while enjoying cherry blossoms in designated areas.
The 107m-high Goryokaku Tower adjacent to the park is a spot where you can marvel at a unique view of the gorgeous Hokkaido cherry blossoms from above.
Location: 43-9 Goryokakucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0001
Moerenuma Park was designed by the sculptor Isamu Noguchi. It’s a 30-minute drive from downtown Sapporo, and it sits on a vast site of 188.8 hectares. The park is decorated with glass pyramids and large monuments, with a variety of artworks in each section.
One of them, the Sakura Forest, is a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing. 1,800 cherry trees rise in and around seven playground areas. In early May, everything is covered with cherry blossoms (mainly Ezo-yamazakura, Kasumi-zakura, and Chishima-zakura). This is a perfect spot to enjoy cherry blossom viewing with children.
Location: 1-1 Moerenumakoen, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 007-0011
Hokkaido cherry blossoms begin to bloom from the south. After a 2-hour-car ride from Hakodate, you will find Matsumae Park where Matsumae Castle is located.
This park has 250 kinds of cherry blossoms numbering to 10,000 trees, such as the single-flowered Yoshino cherry tree and the double-flowered Naden cherry tree. There are early-blooming, middle-blooming, and late-blooming cherry blossoms, which allow everyone to enjoy the flowers for a month.
The Matsumae Sakura Festival held from late April to mid-May hosts various events such as product fares featuring seafood and sweets and live performances. See other Cherry Blossom Festivals in Japan.
Among these events, the highlight is the Samurai Procession featuring warriors wearing armors. You should also try the cherry blossom ice cream sold in the park at this time.
Location: Matsushiro, Matsumae, Matsumae District, Hokkaido 049-1511
Around 1,000 cherry trees bloom here, turning the entirety of Asahigaoka Park pink. Entry is free and picnickers are welcome. They even illuminate the cherry trees at night to give the park a more magical feel. There is also a small petting zoo, including baby rabbits and guinea pigs.
Location: Shimogoryo, Furano, Hokkaido 076-0017
Mt. Tengu, at an altitude of 534 meters, is a scenic lookout point in Otaru. It takes about 4 minutes by ropeway to reach the summit where there is a cherry blossom tree popularly known as Tengu Sakura. Over 100 years old, Tengu Sakura is an Ezoyama cherry tree, a variety often seen in Hokkaido characterized as having a darker color than the Somei Yoshino cherry trees.
The cherry tree comes into full bloom around mid-May, the same time as the Nemuro cherry blossoms known to be the last to bloom in Japan. There are 5 observatories at the summit, including one named after the cherry blossom tree. There is still snow on the summit, but you can enjoy the colorful and vivid scenery of green leaves, pink cherry blossoms, and blue skies.
Location: 2 Chome Asarigawaonsen, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0154
The cherry blossom front usually reaches Northern Hokkaido in May. In the eastern part of Asahikawa City, at the foot of the 295-meter-high Asahiyama Park, about 3,500 Ezo-yamazakura cherry trees are in full bloom in early May. During this period, the park fills with people and stalls selling food and drinks.
At the Night Cherry Blossom Festival, held in the same period, the beautiful trees are illuminated. This is a great way to enjoy blossoms in different atmospheres in the daytime and at night. Since the park is adjacent to Asahiyama Zoo, it’s particularly recommended for families.
Location: Higashiasahikawacho, Asahikawa, Hokkaido 078-8205
Hirosaki Castle Park
Home to 2,600 flowering cherry trees, Hirosaki Park is considered one of the best cherry blossom viewing locations in the country. More than a million visitors flood its gates each spring.
The four-hundred-year-old Hirosaki Castle also adds to the uniqueness of this location. Visitors can rent boats and float amid fallen blossoms in the castle’s moat. Hirosaki Park is only a short bus ride from JR Lines Hirosaki Station.
Location: 〒036-8356 Aomori, Hirosaki, Shimoshiroganecho, １
Most cherry blossom spots feature hundreds, if not thousands, of individual trees. Miharu Takizakura is unique in that it is home to only a single tree. What, then, makes this location so special? One of the “three greatest cherry trees” in Japan, this may be the most popular individual tree in the country. The takizakura, or “waterfall cherry tree,” is a weeping cherry tree that is thought to be over one thousand years old. It is located in the hills outside of Miharu Town, near Koriyam City in the Fukushima Prefecture.
