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. Cherry blossoms near Mt. Fuji are beautiful and a bucket list experience.
If you are to explore the incredible display of cherry blossoms around the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) area, you would be interested in knowing the spots that are worth visiting to do that. Fujigoko is a renowned touristic area that lies at the northern base of Mount Fuji and comprises five distinct beautiful lakes: Kawaguchiko, Yamanakako, Motosuko, Saiko, and Shojiko. You can see the cherry blossoms near Mt. Fuji by heading to the city Fujiyoshida. You can catch local transport to any of the lakes or view the mountain from Fujiyoshida.
The area is designated as a perfect place to view Mount Fuji from a close distance. Those who dream of viewing the iconic Mount Fuji in spring should pay a visit to the Fuji Five Lakes area.
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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 full bloom in a few different regions of Japan if you’re willing to travel.
Mt Fuji Cherry Blossom Season usually starts
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.
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 near Mt. Fuji
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.
This is quite possibly one of the most seen photos of Mount Fuji with Fall and Spring being a favorite time to capture the fall leaves or pink sakura blossoms framing the majestic volcano. It’s one of the great cherry blossom spots in all of Japan and is a short trip from Tokyo.
The most popular and touristic lake of Fuji 5 Lakes (Fujigoko). The most recommended photo point is Northern Shores of Kawaguchi where cherry trees are planted for 1.2km along the lake. The cherry blossom viewing is amazing with Fuji-san in the background.
Urui River (潤井川)offers one of best scenic views of cherry blossoms and Mt.Fuji with the beautiful stream of river, and it’s extremely popular among photographers during the season. The cherry‐tree‐lined path is located nearby Ryuganbuchi Bridge, which can be accessed within 10 mins walk from JR Iriyamase Station (Minobu Line)
Oshino Hakkai (忍野八海)is a popular tourist sight of 8 spring water ponds of Mt.Fuji which is located between Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako. Enjoy the view of cherry blossoms in a traditional Japanese village with Mt. Fuji behind.
See Also: Cherry Blossom Festivals
It is the Ubuyagasaki to be the first place recommended if it is originally, but the gracefully‐shaped branches of the cherry tree is not good recently, and the range of trees other than cherry tree extends. Therefore, the spot of the shooting becomes very limited. And since the overseas guidebook has been introduced as one of the most famous cherry blossoms, it is a recent trend that is particularly crowded with tourists from overseas.
We want to appeal to the town to regain beautiful scenery including the restoration of the cherry trees and the maintenance because it is a scenic place of the Lake Kawaguchiko from old times.
Iyashi no Sato
Iyashi no Sato (いやしの里) stands on the site of a former farming village on the western shores of Lake Saiko. The village is made up of more than twenty houses that have been converted into shops, restaurants, museums, and galleries. Each of the shops specializes in a traditional craft such as pottery, incense or weaving. Some of the handicraft shops, provide hands-on workshops for visitors to try making traditional products, including washi paper, charcoal, and soba noodles. The main street is lined with weeping cherry trees that offer a great view of Fuji-san.
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 spots.
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.
- Japan Hotels
- Japan Rail Pass
- Cherry Blossom Tours
- What to do in Japan in Spring
- Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan
- Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo
- Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto
- 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
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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.