Location: Sakurakubo-115 Taki, Miharu, Tamura District, Fukushima 963-7714
The Shiroishi River, which flows through the southern part of Miyagi Prefecture, is lined with about 8 kilometers of cherry blossom trees along its embankment, creating a stunning landscape with a backdrop of the majestic snow-capped Zao Mountains.
During the cherry blossom season, several Tohoku sakura festivals are held from early-to-mid April, including the Ogawara Sakura Festival, and the Ohanami Yakatabune, where you can view the cherry blossoms from aboard a ship.
In peak season, you can also watch the passing views of the cherry blossoms from inside a train by riding the JR Tohoku Main Line as it passes slowly between Ogawara Station and Funaoka Station, alongside the cherry blossom trees.
Location: 12 Funaoka, Shibata, Shibata District, Miyagi 989-1606
Kakunodate, Senboku City, Akita Prefecture, is a popular tourist spot where the old streets from 390 years ago remain. Bukeyashiki-dori is a place where many samurai residences were built, and is particularly popular, attracting plenty of tourists.
Towards the end of April every year, the streets become decorated in pink weeping cherry trees, creating a stunning view when contrasted with the black wooden fences surrounding the samurai residences. During the Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival, usually held during peak season, the trees are lit up from sunset to 10:00 PM.
The Hinokinaigawa River, located about a 3-minute walk from Bukeyashiki-dori, is also famous as a cherry blossom spot in Tohoku.
Location: Bukeyashiki Street, Kakunodatemachi Omotemachikamicho, Semboku, Akita 014-0334
Hop to the northeast and you can find an incredible cherry blossom tunnel in Japan! The Iwaki district is west of Hirosaki City in Aomori Prefecture, and located at the foot of beautiful Mt. Iwaki is “The World’s Longest Cherry Blossom-Lined Road.”
There, about 6,500 cherry trees line a 20km stretch of road and are in full bloom from late April to early May. In addition to this superb cherry blossom tunnel in Japan, there are even some great sightseeing spots like shrines and hot springs nearby, making for the perfect Japan trip.
Location: Higashiiwakisan Hyakuzawa, Hirosaki, Aomori 036-1343
Kanto Region (Tokyo)
This park features lush lawns and over a thousand cherry trees. The area is unique in that it is home to both late and early blooming trees. This makes it a prime spot for visitors who arrive a week too early or too late for the main sakura-matsuri festival.
See Also: Best Cherry Blossom Festivals in Japan
Located in the heart of the city, Tokyo’s high-rise buildings provide a startling contrast to the park’s peaceful natural surroundings. Shinjuku Gyoen is a mere ten-minute walk from Shinjuku Station, one of the central Tokyo train stops, part of the circular Yamanote line. Japan Rail Pass holders can ride all Yamanote line trains with no limits, during the duration of their JR Pass.
Location: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0014
No article on cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo would be complete without Ueno Park. During the hanami season, the park is visited by thousands of families, company workers, and students all looking to take in the beautiful pink blossoms. Since the park can get crowded during this time of year, we recommend meeting up with your party at Ueno Station rather than in the park itself.
See Also: Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo
Location:〒110-0007 Tokyo, Taito City, Uenokoen, 池之端三丁目
Meguro River is flanked by around 800 cherry trees on both sides, stretching for about 3.8 km. At night, lanterns are lit, making for a very atmospheric hanami experience.
Like in Shinjuku Gyoen and Yoyogi Park, it’s a little difficult to find a nice plot to set your tarp down, but the blossoms are just as beautiful if you want to simply take a stroll down by the river. The closest stations for Meguro River are JR Meguro Station or Nakameguro Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line. Search for Meguro Hotels.
Location: 2 Chome-6 Nakameguro, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0061
Thousands of visitors come every year to enjoy hanami at Yoyogi Park. With around 500 trees, primarily of the Somei Yoshino variety, visitors can come and purchase snacks like yakisoba at stalls or catering carts set up throughout the park and many people also bring their own food and alcohol to enjoy in the shade of the trees.
During the cherry season, the lines for the public bathrooms become quite long, so either make sure you find a toilet near the park that you can scurry off to or keep the libation imbibing to a minimum.
Location: 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0052
Rikugien Garden is one of the big two Japanese-style gardens that can be enjoyed in Tokyo (the other is Koishikawa Korakuen). The gardens are beautiful year-round, but especially striking in the springtime when the drooping cherry trees come into bloom. With the garden bathed in pink throughout the day, once the sun sets they are lit up, bringing about a whole new beauty to the blossoming buds.
Location: 6 Chome-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0021
Mitsuike Park in Yokohama has been named one of the “100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots” in Japan. It is home to three ponds and over a thousand cherry trees. This park offers free admission. Using your Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass), you can take City Bus Number 104 from either Shin-Yokohama Station or Tsurumi Station.
Location: 1-1 Mitsuikekoen, Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0013
Nagano Prefecture boasts Matsumoto Castle, which is designated as the oldest national treasure in Japan as an existing five-tiered, six-storied castle tower. Matsumoto Castle offers beautiful scenery in every season, but it may be especially famous in spring when cherry blossoms bloom everywhere around the castle.
Two events will be held from three to eight days after the official announcement that the flowers are in bloom. The first is the Matsumoto Castle Yozakura-kai, or the “Night Sakura Festival.” Here you can listen to traditional flute and other performances in the garden while the castle tower of Matsumoto Castle is illuminated and view the cherry blossoms of the Honmaru garden.
At the second event, Matsumoto Castle Cherry Blossom “Corridor of the Light,” the cherry blossom trees that line up along the outer moat are lit up, and when you walk in the pale pink transparent light you’ll feel positively enchanted by the romantic scene! Be sure to take a stroll around the castle and enjoy the town at night.
Location: 4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-0873
Takato Castle Park
With over 1500 pink Kohigan cherry trees, Takato Castle Park is an iconic and breathtaking place to visit. It is reputedly one of the top three places to see the cherry blossom in Japan and, every April, there is a lively festival with stalls, activities, and evening illuminations. Visitors can also see the historic Takato Castle Ruins.
Location: Takatomachi Higashitakato, Ina, Nagano 396-0213
Kenroku-en is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan along with Kairakuen (in Ibaraki) and Korakuen (Okayama). A garden typical of the Edo period that has been shaped by successive daimyo, it is one of Japan’s leading tourist attractions. There is a large pond in the garden, a man-made hill, and there are teahouses scattered around the premises, so you can take a walk through the garden while stopping at these points. About 40 types of cherry blossoms and about 420 trees are planted, and it is also selected as one of the 100 Best Sakura Spots in Japan.
The most types of cherry blossoms bloom in mid-April every year. In late April, valuable varieties such as Kenrokuen Kikuzakura and Kenrokuen Kumagai are in full bloom. In particular, Kenrokuen-kumagai is a special variety with large flowers and gorgeous deep pink petals.
Kenrokuen is happy to promote that it will be open for free for one week from the 5th day after the official bloom announcement. Furthermore, the cherry blossoms are illuminated at night from sunset until 9pm, so you can enjoy their beauty in both the day and as you stroll through the garden at night.
Read Also: Where to See Night Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo
Location: 1 Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0936
According to the Zenkoji Engi, an early history of Zenkoji Temple, Shinshu Zenkoji was founded as a temple in the year 642 AD before Buddhism was divided into denominations. The statue of Amida Nyorai Sanson (Amida and Two Attendants) is the oldest Buddha statue in Japan and can be found here.
The Maedachi Honzon, is one of the temple’s most sacred icons, and it can only be seen for a short period of time called go-kaicho, held every six years. The most recent was from April 3 (Sun) to May 29 (Sun), 2022.
You can’t sit and enjoy the cherry blossoms in the precincts, but you can take a slow stroll and look at Yoshino cherry trees and weeping cherry trees on the road leading to an enshrinement hall, called Unjyoden.
Unjoden is on the top of the mountain, which is a 20-minute walk to the north of Zenkoji Temple, and afforts an especially gorgeous view when the cherry blossoms at Zenkoji are in full bloom, from early April to mid-April.
Location: 491 Naganomotoyoshichō, Nagano, 380-0851
A favorite spot for photographers throughout the year, Chureito Pagoda offers magnificent views of the famous Mount Fuji. During the month of April, the pagoda rises above the “clouds” of cherry blossoms spread between it and the mountain. Early morning offers the best lighting conditions for serious travel photographers. Chureito Pagoda offers free admission and is an approximately twenty-minute walk from Shimo-Yoshida Station.
Location: 3353-1 Arakura, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi 403-0011
The most popular and touristic lake of Fuji 5 Lakes (Fujigoko). The most recommended photo point is Northern Shores of Kawaguchiko where cherry trees are planted for 1.2km along the lake.
Location: Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi
Kansai Region (Kyoto)
Enjoy the cherry blossoms all day long at the majestic Himeji Castle. The castle is famous for its pristine white color and is the first UNESCO Heritage Site to be registered in Japan. Located in western Hyogo Prefecture, sakura cover the 400-year-old castle grounds in the spring, transforming the area into a gorgeous white and pink dreamworld.
Around 1,000 Somei Yoshino and Shidare zakura are planted here. In the evenings, the sakura are lit up and visitors can enjoy exploring the castle grounds at night with glowing flowers all around.
Location: 68 Honmachi, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0012
Toji Temple is home to Japan’s tallest five-storied pagoda for a wooden structure. The temple’s official name is Kyo-o-gokokuji Temple. It is a registered World Heritage Site.
Around 200 beautiful cherry blossom trees bloom here. Be sure to take a photo with the five-storied pagoda in the background to capture a traditional Japanese essence.
See Also: Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto
The Fuji Zakura, the cherry tree Toji Temple is most known for, is a shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) tree that is over 130 years old. It towers 13 meters tall and has an artistic beauty that is especially wonderful during the illuminations from late March to early April.
Location: 1 Kujocho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, 601-8473
This lesser-known World Heritage Site is famous for omuro sakura cherry trees, which are said to be the latest blooming cherries in the whole of Kyoto. The forest of these trees in the inner grounds reaches a height of only about two to three meters, bringing the blossoms closer to the ground for great portrait shots.
You will also find trees of the mainstream somei yoshino variety in front of the main hall and weeping cherry trees near the bell tower.
Location: 33 Omuroouchi, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8092
The Philosopher’s Path is a quaint stone path which takes you through the north of Kyoto’s Higashiyama district. The walkway follows a canal which is lined by hundreds of cherry trees showcasing vibrant shades of pink, red, and white. The 2-kilometer path was the place where Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan’s most famous philosophers, used to walk and practice meditation.
The Philosopher’s Path runs between Ginkakuji and the neighborhood of Nanzenji and takes around 30 minutes to walk. The closest subway station is Keage which is 1km away. If you want to start at the south of the path, get off at Miyanomaecho.
Location: Shishigatani Teranomaecho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8426, Japan
The first cherry trees were planted on the slopes of Mount Yoshino over 1300 years ago. But the landmark is much more than simply Japan’s most historical place to view the cherry blossom. It has a unique, magical atmosphere and a picturesque beauty. There are over 30,000 cherry trees of many types and colors. Visitors can also see various idyllic shrines, temples, and parks along the way.
Location: Yoshinoyama, Yoshino, Yoshino District, Nara 639-3115, Japan
Yoshimine-dera Temple was constructed around the middle of the Heian period. It is also one of the 33 temples in the Kinki area with a statue of Kannon that issues charms. The “Yoryu no Matsu” (Gliding Dragon pine tree), a national monument, is a majestic pine tree with branches that stretch horizontally for almost 40 meters. The weeping cherry blossom trees planted by Tsunayoshi Tokugawa’s mother, Keishoin, are also famous.
Location: 1372 Oharano Oshiocho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto, 610-1133
Osaka Castle Park
Osaka Castle in central Osaka is considered one of the three best castles in Japan and is also famous for its cherry blossoms. Osaka Castle Park is a spacious park that surrounds the castle. Inside the park is the Nishinomaru Garden, an area right by the castle, home to around 300 sakura trees.
Osaka Castle Park during the cherry blossom season is an ideal photography spot. Visitors can lay down blankets and tarps to have a picnic or hanami party under the delicate pink trees.
Read Aslo: Cherry Blossom Photography Tips
Location: 1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002
Known for its udon noodles, Kagawa’s famed Japanese garden is located in Ritsurin park. Constructed during the Edo Period, it is a famous historical garden.
The southern garden in the park continues to maintain its 300-year-old ambiance. It is the only designated Important Cultural Property of Shikoku. In 2009 it was nominated with three stars of must-go places on the Michelin Green Guide of Japan.
With six lakes and thirteen hills, the garden is filled with around 320 cherry trees. It is a place where you can enjoy the traditional and natural beauty. There are restaurants to savor matcha green tea and lunch, so you can spend a day relaxing in the park.
This is a great cherry blossom viewing spot to see both the mountains and ocean landscapes. The serene atmosphere of nature is very comforting and the delicate, light pink blossoms allows you to relax even more. Why not take a moment to enjoy the peace along with the beautiful flowers?
Admission is 410 yen for adults and 170 yen for elementary and middle school students.
Location: １丁目-20-16 栗林町 Takamatsu, Kagawa 760-0073
Okayama Korakuen Garden
Korakuen is a truly magnificent landscape garden which is ranked in the top three in the country. The 17th-century park was built by the Shogun to entertain important guests but became government property during the Meiji restoration in the 1880s. The adjoining Okayama Castle (also known as “crow castle”) dates back to the 16th century though many parts have been reconstructed over the years. There are a combined 500 cherry trees between the two sites.
Location: 1-5 Korakuen, Kita Ward, Okayama, 703-8257
Peace Memorial Park
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park has become a symbol of peace, hope, and friendship. The Motoyasu River runs through the park and both banks are lined with stunning cherry trees. Each evening during the season, there are special, breathtaking illuminations which draw lively crowds of locals and tourists.
Location: １丁目-1-10 Nakajimacho, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, 730-0811
The grounds of the former Tottori Castle, also known as Kyusho Park, are Tottori’s most famous cherry blossom spot. Located along a mountain slope, the park features over 200 trees and nice views over the city. During the peak of the season, the trees are lit up by paper lanterns in the evenings.
Location: 1-220 Higashimachi, Tottori, 680-0011
Kintaikyo Bridge is an iconic sightseeing spots in Yamaguchi. It is considered one of the Japan’s three main bridges of Japan, in addition to Meganebashi in Nagasaki and Nihonbashi in Tokyo.
Kintaikyo consists of five bridges connected together. It is a wooden arch bridge that is considered unique even in the world. After its completion in 1673, it was destroyed due to typhoons but has been continuously restored by skilled technicians for over three hundred years.
During spring, Kintaikyo undergoes a stunning transformation. The cherry blossoms along the river are in full bloom and the area becomes very lovely. You can also board the Sakuraso boat to cruise down the river to enjoy the scenery (pay for the cruise when you ride).
There are also many seasonal flowers at the Kikko Park nearby.
Location: 1 Chome-2 Iwakuni, Yamaguchi 741-0062
When foreign tourists visit Japan, they typically wish to experience the seasonal beauty, temple, shrine, garden, shinkansen, onsen, and castle.
The country has many historic castles but there are only three castles which has got the tag “best of the best,” they are: Kumamoto Castle, Himeji Castle, and Nagoya Castle. So don’t you think it is worth a visit to Kumamoto Castle in the spring?
The castle has nearly 800 cherry trees planted around its imposing stone walls! When they are all in full bloom, they cover the castle’s grounds and create a great festive atmosphere. The sakura festival that takes place here during late march and early April is very lively and full of crowds.
Along with experiencing glorious sakura there, you will be amazed seeing the impressive castle keep and the surrounding stone walls. I wish you have a great hanami picnic party here as well. Please note that the trees are lit up in the evenings.
Location: 1-1 Honmaru, Chuo Ward, Kumamoto, 860-0002
This park features lush lawns and over a thousand cherry trees. The area is unique in that it is home to both late and earl
The hillside park has over a thousand cherry trees and is also the site of the Terumo Shrine, the family shrine of the area’s former feudal lords. Aside from the wonderful shades of the cherry trees, you can also see some jaw-dropping views of Hakata Bay, Nokonoshima Island, and Shikanoshima Island. Over 1,300 trees stand on the park’s wonderful slopes.
You can also find some picturesque paths, delicious food stalls, and an observation platform offering panoramic views of Fukuoka. Nishi Park is a 10-15 minute walk north of Ohori Koen Station which you can reach on the Kūkō Line.
Location: 13 Nishikoen, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0061
Seibu Park in Tokushima is home to around 500 Somei Yoshino cherry trees, and it draws in numerous visitors from within and outside the prefecture during blooming season. A little later in spring, the park is also known for its numerous azalea bushes that adorn the grounds with even more springtime color.
Location: Shoyama Kamonacho, Tokushima, 770-0048
Kagawa’s Kotohiki Park is one of the destinations on Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom viewing sites list, and it’s filled to the brim with springtime beauty. Several hundred Somei Yoshino cherry trees can be found on the grounds here, and they’re even illuminated after dark during the blooming season.
Location: 13 Ariakecho, Kanonji, Kagawa 768-0062
Ehime’s Matsuyama Shiroyama Park is dotted with around 200 cherry trees and is one of the prefecture’s top spots for enjoying the beauty of the season. You’ll often see people setting up their hanami picnics here, and who can blame them – the combination of the pretty pink blooms and the backdrop of Matsuyama Castle makes this an incredibly memorable spot.
Location: 1 Marunouchi, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-0008
Cherry Blossoms are one of Japan’s most sought-after tourist attractions. With their beauty and limited appearance, it’s not hard to see why so many people love them. Hopefully, this guide has given you some ideas of where you want to travel to see the sakura in Japan and how to do it. Let us know in the comments below what your favorite viewing. pot is. s
Traveling to Japan in Spring
Spring can be an amazing time to travel to Japan. With cool weather that hasn’t yet turned humid, beautiful clear skies, and of course the allure of cherry blossoms, it’s many people’s favorite time to visit the islands. Here are some of our resources for traveling to Japan in the springtime.
- Cherry Blossom Tours
- What to do in Japan in Spring
- Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo
- Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto
- Where to See Cherry Blossoms Around Mt. Fuji
- Best Cherry Blossom Festivals in Japan
- Best Spring Hikes in Japan for Cherry Blossoms
- 5 Places to See Night Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo
- Cherry Blossom Photography Tips
THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO
Are you ready for Japan?
- Book Your Flights– To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is a must. Some great options are Google Flights for the calendars to find the cheapest options, Skiplagged, and Skyscanner. For more options see our resources page. For Japan, check flights for both Tokyo Airports (Haneda and Narita), as well as Osaka (Kansai).
- Find Transportation- Buy your JR Pass for your bullet train and inter-city travel before you leave home. Research a Suica card, the public transportation card you can either buy before or as soon as you arrive.
- Book Your Accommodation– Look at Booking.com, Hotels.com, or Expedia for hotels in Japan. You can also look at AirBnB or VRBO as we’ve had great luck finding inexpensive, large, and clean homes to rent.
- Book Tours and Experiences- Check Klook or Viator for some of the best tours and attractions for a great price for experiences like Tokyo Skytree, TeamLab Borderless, and Universal Osaka. For Tokyo Disney Resort, check my guide here.
- Stay Connected– Order a pocket WIFI for airport pickup if you’re with a family or group, or order a SIM card just for your phone. Check out our guide to staying connected here.
- Buy Travel Insurance- I always recommend World Nomads for insurance. It’s better to protect yourself in case of mishaps. Learn more about World Nomads in this FAQ post.
- Pack Your Bags– Check out my packing lists, or my favorite travel gear to help you remember all of the essentials.
- Learn About Japan– Learn about Japan with guidebooks like Lonely Planet, or, shameless plug, search around my site for more info.